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Encyclopedia > American ancestry

The ancestry of the people of the United States is widely varied and includes descendants of populations from around the world, some presumably extinct elsewhere. In addition to its variation, the ancestry of people of the United States is also marked by significant amounts of intermarriage between ethnic and racial groups. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (3766x2820, 1311 KB) A chart of the top ancestries in the US, as provided by the 2000 census. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (3766x2820, 1311 KB) A chart of the top ancestries in the US, as provided by the 2000 census. ... British Americans are citizens of the United States of British or partial-British ancestry. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Finnish Americans are Americans of Finnish descent, who currently number at about 700,000. ... Irish population density in the United States, 1872. ... A French American or Franco-American is a citizen of the United States of America of French descent and heritage. ... An Italian-American is an American of Italian descent either born in America or someone who has immigrated. ... Native Americans, the indigenous peoples from the regions of North America now encompassed by the continental United States, including parts of Alaska. ... An African American (also Afro-American, Black American, or simply black) is a member of an ethnic group in the United States whose ancestors, usually in predominant part, were indigenous to Africa. ... Puerto Rican can refer to anyone who was born in, or whose ancestors are from Puerto Rico. ... A plurality, or relative/simple majority as it is also referred to outside the United States (especially in non-English speaking countries; in the US, simple majority has another meaning), is the largest share of something, which may or may not be a majority in the American sense of the... A majority is a subset of a group that is more than half of the entire group. ... Intermarriage normally refers to marriage between people belonging to different religions, tribes, nationalities or ethnic backgrounds. ... This article or section should be merged with ethnic group Ethnicity is the cultural characteristics that connect a particular group or groups of people to each other. ... The term race serves to distinguish between populations or groups of people based on different sets of characteristics which are commonly determined through social conventions. ...


While some Americans can trace their ancestry back to a single ethnic group or population in Europe, Africa, or Asia, these are usually first- and second-generation Americans. Generally, degree of mixed heritage increases the longer one's ancestors have lived in the United States (see Melting pot). Recent archaeological and genetic research posits that Native American populations are also descended from several waves of Pacific Rim migrants. There are several means available to discover the ancestry of the people residing in the United States, including genealogy, genetics, oral and written history, and analysis of Federal Population Census schedules. This article is 150 kilobytes or more in size. ... A world map showing the continent of Africa Africa is the worlds second-largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia. ... World map showing the location of Asia. ... Alternate meaning: crucible (science) The melting pot is a metaphor for the way in which heterogenous societies develop, in which the ingredients in the pot (iron, tin; people of different backgrounds and religions, etc. ... Native Americans, the indigenous peoples from the regions of North America now encompassed by the continental United States, including parts of Alaska. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Genealogy is the study and tracing of family pedigrees. ... For a non-technical introduction to the topic, please see Introduction to genetics. ... Oral history is an account of something passed down by word of mouth from one generation to another. ... History studies the past in human terms. ...

Contents

Analysis by 2000 Federal Population Census

A simpler version of the map above.
A simpler version of the map above.

The majority of the 300 million people currently living in the United States are descended from European immigrants who have arrived in the past 500 years. Latin American immigrants from countries to the south, and African American people, most of whom are descended from slave labor, form the next-largest ethnic groups. The Native American peoples who were displaced by the Old World immigrants now form a small minority in the population. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (841x580, 35 KB) derived from [1]; source: [2]; all information is included in image I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (841x580, 35 KB) derived from [1]; source: [2]; all information is included in image I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... This article is 150 kilobytes or more in size. ... Latin America consists of the countries of South America and some of North America (including Central America and some the islands of the Caribbean) whose inhabitants mostly speak Romance languages, although Native American languages are also spoken. ... An African American (also Afro-American, Black American, or simply black) is a member of an ethnic group in the United States whose ancestors, usually in predominant part, were indigenous to Africa. ...


Major components of the European segment of the United States population are descended from immigrants from Germany (19.2%), Ireland (10.8%), England (7.7%), Italy (5.6%), Scandinavia (3.7%) and Poland (3.2%) with many immigrants also coming from Slavic countries. Other significant European immigrant populations came from eastern and southern Europe and French Canada; few immigrants came directly from France. Scottish, Welsh, and Scotch-Irish Americans form large segments of the white population but are systematically under-reported due to the tendency to lump them in with the English, with whom their ancestors shared a government, or Germans with whom they have intermarried on a truly massive scale. Since French, French-Canadian and Acadian ancestries are overlapping, the number of counties with "French" as the main ancestry would also be superior if these three labels are lumped together. A large number of Americans (12.9%) are descended from African immigrants, the majority of whom were brought as slaves, with a smaller amount immigrating since then from African nations or the Caribbean. All of these numbers, however, are inaccurate as many citizens listed themselves as "American" on the census (7.2%) and US government statistics depend entirely on self-reported ancestry. As an example of the shortfalls of such a system, estimates of the Scotch-Irish population by ancestry place it at 15-18% of the total population, making it the second largest ethnic group in the country. People of "American" ancestry are generally assumed to be of predominantly English, Scottish, or Welsh stock, though some are likely to be people of several different European ethnicities who are unable or unwilling to choose one. It is important however to realize that the census is based upon questionnaires and have been compiled from answers given by a sample group. Therefore the answers given will reflect what the individual knows about their ancestry. Unfortunately many US citizens do not know their ancestry entirely as well as would be desired hence a large proportion simply call themselves 'American' ancestry (not including Native Americans), or know that a part of their ancestry is Irish or at least has an Irish name and will therefore say 'Irish' as their ancestry. The only way to get a true picture of what the US ancestry is would be to do several hundred thousand genetic background analyses, which at the moment would be particularly expensive. Based upon last names however, the top 17 last names in the US are of British background - the top 5 being Smith, Johnson, Williams, Jones and Brown. Some of these names would have been adopted by black slaves from their slave masters. Also, two common German last names, Braun and Schmidt, are commonly anglicised into Brown and Smith. To add further weight, a World War 2 ethnic background of the US put the top four backgrounds as 36 million British (English, Scottish, Welsh), 32 million German, 15 million Irish and 10 million Italian. Of these four ethnic backgrounds, none committed any significant (and certainly not significant enough) immigration to the US to make up the difference, as a percentage, between the 2000 census and wartime statistics. These are obviously somewhat different from the latest census info. Which is more accurate, for the time in question, is in some debate. Many of the people from the countries which Americans descend from do not regard Americans as anything but Americans, in fact some are quite surprised when an American would call themselves Scottish or German for example as opposed to Scottish or German ancestry. Motto: (French for God and my right) Anthem: God Save the King/Queen Capital London (de facto) Largest city London Official language(s) English (de facto) Unification    - by Athelstan AD 927  Area    - Total 130,395 km² (1st in UK)   50,346 sq mi  Population    - 2006 est. ... Scandinavia is a historical and geographical region centered on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe and includes the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden. ... The Slavic peoples are the most numerous ethnic and linguistic body of peoples in Europe. ... Ulster-Scots is a term mainly used in Ireland and Britain (Scotch-Irish or Scots-Irishis commonly used in North America) primarily to refer to Presbyterian Scots, or their descendents, who migrated from the Scottish Lowlands to Ulster (the northern province of Ireland), largely across the 17th century. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The Acadians (French: Acadiens) are the descendants of the 17th-century French colonists who settled in Acadia (located on the northern portion of North Americas east coast). ... Slave redirects here. ... A world map showing the continent of Africa Africa is the worlds second-largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia. ... West Indian redirects here. ...


Ancestry maps

"West Indian," "Arab," and regional African ancestries are not listed, though an African American map has been added from another source.

References

The United States Census Bureau (officially Bureau of the Census) is a part of the United States Department of Commerce. ...

See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
United States ETHNIC GROUPS (702 words)
The majority of the population of the United States is of European origin, with the largest groups having primary ancestry traceable to the United Kingdom, Germany, and Ireland; many Americans report multiple ancestries.
Their survival, however, has been on the fringes of North American society, especially as a result of the implementation of a national policy of resettling Native American tribes on reservations.
The fl population in 2000 was estimated at 34,658,190, with the majority still residing in the South, the region that absorbed most of the slaves brought from Africa in the 18th and 19th centuries.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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