This is one of the best free resources on the web about ethnicity dna testing. We also have reviews to help you find the best ethnicity dna test.

How accurate are dna tests ethnicity

How accurate are dna tests for ethnicity

DNA test kits can show you ethnicity you never knew you had.

However they can never be totally accurate.  For some things they can be 2% out and for other things 50% out.

This guide will tell you what they are accurate for and for what they are not.

Also how to get the best results.

Read full guide

How accurate are dna tests ethnicity

Using ethnicity dna testing, for genealogy and family trees

Ethnicity can also give you clues to your family tree and genealogy.

It can reveal where people are related, not related and give information to help find relatives.

One test, gives a detailed pattern of how each of your ethnicities is spread among your genes.   This can help match you up even further, to other people.

This guide shows you how to get the best from this technology

Read full guide

best ethnicity dna test kit reviews

Reviews of the best ethnicity dna test kits

We been using ethnicity dna test kits for many years.  Some are brilliant and there are a few terrible ones out there

This guide will show you which are the best.

It also says which is the best for your needs, such as buying as a present, finding your own ethnicity, finding missing relatives and building a family tree and so on.

Read full guide

edmatch ethnicity dna test kit

Review of free ethnicity dna test with GedMatch

GEDMatch does free ethnicity dna analysis, but what is it like?

They have about 1 million dna samples.

The police in America even used it to find a murderer known as the ‘Golden Gate Killer’

Read full guide

An example of an ethnicity DNA test kit result

To dig deeper into what an ethnicity dna testing kit can do, let’s look at an example:

In 2018 MyHeritage tested a number of footballers from England.  John Barnes knew that one side of his family was from Jamaica in the Caribbean and the other side was from Africa.

He was not suprised when the results that came back said he was 41.24% Nigerian.

He was suprised to that he was 9.9% Kenyan and not to see any sign of Jamaican heritage.

Should he have questioned what he had been told by his family, or what the test told him?

This is where genealogical family documents come in, as he used a firm that has that side in it’s business. It was quick and easy to do that research.  He could see the original documents from the site from when his parents were married in the UK and other such records.

As a result he believed the test far more and actually doubted what his father had told him about his Jamaican heritage.

Personally we think that there were things for him to questions about what he had been told about his family.  This is a balance though, because as we will learn elsewhere on this site, the tests are currently far from 100% accurate.




Which ethnicity dna test kit is right for you?

To see which one is the best for you, please see the best ethnicity test kits guide.  They are all a bit different.  The main things to look at are:

1, Which tests they do:

The more tests they do, the higher the price. All of them do AutoSomal DNA tests.

The next price up does YDNA and MtDNA.   Then after that, the most expensive do XDNA

It is a good idea to understand what these different tests are, each one has it’s good and bad points.  So the more of the different tests that are done, the better the data is for getting better results.

2, The extra things they will do as well:

They all do ethnicity and heritage, some will also match you up to other relatives on your database.  However others will also do health DNA analysis.  This can be seeing what health issues you may have, or looking at what exercise and foods are best for your genetic makup.

Like in all industries, there are good and rubbish out there.  Which is why we have our guide on this site which says which ones we recommend.

It is not just the products we like, we are also impressed by the people behind them, university professors from the top institutions and respected geneticists.


How does dna testing for ethnicity work

An ethnicity dna test kit, compares you with their database of different ethnicities

Their database of each ethnicity to compare you with, is called a panel.

A DNA reference panel, is their database of genetic samples from each different ethnicity.  The best ethnicity dna test kit will have a well made panel with thousands of samples.

The quality of a test kit is:

  1. How many ethnicities are in their panel
  2. The quality of how accurate that DNA is to that actual ethnitity

This of course seems obvious, but like many things it is a big job.

As the science is quite new, each company is continually working to get more ethnicities in their database, with more precision and accuracy.  They do this by getting more samples and analysing them.

The test kit’s panel consists of DNA collected from known locations, where the people there are from that ethnicity.

However it gets more complicated than that, because as we know, each person is never  purely one ethnicity.

To get the purest ethnicity, would need the DNA from 500 to one thousand years ago.  This is probably because it is before people started travelling longer distances.

The only way to do this is to get DNA from remains in archaeological digs, but this will not give enough different samples for what we need.

So the best that can be done is to find people where the  company can be as sure as possible, that their grandparents were from that country or village.

This is of course not perfect.  Also we are guessing that the further away from the DNA test kits company’s location the DNA sample is from, the harder it is for them to do and  control these things.

All in all, this is a big and hard job.  It is one thing to do it in the country where the ethnicity dna test kit company is located, but something else to do for the whole world.

The best tested areas with the most data are Europe and North America.  As a result they can be more sure of their data in those areas.  It is also more precise for each area and country.

South America, Africa, Asia and Australia are definable regions and they can be sure of those areas if you have DNA from there.   However they have less data from those areas.


Coming soon:

How accurate are MtDNA and YDNA tests.

Haplogroups, what are they and information about each one.



The future panels available to the best ancestry dna test kit

The explosion in consumer test kits, is making the panels massively progress in size and accuracy. This is because it is leading to companies getting more samples and money for research. This is also funding them sending out free DNA test kits, to areas that do not buy the best ethnicity dna test kit. Due to them not being sold there and people not being able to afford them.

The best companies have collected DNA data from between 1 to 5 million people.  At the moment, the number of test kits sold are doubling every year.  The growth will of course eventually flatten as more and more people  will have done them.

The next interesting bit will be to see how precise the results can get.  An important bit for this will be to see what DNA samples can be obtained from ancient archaeological remains all over the world.


The differences in accuracy, between the best dna test kits

They are all quite accurate for European ethnicity, the problem comes with Asian and African ethnicities where the accuracy can differ wildly.

The best for Africa and Asia is HomeDNA. They have actively worked more in these areas and have a more accurate panels for them.

HomeDNA are also the only ones to have specialist kits for them. They have one for African ethnicity and one for Asian.

This comes with a price, almost double that of the other testing kits.

All their ethnicity test kits are twice the price of the others, even those for general ethnicity, but then they are a lot more accurate.

Ultimately they are all okay, although we have found LivingDNA to be amazing for European ethnicity, especially in the United Kingdom. However it is not one we would choose for African or Asian.