The at-home DNA test kit market is booming, and Ancestry offered more proof today. In a statement, the company noted that its DNA database had surpassed 5 million people.
Thanks to the ease, relatively low cost and accessibility of DNA testing, companies like Ancestry and 23andMe have seen dramatic increases in revenues. People are intrigued to find out their true heritage, to solve family mysteries, and to note the migration patterns of some of their ancestors. Ancestry customers can trace their ethnicity across 26 different regions around the world, and have the opportunity to find how their family stories connect to any of 334 genetic communities, such as “Ulster Irish” or “Early Settlers of New York.”
Over 5 million people have taken a DNA test with Ancestry, and millions more have used competitors like 23andMe. An interesting benefit to users is that as the database grows, the links to distant cousins and other family members increase. The company says more than 37 million third cousin or closer relative matches have been provided across the network. According to Ancestry, demand has grown quickly. In the last three months, the company database went from 4 million to 5 million users.
News stories about long-lost cousins and family mysteries solved have driven more people to take the tests. In a recent feature in The Washington Post, one customer found that her father was switched at birth with another baby; he was taken home from the hospital by the wrong family. She was expecting to find Irish ancestry in her DNA, but instead she found Eastern European. The results prompted her to do extensive research, and sure enough, she discovered a woman living in another state whose father was also born on the same day at the same hospital, and she also took the DNA test. She was expecting to find Eastern European ancestry, but instead, discovered that she was half Irish. Since, the families have connected and keep in touch.
“We’re proud to connect millions of people to their past and their present in deeply personal ways,” said Ken Chahine, executive vice president and general manager of AncestryDNA. “…what customers clearly appreciate the most is how we take that math and help them turn it into powerful, life-changing discoveries and experiences.” Vineet Mehra, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Ancestry said, “when you have a better sense of your own identity – it changes how you view the world and how you view your own future.”
To celebrate the 5 million mark, AncestryDNA kits will be discounted from $99 to $69 through August 15, 2017.