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Missing 1%

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  • Missing 1%

    My results on myOrigins shows I'm 92% European and 7% Middle Eastern. It took me a few days to realize that only adds up to 99%! Where's the other 1%?

  • #2
    Most percentage tables in financial publications (e.g., quarterly statements) include this footnote: "Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding." Scientific publications typically do not bother because every scientist already knows this. FTDNA should somewhere add this same footnote, because not every customer is a scientist.

    To anyone who doesn't understand the concept:

    Let's say that the arithmetical percentage of A is 92.4%, and the arithmetical percentage of B is 7.3%. There is also a C with 0.3%. But let's say that these percentages have a fairly large confidence interval (plus-or-minus), so the presentation of tenths of a percent is itself misleading. The alternative is to round the percentages to whole numbers:
    A 92%
    B 7%

    Note that C rounds to zero and thus drops off entirely.


    • #3
      Ah, ok. Thank you! I was curious because I descend from a family that was well documented in colonial Virginia as being mixed-race (African & White); my lineage from this family is verifiable. On 23andMe I show .1% Subsaharan African (further broken down as <.1% West African and <.1% East African). On GEDmatch I consistently show a little bit higher percentage of Subsaharan African (averaging about 1.5%). Male cousins in this line have tested with the y-haplogroup E1b1a8a, so I am certain this is real and not "noise".

      I show some North African as part of my Middle Eastern with myOrigins, but not Subsaharan African. If I did show Subsaharan African less than 1% in myOrigins, it would not show as it was rounded to zero. That make sense.


      • #4
        Yep, and anything under 1% may not show up at all with FTDNA. Makes sense. For my son, the one thing I expected that didn't show up was Amerindian, but it did show up at gedmatch. Our Cherokee ancestor was far enough back that the percentage would be less than 0.75% at most for my son. Everything else seemed very accurate for our paper trail


        • #5
          I know this is a bit late, but does this same reasoning (behind the answer you received in explanation of your missing 1%) apply when the missing percentage is more like 6% AWOL? My mother's test info came back as 7% African and 87% European. I was expecting her African ancestry numbers to be higher, quite honestly, as my own African percentage is within a range of 5-7% (depending on the test site) and I am very fair and blue eyed. Given my percentage, I felt that my mother, as the source of my African DNA, could reasonably be expected to show at least 10% African ancestry in her own results. I've "guesstimated" that my maternal grandmother may have been right around a bit more than a third Afro-Caribbean; she was conclusively no less than one quarter such (and quite probably a bit more). With all this in mind, I really was expecting to see my mother's African percentage to definitely return numbers at least in the double digits--at the very least, certainly doubling my minimum 5%--as my mother is a brown-eyed, very dark brunette whose med-mocha brown skin is significantly darker complected than my own (my father was a milky 100% Scotch-English redhead). Is this likely where that missing 6% should be? Incidentally, my mTDNA haplotype is L2B2. ALL of my mTDNA matches are with people of African descent; except for the two with Native American origins (this shows up only in my mTDNA matches; native ancestry shows up nowhere in either my mother or my own test results). Thanks!