This is great news! Every addition to the databases makes it easier to advance our genealogy research. And while database growth has slowed significantly since FamilyTreeDNA granted law enforcement access to their customers, the market continues to expand.
How does AncestryDNA stack up to the competition? They lead the pack! This graph gives you some idea.
At last report, 23andMe had sold more than 12 million kits* (as of May 2020), MyHeritage had more than 4.5 million people in their database (December 2020), and FamilyTreeDNA was thought to have about 1.4 million autosomal DNA users (January 2021).
Of course, those numbers are out of date to varying degrees. I extrapolated the database sizes based on recent growth rates for a more current comparison. I estimate that 23andMe has sold about 13.8 million kits, MyHeritage has about 4.8 million in their database, and FamilyTreeDNA has about 1.5 million.
That means AncestryDNA’s database is about as large as the other companies combined!
That’s why I always recommend that genealogists test with the two largest databases—AncestryDNA and 23andMe—first. From there, they can upload their data file into MyHeritage‘s database for free to get access to additional matches. (There’s a small, one-time fee for access to additional tools beyond the list of DNA relatives.)
* 23andMe’s “About Us” page says they’ve “sold more than 12M kits”, but their recent presentation to investors said they had 11.3 million genotyped customers. In other words, their reported value may include outstanding kits that haven’t yet been analyzed. AncestryDNA and MyHeritage both report how many people are actually in their databases.