The Icing on the Cake

MyHeritage is running a Black Friday sale on DNA kits—and it’s a fabulous price, only $39!—but that’s almost just the icing on the cake.

The “cake” is that their autosomal DNA database has now reached 5.4 million!

This is impressive growth, given that they are the newest player among the main autosomal databases. Within a year of launching in November 2016, MyHeritage had surpassed their two closest rivals, FamilyTreeDNA and GEDmatch.  They are now squarely in third place for database size, thanks to their trustworthiness and ever-growing list of new features that make DNA analysis and family history research both easier and more fun.

For comparison, here’s how the databases have grown since 2012.

Holiday sales are perhaps the biggest driver of annual database growth, because steeply discounted prices coincide with a traditional gift-giving season.  (For holiday sale prices at other companies, see here.)

Here’s hoping for a great sales season all around so we can make new genealogy connections in 2022!


Part II:  The other databases don’t report their sizes as regularly as does MyHeritage.  Even so, we can extrapolate from the graph above to guesstimate where they stand today.  A few scratchpad calculations suggest the other databases are roughly as follows:

  • AncestryDNA: ≈21,100,000
  • 23andMe: ≈14,600,000*
  • GEDmatch: ≈1,700,000
  • FTDNA: ≈1,600,000

*23andMe reports the number of kits sold rather than the number of people in their database.  The actual database size will be somewhat smaller, because not all kits get sent back to the lab and because some are currently being processed.

2 thoughts on “The Icing on the Cake”

    1. True. The same applies to any site that accepts uploads. That’s how they are able to compete with the bigger databases. MyHeritage claims that more than half of their database is direct tests (rather than uploads). Given their consistently low prices and advertising in Europe, I’m not surprised.

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