Study Finds British DNA Isn’t Very British At All


With its unique sense of humour, love of tea and dedication to football in all weathers, there can be little doubt the Great British spirit is alive and well in the UK.

But with Brexit recently sending shockwaves through the country, many have questioned what it means to be British.

Brexiteers have argued that Britain is now free to take back control of its borders in order to curb immigration. But isolating the country from its foreign neighbors may not be doing what some would consider as its ‘intended job’.

But a new study has revealed that many UK residents are not quite as native to the UK as they may think.

According to research complied by, the genetic make-up of the average Brit is just 36.94 percent Anglo-Saxon, with the remainder being made up largely of, well, elsewhere.

If you’re British, chances are more than half of your DNA comes from Celtic, Scandinavian, Western European, Iberian, and Southern European DNA, as well as other genes from further afield.

The research is based on an analysis of the genetic history of 2 million people worldwide using’s home testing kits.

The kits harness DNA testing techniques to create a full profile of a person’s genome. From nothing more than a saliva sample, the test is able to analyse more than 700,000 locations within this genome, tracing DNA back over 500 years to 26 different global regions around the world.


Live in Yorkshire? People who live here have the highest proportion of Anglo-Saxon DNA, with an average of 41 percent.

Londoners, on the other hand, were found to have the greatest mix of non-British genes with the capital having the highest amount of heritage from 17 of the 26 global regions analysed.

The people of Wales have the highest proportion of Spanish and Portuguese DNA, while Scots have the most Finnish and Northwest Russian genes.

From the east? People here have more Italian and Greek ancestry than other Brits.


On average, 21.59 percent of each Brit’s genetic material is of Celtic origin, with 19.91 percent coming from Western European countries like Germany and France, 9.2 percent coming from Scandinavia, and 3.05 percent coming from Iberia (Portugal/Spain).

Commenting on these findings, AncestryDNA spokesperson Brad Argent said:

At a time when the concept of British identity is at the forefront of many people’s minds, it’s interesting to see that when it comes to our ancestry, we’re not as British or Irish as we may think.

Perhaps it’s a tradition you follow, the values you have, or maybe it’s a historic British person you associate with. But when it comes to what makes a person British, it has less to do with where you were born, and more to do with how much you love your country.