dna tests for white people

Are Ancestry DNA Tests More Accurate for White People? The Surprising Truth

There are various forms of DNA tests, but Ancestry DNA and 23andMe seem to be the most popular. It appears that ancestry DNA tests for white people are more detailed and comprehensive compared to other races. However, DNA testing is gaining significant popularity among people from all races who want to trace their family lineages.

DNA is also prevalent among people who want to gain knowledge about their ethnic identity. But, it seems the ancestry DNA tests are more favorable to people who are of European descent. The ethnicities mainly derived from data held by DNA companies show a bias toward the white race because more information is available in their data banks.

More people are taking DNA tests, and the bias ought to recede, but the companies have a lot of work to do. Adding new data from diverse backgrounds should include the worldwide population since the current tests are more accurate for white people. Different DNA testing companies seem to rely on data for people who are mostly white.

Types of DNA Companies

There are different types of DNA companies, and Ancestry DNA and 23andMe are household names. From about $99, you can order a DNA test online, and it is simple to do. You only need a test kit and spit a sample of saliva that goes for testing to a lab. The results take a few weeks, and you can learn about your ethnicity in detail.

Ancestry DNA Company has a vast database, and it is perfect for individuals who want to find family matches. The company offers regional matches in more than 350 regions such that you can link with distant relatives. If you’re going to see your biological parents, Ancestry DNA is the best for you. You get quick access to various potential DNA matches that can help you find your relatives.

On the other hand, 23andMe is the second best concerning the search for family matches. People interested in tracing their ethnicity can utilize this company since it covers more than 159 regions. It also has a large company database, and it can help you find perfect family matches.

using dna tests results to see where you are from

Problems With Current Data

The data used by DNA tests is the primary source of racial bias such that it represents more white people than other races. For example, AncestryDNA draws its ethnicity from a reference group drawn from the DNA of about 16,638 people. The reference group represents about 43 different populations.

A reference panel consists of DNA samples of people who have a long family history within a particular group. The reference panel currently represents samples from all around the world, but the problem is that some groups are underrepresented. In contrast, other groups such as those serving white races are overrepresented regarding the availability of data.

While reference panels represent ethnicities from a broad level, more data determines the quality of details. For every test performed, the results add to each DNA company’s database. For instance, the leading companies AncestryDNA and 23andMe have the best estimates concerning family matches.

These companies have more clients meaning that they also have more data. The other issue is that 23andMe and AncestryDNA were available in the United States alone at first. They later expanded to European countries and former colonies. According to ISOGG, US citizens constitute about four-fifths of people who tested for DNA.

The customer base is relatively uniform, and the data reflects populations that have majority European ancestry. The other problem pertains to poor infrastructure and funding that make it challenging to gather genetic data from groups that are underrepresented. These groups include Asians, Africans as well as other indigenous people.

It is currently not possible to infer the exact ancestry of African Americans due to the lack of genetic data. There are also other ethical issues involved that contribute to the limitation of genetic data about indigenous peoples. There is also a need for better funding to educate people about the significance of gene science so that they can voluntarily order tests.

Breakdown Of Regional Representation

Data in the company databases come from DNA tests and a company with a more extensive database presents high chances of accuracy in matches. Both AncestryDNA and 23anMe have large databases, but they favor people who are of European descent.

Ancestry DNA has the highest test samples of more than 10 million people, and it is the most popular across the whole world. It covers about three-quarters of the European heritage, but the Europeans are fewer than other ethnic groups from other parts of the globe.

Geographically, Africa is more extensive than Europe, the US and China all combined but ironically, AncestryDNA only covers 33 ethnic regions for the people of Africa descent. 23andMe only covers 34 areas compared to its coverage of 52 regions in Europe. AncestryDNA covers 296 areas of people of European descent.

How DNA Companies Intend to Diversify Their Data

Ancestry DNA says it intends to include more than 500 regions in early 2019 and it will focus on Hispanic and African American communities. The company is collecting more reference samples for DNA from different parts of the globe. It also intends to update its algorithms as well as its genetic markers that include diverse populations from across the world.

23andMe also seeks to expand to reach under-represented countries, and it launched a Global Genetics Project to cover these. If you have a grandparent from one of the 59 underrepresented countries, you can get a free test. You will also have access to more than 90 genetic reports in the company’s database. The company is also fronting an initiative to educate the world about the significance of gene science.

Many people in different parts of the globe still lack basic knowledge about genetics. Others also have doubts about the aspect of privacy; hence 23andMe intends to perform a lot of education. The company also wants to collect as many samples as possible to represent people from different regions across the globe.

About the Author Charles McKnight

I'm just another amateur genealogist investigating my American-Scots-Irish lineage. I built MyFamilyDNATest.com after buying all of the leading DNA tests to discover everything I could about my family history. Hopefully, this site will save you time and demystify the emerging science of DNA-based genealogy, for your family project.

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