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White Americans

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White Americans
Total population
Increase223,553,265 (2010)[1]
72% of the total U.S. population
Increase197,285,202 (Non-Hispanic: 2017)[2]
60.7% of the total U.S. population
Regions with significant populations
All areas of the United States
Languages
English

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Religion
Predominantly Christianity (Protestantism; Roman Catholicism is the largest single denomination); Minority religions: Mormonism, Judaism, Islam
Related ethnic groups
European Americans, Europeans, Middle Eastern Americans, White Latin Americans, European Canadians, European Australians, European New Zealanders, European diasporas from other parts of the world

White Americans are Americans who are descendants from any of the indigenous peoples of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, or in census statistics, those who self-report as white based on having majority-white ancestry. White Americans (including White Hispanics) constitute the historical and current majority of the people living in the United States, with 72% of the population in the 2010 United States Census. Non-Hispanic whites totaled about 197,285,202 or 60.7% of the U.S. population.[3][4] European Americans are the largest ethnic group of White Americans and constitute the historical population of the United States since the nation's founding.

The United States Census Bureau defines white people as those "having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East or North Africa."[5] Like all official U.S. racial categories, "White" has a "not Hispanic or Latino" and a "Hispanic or Latino" component,[6] the latter consisting mostly of White Mexican Americans and White Cuban Americans. The term "Caucasian" is synonymous with "white", although the latter is sometimes used to denote skin tone instead of race.[7] Some of the non-European ethnic groups classified as white by the U.S. Census, such as Arab Americans,[8] Jewish Americans,[9] and Hispanics or Latinos, may not identify as or may not be perceived to be, white.

The largest ancestries of American whites are: German (17%), Irish (12%), English (9%), Italian (6%), French (4%), Polish (3%), Scottish (3%), Scotch-Irish (2%), Dutch (2%), Norwegian (2%) and Swedish (1%).[10][11][12] However, the English Americans' and British Americans' demography is considered a serious under-count as the stock tend to self-report and identify as simply "Americans" (7%), due to the length of time they have inhabited the United States, particularly if their family arrived prior to the American Revolution.[13] The vast majority of white Americans also have ancestry from multiple countries.

Historical and present definitions

Definitions of who is "White" have changed throughout the history of the United States.

U.S. Census definition

The term "White American" can encompass many different ethnic groups. Although the United States Census purports to reflect a social definition of race, the social dimensions of race are more complex than Census criteria. The 2000 U.S. census states that racial categories "generally reflect a social definition of race recognized in this country. They do not conform to any biological, anthropological or genetic criteria."[14]

The Census question on race lists the categories White or European American, Black or African American, American Indian and Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, Asian, plus "Some other race", with the respondent having the ability to mark more than one racial and or ethnic category. The Census Bureau defines White people as follows:

"White" refers to a person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East or North Africa. It includes people who indicated their race(s) as "White" or reported entries such as German, Italian, Lebanese, Arab, Moroccan, or Caucasian.[5]

In U.S. census documents, the designation White overlaps, as do all other official racial categories, with the term Hispanic or Latino, which was introduced in the 1980 census as a category of ethnicity, separate and independent of race.[15][16] Hispanic and Latino Americans as a whole make up a racially diverse group and as a whole are the largest minority in the country.[17][18]

The characterization of Middle Eastern and North African Americans as white has been a matter of controversy. In the early 20th century, peoples of Arab descent were sometimes denied entry into the United States because they were characterized as nonwhite.[19] In 1944, the law changed, and Middle Eastern and North African peoples were granted white status. The U.S. Census is currently revisiting the issue, and considering creating a separate racial category for Middle Eastern and North African Americans in the 2020 Census.

President Abraham Lincoln was descended from Samuel Lincoln and was of English and Welsh ancestry.
Gloria Vanderbilt, noted artist and designer, was of Dutch descent.

In cases where individuals do not self-identify, the U.S. census parameters for race give each national origin a racial value.

Additionally, people who reported Muslim (or a sect of Islam such as Shi'ite or Sunni), Jewish, Zoroastrian, or Caucasian as their "race" in the "Some other race" section, without noting a country of origin, are automatically tallied as White.[20] The US Census considers the write-in response of "Caucasian" or "Aryan" to be a synonym for White in their ancestry code listing.[21]

Social definition

In the contemporary United States, essentially anyone of European descent is considered White. However, many of the non-European ethnic groups classified as White by the U.S. Census, such as Arab Americans, Jewish Americans, and Hispanics or Latinos may not identify as, and may not be perceived to be, White.[22][23][24][25][26][27]

The definition of White has changed significantly over the course of American history. Among Europeans, those not considered White at some point in American history include Italians, Greeks, Spaniards, Irish, Swedes, Finns, and Russians.[27][28][29] Early on in the United States, membership in the white race was generally limited to those of British, Germanic, or Nordic ancestry.[30]

David R. Roediger argues that the construction of the white race in the United States was an effort to mentally distance slave owners from slaves.[31] The process of officially being defined as white by law often came about in court disputes over pursuit of citizenship.[32]

Critical race theory definition

Critical race theory developed in the 1970s and 1980s, influenced by the language of critical legal studies, which challenged concepts such as objective truth, rationality and judicial neutrality, and by critical theory.[33] Academics and activists disillusioned with the outcomes of the Civil Rights Movement pointed out that though African Americans supposedly enjoyed legal equality, white Americans continued to hold disproportionate power and still had superior living standards.[34] Liberal ideas such as meritocracy and equal opportunity, they argued, hid and reinforced deep structural inequalities and thus serves the interests of a white elite.[35] Critical race theorists see racism as embedded in public attitudes and institutions, and highlight institutional racism and unconscious biases.[36] Legal scholar Derrick Bell advanced the interest convergence principle, which suggests that whites support minority rights only when doing so is also in their self-interest.[37][38]

As Whites, especially White Anglo-Saxon Protestants, or WASPs, are the dominant racial and cultural group, according to sociologist Steven Seidman, writing from a critical theory perspective, "White culture constitutes the general cultural mainstream, causing non-White culture to be seen as deviant, in either a positive or negative manner. Moreover, Whites tend to be disproportionately represented in powerful positions, controlling almost all political, economic, and cultural institutions."

Yet, according to Seidman, Whites are most commonly unaware of their privilege and the manner in which their culture has always been dominant in the US, as they do not identify as members of a specific racial group but rather incorrectly perceive their views and culture as "raceless", when in fact it is ethno-national (ethnic/cultural) specific, with a racial base component.[39]

Demographic information

Self-identified as White 1790–2010
Year Population % of
the U.S.
% change
(10 yr)
Year Population % of
the U.S.
% change
(10 yr)
1790 3,172,006 80.7 Steady 1910 81,731,957 88.9 Increase22.3%
1800 4,306,446 81.1 Increase35.8% 1920 94,820,915 89.7 Increase16.0%
1810 5,862,073 81.0 Increase36.1% 1930 110,286,740 89.8 Increase16.3%
1820 7,866,797 81.6 Increase34.2% 1940 118,214,870 89.8 (highest) Increase7.2%
1830 10,532,060 81.9 Increase33.9% 1950 134,942,028 89.5 Increase14.1%
1840 14,189,705 83.2 Increase34.7% 1960 158,831,732 88.6 Increase17.7%
1850 19,553,068 84.3 Increase37.8% 1970 178,119,221 87.5 Increase12.1%
1860 26,922,537 85.6 Increase37.7% 1980 188,371,622 83.1 Increase5.8%
1870 33,589,377 87.1 Increase24.8% 1990 199,686,070 80.3 Increase6.0%
1880 43,402,970 86.5 Increase29.2% 2000 211,460,626 75.1 Increase5.9%
1890 55,101,258 87.5 Increase26.9% 2010 223,553,265 72.4 (lowest) Increase5.7%
1900 66,809,196 87.9 Increase21.2% 2020 TBD TBD TBD
Source: United States census bureau.[40][41][42][43]

White Americans constitute the majority of the 308 million people living in the United States, with 72% of the population in the 2010 United States Census.[a][1][45]

The largest ethnic groups (by ancestry) among White Americans were Germans, followed by Irish and English.[46] In the 1980 census 49,598,035 Americans cited that they were of English ancestry, making them 26% of the country and the largest group at the time, and in fact larger than the population of England itself.[47] Slightly more than half of these people would cite that they were of "American" ancestry on subsequent censuses and virtually everywhere that "American" ancestry predominates on the 2000 census corresponds to places where "English" predominated on the 1980 census.[48][49]

White Americans are projected to remain the majority, though with their percentage decreasing to 72% of the total population by 2050. However, projections state that non-Hispanic Whites of that group will become less than 50% of the population by 2042 because Non-Hispanic Whites have the lowest fertility rate of any major racial group in the United States,[50] mass-immigration of other ethnic groups with higher birth rates, and because of intermarriage with non-whites.

While over ten million White people can trace part of their ancestry back to the Pilgrims who arrived on the Mayflower in 1620 (this common statistic overlooks the Jamestown, Virginia foundations of America and roots of even earlier colonist-descended Americans, such as Spanish Americans in St. Augustine, Florida), over 35 million whites have at least one ancestor who passed through the Ellis Island immigration station, which processed arriving immigrants from 1892 until 1954.

Geographic distribution

According to the Census definition, White Americans are the majority racial group in almost all of the United States. They are not the majority in Hawaii, many American Indian reservations, parts of the South known as the Black Belt, the District of Columbia, all US territories, and in many urban areas throughout the country. Non-Hispanic whites are also not the majority in several southwestern states.

Overall the highest concentration of those referred to as "Non-Hispanic Whites" by the Census Bureau was found in the Midwest, New England, the Rocky Mountain states, Kentucky, and West Virginia. The lowest concentration of whites was found in southern and mid-Atlantic states.[6][51][52]

Although all large geographical areas are dominated by White Americans, much larger differences can be seen between specific parts of large cities.

States with the highest percentages of White Americans, as of 2007:[53]

States with the highest percentages of non-Hispanic Whites, as of 2007:[54]

Income and educational attainment

Race Income.png

in 2005

White Americans have the second highest median household income and personal income levels in the nation, by cultural background. The median income per household member was also the highest, since White Americans had the smallest households of any racial demographic in the nation. In 2006, the median individual income of a White American age 25 or older was $33,030, with those who were full-time employed, and of age 25 to 64, earning $34,432. Since 42% of all households had two income earners, the median household income was considerably higher than the median personal income, which was $48,554 in 2005. Jewish Americans rank first in household income, personal income, and educational attainment among White Americans.[55] In 2005, White households had a median household income of $48,977, which is 10% above the national median of $44,389. Among Cuban Americans, with 86% classified as White, those born in the US have a higher median income and educational attainment level than most other Whites.[56]

The poverty rates for White Americans are the second-lowest of any racial group, with 11% of white individuals living below the poverty line, 3% lower than the national average.[57] However, due to Whites' majority status, 48% of Americans living in poverty are white.[58]

White Americans' educational attainment is the second-highest in the country, after Asian Americans'. Overall, nearly one-third of White Americans had a Bachelor's degree, with the educational attainment for Whites being higher for those born outside the United States: 38% of foreign born, and 30% of native born Whites had a college degree. Both figures are above the national average of 27%.[59]

Gender income inequality was the greatest among Whites, with White men outearning White women by 48%. Census Bureau data for 2005 reveals that the median income of White females was lower than that of males of all races. In 2005, the median income for White American females was only slightly higher than that of African American females.[60]

White Americans are more likely to live in suburbs and small cities than their black counterparts.[61]

Population by state

Percentage of population self-reported as White American by state in 2010 :
   less than 50%
   50–60%
   60–70%
   70–80%
   80–90%
   more than 90%

2000 and 2010 censuses

White American population as of 2000 and 2010 censuses[62]
State Pop. 2000 % 2000 Pop. 2010 % 2010 % growth
Alabama Alabama 3,162,808 71.1% 3,275,394 68.5% +3.6%
Alaska Alaska 434,534 69.3% 473,576 66.7% +9.0%
Arizona Arizona 3,873,611 75.5% 4,667,121 73.0% +20.5%
Arkansas Arkansas 2,138,598 80.0% 2,245,229 77.0% +5.0%
California California 20,170,059 79.7% 21,453,934 74.0% +6.4%
Colorado Colorado 3,560,005 82.8% 4,089,202 81.3% +14.9%
Connecticut Connecticut 2,780,355 81.6% 2,772,410 77.6% -0.3%
Delaware Delaware 584,773 74.6% 618,617 68.9% +5.8%
Washington, D.C. District of Columbia 176,101 30.8% 231,471 38.5% +31.4%
Florida Florida 12,465,029 78.0% 14,109,162 75.0% +13.2%
Georgia (U.S. state) Georgia 5,327,281 65.1% 5,787,440 59.7% +8.6%
Hawaii Hawaii 294,102 24.3% 336,599 24.7% +14.4%
Idaho Idaho 1,177,304 91.0% 1,396,487 89.1% +18.6%
Illinois Illinois 9,125,471 73.5% 9,177,877 71.5% +0.6%
Indiana Indiana 5,320,022 87.5% 5,467,906 84.3% +2.8%
Iowa Iowa 2,748,640 93.9% 2,781,561 91.3% +1.2%
Kansas Kansas 2,313,944 86.1% 2,391,044 83.8% +3.3%
Kentucky Kentucky 3,640,889 90.1% 3,809,537 87.8% +4.6%
Louisiana Louisiana 2,856,161 63.9% 2,836,192 62.6% -0.7%
Maine Maine 1,236,014 96.9% 1,264,971 95.2% +2.3%
Maryland Maryland 3,391,308 64.0% 3,359,284 58.2% -0.9%
Massachusetts Massachusetts 5,367,286 84.5% 5,265,236 80.4% -1.9%
Michigan Michigan 7,966,053 80.2% 7,803,120 78.9% -2.0%
Minnesota Minnesota 4,400,282 89.4% 4,524,062 85.3% +2.8%
Mississippi Mississippi 1,746,099 61.4% 1,754,684 59.1% +0.5%
Missouri Missouri 4,748,083 84.9% 4,958,770 82.8% +4.4%
Montana Montana 817,229 90.6% 884,961 89.4% +8.3%
Nebraska Nebraska 1,533,261 89.6% 1,572,838 86.1% +2.6%
Nevada Nevada 1,501,886 75.2% 1,786,688 66.2% +19.0%
New Hampshire New Hampshire 1,186,851 96.0% 1,236,050 92.3% +4.1%
New Jersey New Jersey 6,104,705 72.6% 6,029,248 68.6% -1.2%
New Mexico New Mexico 1,214,253 66.8% 1,407,876 68.4% +15.9%
New York (state) New York 12,893,689 67.9% 12,740,974 65.7% -1.2%
North Carolina North Carolina 5,804,656 72.1% 6,528,950 68.5% +12.5%
North Dakota North Dakota 593,181 92.4% 605,449 90.0% +2.1%
Ohio Ohio 9,645,453 85.0% 9,539,437 82.7% -1.1%
Oklahoma Oklahoma 2,628,434 76.2% 2,706,845 72.2% +3.0%
Oregon Oregon 2,961,623 86.6% 3,204,614 83.6% +8.2%
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania 10,484,203 85.4% 10,406,288 81.9% -0.7%
Rhode Island Rhode Island 891,191 85.0% 856,869 81.4% -3.8%
South Carolina South Carolina 2,695,560 67.2% 3,060,000 66.2% +13.5%
South Dakota South Dakota 669,404 88.7% 699,392 85.9% +4.5%
Tennessee Tennessee 4,563,310 80.2% 4,921,948 77.6% +7.9%
Texas Texas 14,799,505 71.0% 17,701,552 70.4% +19.6%
Utah Utah 1,992,975 89.2% 2,379,560 86.1% +19.4%
Vermont Vermont 589,208 96.8% 596,292 95.3% +1.2%
Virginia Virginia 5,120,110 72.3% 5,486,852 68.6% +7.2%
Washington (state) Washington 4,821,823 81.8% 5,196,362 77.3% +7.8%
West Virginia West Virginia 1,718,777 95.0% 1,739,988 93.9% +1.2%
Wisconsin Wisconsin 4,769,857 88.9% 4,902,067 86.2% +2.8%
Wyoming Wyoming 454,670 92.1% 511,279 90.7% +12.4%
United States United States of America 211,460,626 75.1% 223,553,265 72.4% +5.7%

2016 and 2017 estimates

White population by state[63]
State Pop. 2016 % 2016 Pop. 2017 % 2017 percentage
growth
numeric
growth
Alabama Alabama 3,371,066 69.35% 3,374,131 69.22% -0.13% +3,065
Alaska Alaska 490,864 66.20% 486,724 65.79% -0.41% -4,140
Arizona Arizona 5,753,506 83.28% 5,827,866 83.06% -0.22% +74,360
Arkansas Arkansas 2,372,843 79.41% 2,381,662 79.27% -0.14% +3,740
California California 28,560,032 72.68% 28,611,160 72.37% -0.31% +51,128
Colorado Colorado 4,837,197 87.47% 4,894,372 87.29% -0.18% +57,175
Connecticut Connecticut 2,891,943 80.60% 2,879,759 80.26% -0.34% -12,184
Delaware Delaware 667,076 70.02% 670,512 69.70% -0.32% +3,436
Washington, D.C. District of Columbia 305,232 44.60% 313,234 45.14% +0.54% +8,002
Florida Florida 16,022,497 77.56% 16,247,613 77.43% -0.13% +225,116
Georgia (U.S. state) Georgia 6,310,426 61.18% 6,341,768 60.81% -0.37% +31,342
Hawaii Hawaii 370,362 25.92% 366,546 25.67% -0.25% -3,816
Idaho Idaho 1,567,868 93.32% 1,599,814 93.18% -0.2% +31,946
Illinois Illinois 9,909,184 77.20% 9,864,942 77.06% -0.14% -44,242
Indiana Indiana 5,679,252 85.61% 5,690,929 85.36% -0.25% +11,677
Iowa Iowa 2,860,136 91.35% 2,864,664 91.06% -0.29% +4,528
Kansas Kansas 2,519,340 86.64% 2,519,176 86.47% -0.17% -164
Kentucky Kentucky 3,901,878 87.96% 3,908,964 87.76% -0.20% +7,086
Louisiana Louisiana 2,958,471 63.13% 2,951,003 63.00% -0.13% -7,468
Maine Maine 1,261,247 94.81% 1,264,744 94.67% -0.14% +3,497
Maryland Maryland 3,572,673 59.30% 3,568,679 58.96% -0.34% -3,994
Massachusetts Massachusetts 5,575,622 81.71% 5,576,725 81.29% -0.42% +1,103
Michigan Michigan 7,906,913 79.60% 7,914,418 79.44% -0.16% +7,505
Minnesota Minnesota 4,687,397 84.84% 4,708,215 84.43% -0.41% +20,818
Mississippi Mississippi 1,771,276 59.33% 1,766,950 59.21% -0.12% -4,326
Missouri Missouri 5,069,869 83.23% 5,080,444 83.10% -0.13% +10,575
Montana Montana 926,475 89.20% 935,792 89.08% -0.12% +9,317
Nebraska Nebraska 1,693,622 88.78% 1,700,881 88.58% -0.20% +7,259
Nevada Nevada 2,208,915 75.15% 2,235,657 74.57% -0.58% +26,742
New Hampshire New Hampshire 1,251,836 93.77% 1,256,807 93.59% -0.18% +4,971
New Jersey New Jersey 6,499,057 72.38% 6,489,409 72.06% -0.32% -9,648
New Mexico New Mexico 1,716,662 82.31% 1,715,623 82.16% -0.15% -1,039
New York (state) New York 13,856,651 69.85% 13,807,127 69.56% -0.29% -49,524
North Carolina North Carolina 7,212,423 71.01% 7,276,995 70.83% -0.18% +64,572
North Dakota North Dakota 663,424 87.81% 661,217 87.53% -0.28% -2,207
Ohio Ohio 9,578,424 82.41% 9,579,207 82.16% -0.25% +783
Oklahoma Oklahoma 2,923,751 74.56% 2,921,390 74.32% -0.24% -2,361
Oregon Oregon 3,569,538 87.29% 3,607,515 87.08% -0.21% +37,977
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania 10,525,562 82.31% 10,507,780 82.06% -0.25% -17,782
Rhode Island Rhode Island 892,287 84.37% 890,883 84.07% -0.30% -1,404
South Carolina South Carolina 3,393,346 68.2% 3,440,141 68.47% +0.27% +46,795
South Dakota South Dakota 733,199 85.10% 738,554 84.92% -0.18% +5,355
Tennessee Tennessee 5,231,987 78.68% 5,276,748 78.57% -0.11% +44,761
Texas Texas 22,166,782 79.44% 22,404,118 79.15% -0.29% +237,336
Utah Utah 2,774,606 91.14% 2,820,387 90.93% -0.21% +45,781
Vermont Vermont 589,836 94.62% 589,163 94.47% -0.15% -673
Virginia Virginia 5,891,174 70.01% 5,904,472 69.71% -0.30% +13,298
Washington (state) Washington 5,820,007 79.93% 5,887,060 79.49% -0.44% +67,053
West Virginia West Virginia 1,712,647 93.66% 1,699,266 93.58% -0.08% -13,381
Wisconsin Wisconsin 5,049,698 87.47% 5,060,891 87.32% -0.15% +11,193
Wyoming Wyoming 543,224 92.87% 537,396 92.76% -0.11% -5,828
United States United States 248,619,303 76.87% 249,619,493 76.64% -0.23% +1,000,190
Non-Hispanic population
Non-Hispanic White population by state[63]
State Pop. 2016 % 2016 Pop. 2017 % 2017 percentage
growth
numeric
growth
Alabama Alabama 3,198,381 65.80% 3,196,852 65.58% -0.22% -1,529
Alaska Alaska 454,651 61.31% 449,776 60.80% -0.51% -4,875
Arizona Arizona 3,819,881 55.29% 3,849,130 54.86% -0.43% +29,249
Arkansas Arkansas 2,175,521 72.80% 2,177,809 72.49% -0.31% +2,288
California California 14,797,971 37.66% 14,696,754 37.17% -0.49% -101,217
Colorado Colorado 3,791,612 68.56% 3,827,750 68.26% -0.30% +36,135
Connecticut Connecticut 2,428,332 67.68% 2,404,792 67.02% -0.66% -23,540
Delaware Delaware 597,728 62.74% 599,260 62.30% -0.44% +1,532
Washington, D.C. District of Columbia 249,141 36.40% 255,387 36.80% +0.40% +6,246
Florida Florida 11,273,388 54.57% 11,343,977 54.06% -0.51% +70,589
Georgia (U.S. state) Georgia 5,499,055 53.32% 5,507,334 52.81% -0.51% +8,279
Hawaii Hawaii 317,026 22.19% 312,492 21.89% -0.30% -4,534
Idaho Idaho 1,382,934 82.32% 1,408,294 82.02% -0.30% +25,360
Illinois Illinois 7,915,013 61.65% 7,849,887 61.32% -0.33% -65,126
Indiana Indiana 5,280,029 79.59% 5,280,420 79.20% -0.39% +391
Iowa Iowa 2,696,686 86.13% 2,695,962 85.70% -0.43% -724
Kansas Kansas 2,215,920 76.21% 2,209,748 75.86% -0.35% -6,172
Kentucky Kentucky 3,767,092 84.92% 3,768,891 84.61% -0.31% +1,799
Louisiana Louisiana 2,760,416 58.91% 2,747,730 58.66% -0.25% -12,686
Maine Maine 1,243,741 93.50% 1,246,478 93.30% -0.20% +2,737
Maryland Maryland 3,098,543 51.43% 3,077,907 50.86% -0.57% -20,636
Massachusetts Massachusetts 4,972,010 72.86% 4,953,695 72.21% -0.65% -18,315
Michigan Michigan 7,489,609 75.40% 7,488,326 75.17% -0.23% -1,283
Minnesota Minnesota 4,442,684 80.41% 4,455,605 79.89% -0.52% +12,921
Mississippi Mississippi 1,697,562 56.86% 1,691,566 56.69% -0.17% -5,996
Missouri Missouri 4,855,156 79.71% 4,859,227 79.48% -0.23% +4,071
Montana Montana 897,790 86.44% 905,811 86.23% -0.21% +8,021
Nebraska Nebraska 1,515,494 79.44% 1,516,962 79.00% -0.44% +1,468
Nevada Nevada 1,465,888 49.87% 1,470,855 49.06% -0.81% +4,967
New Hampshire New Hampshire 1,212,377 90.81% 1,215,447 90.52% -0.29% +3,070
New Jersey New Jersey 5,002,866 55.72% 4,962,470 55.10% -0.62% -40,396
New Mexico New Mexico 789,869 38.31% 783,064 37.50% -0.81% -6,805
New York (state) New York 11,047,456 55.69% 10,972,959 55.28% -0.41% -74,497
North Carolina North Carolina 6,447,852 63.48% 6,486,100 63.13% -0.35% +38,248
North Dakota North Dakota 641,945 84.96% 639,029 84.59% -0.37% -2,916
Ohio Ohio 9,229,932 79.41% 9,219,577 79.08% -0.33% -10,355
Oklahoma Oklahoma 2,592,571 66.12% 2,581,568 65.67% -0.45% -11,003
Oregon Oregon 3,115,656 76.25% 3,139,685 75.79% -0.46% +24,029
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania 9,841,619 76.96% 9,796,510 76.50% -0.44% -45,109
Rhode Island Rhode Island 773,405 73.13% 768,229 72.50% -0.63% -5,176
South Carolina South Carolina 3,165,176 63.82% 3,203,045 63.75% -0.07 +37,869
South Dakota South Dakota 710,509 82.47% 714,881 82.20% -0.27% +4,372
Tennessee Tennessee 4,931,609 74.17% 4,963,780 73.91% -0.26% +32,171
Texas Texas 11,862,697 42.51% 11,886,381 42.00% -0.51% +23,684
Utah Utah 2,400,885 78.86% 2,434,785 78.49% -0.37% +33,900
Vermont Vermont 580,238 93.08% 579,149 92.86% -0.22% -1,089
Virginia Virginia 5,247,231 62.36% 5,241,262 61.88% -0.48% -5,969
Washington (state) Washington 5,049,817 69.36% 5,091,370 68.75% -0.61% +41,553
West Virginia West Virginia 1,688,472 92.33% 1,674,557 92.22% -0.11% -13,915
Wisconsin Wisconsin 4,710,928 81.60% 4,713,993 81.34% -0.26% +3,065
Wyoming Wyoming 492,235 84.16% 486,565 83.99% -0.17% -5,670
United States United States 197,834,599 61.17% 197,803,083 60.73% -0.44% -31,516

Culture

From their earliest presence in North America, White Americans have contributed literature, art, cinema, religion, agricultural skills, foods, science and technology, fashion and clothing styles, music, language, legal system, political system, and social and technological innovation to American culture. White American culture derived its earliest influences from English, Scottish, Welsh, and Irish settlers and is quantitatively the largest proportion of American culture.[64] The overall American culture reflects White American culture. The culture has been developing since long before the United States formed a separate country. Much of American culture shows influences from English culture. Colonial ties to Great Britain spread the English language, legal system and other cultural attributes.[65]

Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America

Three members of the Kennedy political dynasty, John, Robert and Edward. All eight of their great-grandparents emigrated from Ireland.

In his 1989 book Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America, David Hackett Fischer explores the details of the folkways of four groups of settlers from the British Isles that moved to the American colonies during the 17th and 18th centuries from distinct regions of Britain and Ireland. His thesis is that the culture of each group persisted (albeit in modified form), providing the basis for the modern United States.[66]

According to Fischer, the foundation of America's four regional cultures was formed from four mass migrations from four regions of the British Isles by four distinct ethno-cultural groups. New England's formative period occurred between 1629 and 1640 when Puritans, mostly from East Anglia, settled there, thus forming the basis for the New England regional culture.[67] The next mass migration was of southern English Cavaliers and their working class English servants to the Chesapeake Bay region between 1640 and 1675. This spawned the creation of the American Southern culture.[68]

Then, between 1675 and 1725, thousands of Irish, Cornish, English and Welsh Quakers plus many Germans sympathetic to Quaker ideas, led by William Penn, settled the Delaware Valley. This resulted in the formation of the General American culture, although, according to Fischer, this is really a "regional culture", even if it does today encompass most of the U.S. from the mid-Atlantic states to the Pacific Coast.[69] Finally, a huge number of settlers from the borderlands between England and Scotland, and from northern Ireland, migrated to Appalachia between 1717 and 1775. This resulted in the formation of the Upland South regional culture, which has since expanded to the west to West Texas and parts of the American Southwest.[70]

In his book, Fischer brings up several points. He states that the U.S. is not a country with one "general" culture and several "regional" culture, as is commonly thought. Rather, there are only four regional cultures as described above, and understanding this helps one to more clearly understand American history as well as contemporary American life. Fischer asserts that it is not only important to understand where different groups came from, but when. All population groups have, at different times, their own unique set of beliefs, fears, hopes and prejudices. When different groups moved to America and brought certain beliefs and values with them, these ideas became, according to Fischer, more or less frozen in time, even if they eventually changed in their original place of origin.[71]

Admixture

Admixture in Non-Hispanic Whites

Some White Americans have varying amounts of American Indian and Sub-Saharan African ancestry. In a recent study, Gonçalves et al. 2007 reported Sub-Saharan and Amerindian mtDNA lineages at a frequency of 3.1% (respectively 0.9% and 2.2%) in American Caucasians (in the USA, "Caucasian" includes people from North Africa and Western Asia as well as Europeans).[72] Recent research on Y-chromosomes and mtDNA detected no African admixture in European-Americans. The sample included 628 European-American Y-chromosomes and mtDNA from 922 European-Americans[73]

DNA analysis on White Americans by geneticist Mark D. Shriver showed an average of 0.7% Sub-Saharan African admixture and 3.2% Native American admixture.[74] The same author, in another study, claimed that about 30% of all White Americans, approximately 66 million people, have a median of 2.3% of Black African admixture.[75] Shriver discovered his ancestry is 10 percent African, and Shriver's partner in DNA Print Genomics, J.T. Frudacas, contradicted him two years later stating "Five percent of European Americans exhibit some detectable level of African ancestry."[76]

White Americans (European Americans) on average are: 98.6 percent European, 0.19 percent African and 0.18 percent Native American. Inferred British/Irish ancestry is found in European Americans from all states at mean proportions of above 20%, and represents a majority of ancestry, above 50% mean proportion, in states such as Mississippi, Arkansas, and Tennessee. Scandinavian ancestry in European Americans is highly localized; most states show only trace mean proportions of Scandinavian ancestry, while it comprises a significant proportion, upwards of 10%, of ancestry in European Americans from Minnesota and the Dakotas.[77]

Admixture in Hispanic Whites

Although most Hispanic Americans self-identify in the white racial category of the US Census and/or other official government data collecting, an overwhelming majority of them would in their personal lives consider themselves as ethnically mestizo (of mixed European and Native American/American Indian background) or mulatto (of mixed European and sub-Saharan African background).[78][failed verification]

Thus, only a minority of those Hispanic Americans who self-identified in their personal lives as mestizo or mulatto actually selected "multiracial" as their race on the U.S. census, with 9 out of every 10 of them preferring to pick white, one of the five single race categories available on the U.S. census.[78][failed verification]

In contrast to non-Hispanic European Americans, whose average European ancestry ranges about 98.6%,[77][79] genetic research has found that the average European admixture among self-identified Hispanic White Americans is 73% European, while the average European admixture for Hispanic Americans overall (regardless of their self-identified race) is 65.1% European admixture.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Of the foreign-born population from Europe (4,817 thousand), in 2010, 62% were naturalized.[44]

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External links