Your ethnicity estimate includes regions based on two different scientific processes: the AncestryDNA reference panel and Genetic Communities.
The AncestryDNA reference panel is made up of people who have long-standing, documented roots in a specific area. We compare your DNA to this reference panel to determine your possible ancestry hundreds to thousands of years ago. Regions with a solid circle are based on the reference panel.
Genetic Communities are groups of AncestryDNA members who are most likely connected because they share fairly recent ancestors who came from the same region or culture—even though they may have had different ethnic backgrounds. We find Genetic Communities by analyzing genetic connections between groups of AncestryDNA members. These groups identify areas where your ancestors may have lived more recently. Regions with a dotted circle are based on Genetic Communities.
Both use your DNA to help you learn more about where you came from and people of the world you're connected to.