International genealogy service Living DNA has announced the launch of its African ancestry DNA test report, which adds 72 African sub-regions to its database. Living DNA makes some of the best DNA testing kits on the market today. The launch coincides with Black History month, a month-long celebration of the achievements and struggles of African Americans within the United States.
Living DNA says that its African ancestry test “offers five times the detail of any other test on the market”, blowing the competition out of the water. Ancestry sites have often come under fire for the bias towards white European heritages in their DNA databases. Living DNA says that it has gathered data from across Africa to deliver the most accurate genealogy test for people with African heritage.
The African Ancestry DNA test report gives a recent ancestry breakdown spanning roughly the last 1000 years, giving a maternal and paternal history. It also offers information on your ancestors including their geographical origins, languages, traditions, and culture. Living DNA is one of the only DNA ancestry companies that doesn’t sell or share your genetic data to third parties, something many of the other top websites engage in.
To mark the launch, Living DNA’s co-founder, David Nicholson said “For too long, due to scientific funding, DNA firms have only been able to offer great results for people with European Ancestry. That changes today as Living DNA delivers a product that gives a world-leading level of detail to those with African heritage, fulfilling the request from millions of people across America.”
This isn’t just idle bluster to promote the launch of a new product either. A 2019 study published in Cell in 2019 found that 78% of people included in genome-wide association studies were of European descent, despite Europeans making up only 12% of the world’s population. That study requires a subscription to access, but PBS did a great breakdown if you’d like to learn more.
“Ancestry testing should provide anyone from anywhere with an equal level of detail, but this has not yet been possible.” added Living DNA’s other Co-founder, Hannah Nicholson. “Launching these sub-regions across Africa is deeply meaningful as it supports so many people to discover more about their heritage. Living DNA is committed to unlocking those kinds of doors for people in a private and secure way.”
Existing customers can log into their results platform and get their updated ancestry data free of charge. In addition, Living DNA (opens in new tab) is offering a DNA ancestry kit for $79 plus shipping to celebrate Black History month. You can also upload your DNA test results from another leading company for free (opens in new tab) and Living DNA will give you a detailed African ancestry report for a discounted price of $39.
If you’d like to dig further into your origins and heritage, you should also check out our best genealogy sites guide. If you’re nervous about trying a DNA testing kit at home, we’ve got a handy guide which explains everything you need to know about testing your DNA at home.