Tuesday, 30 April 2019

DNA Testing in the UK

The following is extracted from an Ancestry.co.uk press release.

London, 25 April 2019: To mark DNA Day, Ancestry – the global leader in family history and consumer genomics – has unveiled a report into the rise of DNA testing, and the UK’s search for meaningful personal connections. 

The research, commissioned with YouGov, found that an estimated 4.7 million Brits have already discovered their genetic ethnicity through DNA testing with an additional 60% of the population interested in taking a test.

In the past year, Ancestry has seen over four million messages be sent to previously unknown family members through its platform, as people look to form closer bonds through a greater understanding of their backstory. In the UK alone, there’s been a 159% increase in messages sent, with conversations peaking during the Christmas period.

The report findings reveal 40% of the UK adult population – an estimated 20.9 million Brits - are looking for more meaningful personal connections in their day-to-day life, with those aged between 18-34 the most likely age group to crave deeper social bonds (59%).

With 57% believing that being connected to family is a key factor in driving wellbeing, the rise of DNA matching is becoming more prevalent. Over a third of those that have used a DNA testing service have gone on to explore the connections they uncovered, with almost 1 in 5 in current communications. 

The report also uncovers a link between DNA testing and wellbeing, with around a third of those who have taken a DNA test (32%) agreeing that discovering their genetic ethnicity has increased their sense of wellbeing. 

Those aged 18-24 are most likely to believe that making meaningful connections is a key factor in driving wellbeing (63%) yet are most likely feel lonely in their day to day life (34%). This suggests that the trend for consumer DNA testing and connecting with genetic family could be particularly powerful for the younger generation who are increasingly taking breaks from traditional social media channels. 45% of those aged 18-34 have decreased their time on social media as a result of it having a negative impact on their wellbeing.

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