Work by our head of statistics over the summer has made it possible to give customers purchasing the DNA Fingerprint Plus an analysis of their ethnicity and ancestry according to world “megapopulations.” These are the broadest possible biogeographical categories answering the question, “Where do I come from.”
The following is a sample result, with explanation as customers might receive it:
Megapopulations: the Bottom Line
These are the Top Ten broadest possible categories for your relative mix of ethnicities. “1 in 1 trillion” is the random probable match or chance of occurrence for your unique DNA profile or fingerprint. The lower the number the greater the match and more likely it is you have ancestry in that population.
|1 in 98 billion
|1 in 107 billion
|1 in 148 billion
|1 in 156 billion
|1 in 158 billion
|1 in 168 billion
|1 in 183 billion
|1 in 220 billion
|1 in 237 billion
|1 in 266 billion
Bear in mind that 1 in 100 billion is lower than 1 in 200 billion (and twice as strong), just as a chance of winning a lottery prize of 1 in 4 is greater than 1 in 100
To summarize the result given above, this test subject appears to be mostly European, including Northern European and other regions, with a high match for Jewish. There may also be ancestral ties with Melungeons and Middle Eastern.
The database atDNA 4.0 contains the following 21 megapopulations which you can get in your “bottom line” result:
For population coverage and possible bias, see Megapopulations.
While it is not possible to extrapolate percentages, you can get an idea of the most important megapopulation matches and their relative value to other ancestries by looking at the Random Match Probability or match likelihood number. For instance, from the example shown, we can infer that the person primarily has Northern European roots and belongs to the emigrant population European American (U.S. and Canada). We can also get a notion of what ancestry is not featured prominently in their mix–evidently there is no American Indian, Romani, African or Asian since these megapopulations are not in the top matches but presumably in the lower range.
By comparing match likelihoods we can state that the person:
- Is twice as likely to be Northern European as Mediterranean European
- Has about the same likelihood of being Jewish as Central or Eastern European
- Has about half as much likelihood of being Melungeon and Middle Eastern as Northern European and European American
Remember that results are not absolute, but only relative. They cannot be equated with percentages.