People of German Ancestry Dominate US Melting Pot

Posted December 19th, 2014 at 12:26 pm (UTC-4)

Immigrant children of unknown nationality photographed at Ellis Island in New York. ( US National Archives)

Immigrants of unknown nationality photographed at Ellis Island in New York. ( US National Archives)

America is a melting pot of immigrants from across the globe and people of German ancestry make up the biggest chunk of that mix.

There are more than 49 million people with German ancestry in the United States, a number that accounts for 16 percent of the American population.

“This includes people reporting multiple ancestries,” said David Garoogian, senior editor of Ancestry and Ethnicity in America, in an email. “Only 16,912,041 people reported being of German ancestry alone.”

There more than 41 million Americans who identify as Black or African American.

The US Census map identifies “Black” or  “African-American” as a term for US citizens with ancestry in Sub-Saharan Africa. African Americans live predominantly in the South, but there are also large Black or African-American communities in Chicago, Illinois and Detroit, Michigan.

Ethnicity Map large

Map from US Census Bureau using data from Census 2000.

The 35 million people who identify as “Irish” form the next-largest ethnic group, followed by the 31 million people who identify as “Mexican”.


Black/African American
French (ex. Basque)
Puerto Rican
Chinese (ex. Taiwanese)
Asian Indian
French Canadian

People who came from England, followed by Italians, Poles, and French people round out the largest ancestry groups in America.

There’s an old adage that says “Birds of a feather flock together” and that’s certainly the case with ethnic groups in the United States.

“For the most part, people of certain ancestries tend to congregate in certain parts of the country,” said Garoogian.

German-Americans have settled primarily in the Midwest where they account for more than 30 percent of the population.  You’ll find a heavy concentration of Irish-Americans in the U.S. Northeast, in states like Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts.

People with Mexican ancestry are found along the Southwestern border of the United States and are heavily concentrated in Los Angeles, Houston, Phoenix, San Diego, Dallas, and San Antonio.

There are more than 19 million people who identify themselves only as “American”.

The U.S. Census Bureau says the reason for this could be because their ancestors have been in the United States for so long, or they have such mixed backgrounds, that they do not identify with any particular group.

Some foreign-born children or those with foreign-born parents might identify solely as “American” to show that they are part of American society.

Ancestry and Ethnicity in America used data from the 2010 Census and the 2006-2010 American Community Survey to reach its conclusions.

Hispanics are America’s second largest race or ethnic group, behind non-Hispanic whites, representing about 17 percent of the total population.

The Hispanic population grew by 2.2 percent, or more than 1.1 million, to just over 53 million in 2012. The growth in the Hispanic population was fueled primarily by births.

German immigrants photographed at Ellis Island in 1931. (German Federal Archives)

German immigrants photographed at Ellis Island in 1931. (German Federal Archives)

Asians are the nation’s fastest-growing race or ethnic group, according to the U.S. Census. Asians are identified as people coming from the Far East, Southeast Asia or the Indian subcontinent.

The Asian population rose by 530,000, or 2.9 percent, in 2011, to 18.9 million, according to US Census Bureau annual population estimates. More than 60 percent of this growth in the Asian population came from immigration.

The primary market for books like Ancestry and Ethnicity in America is public and university libraries, according to Laura Mars, editorial director at Grey House Publishing, which compiled the two-volume series, but businesses also use the data to market products.

“People who have a grocery store in Topeka, Kansas, are interested in ‘Well, should I stock Asian foods?’,” said Mars. “Educators might be interested in seeing what their demographic is and how to skew curriculum. I think it has a wide and varied use.”

68 responses to “People of German Ancestry Dominate US Melting Pot”

  1. Tommy says:

    And yet there are no signs in German in Home Depot and Lowe’s. Clearly this is racist!!!!!!!

    • Lenoige says:

      It’s a shame that the Germans did not continue speaking German as well.

      • Jim says:

        Even the British royal family is of German ancestry.

      • eric says:

        This is because Brtis don’t let them speak during world war 2

      • Karl Browne says:

        My father’s family spoke German at home, at church and with the family until WWI broke out. His parents (second and third generation) both stopped speaking German pretty much overnight, and their small-town Lutheran church stopped German services within a couple of months… never to restart. Prohibition killed all the beergardens, another blow to German culture. By WWII it was absolutely over.

      • RichFsr says:

        Many did, but they also learned English so they could better communicate with the rest of American society. Those people thrived. Oh, and they obeyed American laws.

    • I wonder why not have signs in German everywhere…Funny, made me laugh,

    • SBrown says:

      Germans held on to he their language more than any other immigrant group sometimes at a great cost. Their insistence on separate churches, schools, newspapers, neighborhoods, villages — all using German language exclusively– caused distrust, hatred and even riots. In St. Louis Irish and German immigrants, both Catholic and Protestant, had historic, epic clashes. The No-Nothing party governor of Missouri wanted to build a wall around the state to keep the Germans (Catholics, Irish, Blacks……) out. Like the French and Italians they brought the tradition of grape growing and wine making –antecedents to Prohibition– an anti-immigrant, anti-Catholic act. During the Civll War it became the mission of the Rebel forces to destroy all of the vineyards of the midwestern Catholics. In letters to Washington D.C. my great-grandfather begged for help and troops but President Lincoln was at the mercy of General Grant who hated Germans and Catholics and refused to help. The majority of Germans never owned slaves and without their work for the abolition Missouri would have been southern. German-Protestants, German-Catholics and German Jews of the midwest built the cities and villages together using German language. You can still hear the influence on the accents and the way English is spoken here.
      It all came to an end when WWII started and midwestern German speakers, whether from Switzerland, Austria or Prussia stopped speaking German. There was the constant threat of internment, like the Japanese on the west coast, but their numbers were too large and many were rural. Germans stopped speaking their language, closed up the music halls, closed the newspapers by the hundreds and began to become American, still many of our German grandmothers died never having spoken English. Despite the hatred and the treatment Germans brought the idea of Unions, built colleges, culture, music, enlightenment to America. You should know the history of your country so that you can better understand it now.

      • Anonymouse says:

        An important distinction is that although the Germans continued speaking German, they also tended to learn English, at least among the Lutherans and the Jews.

        The group that was least likely to learn English, and most likely to insist on schools in the ancestral language were the Poles. I remember an elderly woman telling me about how her mother begged her to speak English to her, although her husband had told the children to speak to her in Polish. I don’t know if her mother ever did learn English; our conversation was interrupted by a family member who felt that such a discussion was disrespectful of their late father and to his position as the head of the family. It was a way for men to control and restrict their wives. This was also not rare among Italian immigrants.

        The church where my great-grandfather preached in Eastern Colorado continued German services up until the 1980s, when they could no longer find a German speaking pastor. They had long offered an English service and a German service.

        My grandmother, born in the 1890s spoke English although her education apparently began in a Lutheran parochial school. So did my grandfather. If I can believe the 19th C. census, the adults, both men and women, were able to speak, read, and write English by the 1890 census. They were very, very dedicated to making a good living in this land, and as they came from Bessarabia, they were used to having to function in a polyglot environment – Romanian, Russian, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, and Yiddish were some of the languages they routinely encountered in that portion of the Russian Empire.

        There were different sets of Germans from Russia in the US – those from Bessarabia were the last group to leave Germany for Russia, and had been more rigorously selected by Czarist authorities because of failures encountered with earlier German immigrant colonies. They both knew how to farm, and many of the farmers also had the needed skills to make a village as self-sufficient as possible – my other German speaking great-grandfather had also been trained as a bootmaker, one of his brothers had been trained as a blacksmith, and I don’t know what the other brothers had been taught. I know that my one great-grandmother was incredible baker because her father was the village baker as well as a farmer. before immigrating into the US.

  2. Larry Barnes says:

    Germans are great people. If we get enough of them, maybe the U.S. will start to solve its problems.

  3. Bobby says:

    Eighty percent of the cultural traditions and inventions in the U.S. are of German origin. This fact was always of low key recognition, but everyone kind of realized it, as even President Ronald Reagan once explained. But when a closer look is taken, whether it’s pie(strudel), school design,(Thomas Jefferson’s trip to Prussia),Kindergarten,(pre school) beer,(90 percent plus of major American beers of German origin) brats, hotdogs, cars, machinery, bridges, freeways, cole slaw,(German Kohl), medicines,(Bayer aspirin,ect.)etc. This doesn’t even include the thousands of patents acquired as the spoils of two world wars.

  4. John Wylie says:

    I live in Michigan and I see quite a few German surnames. It should be noted, though, that if you combine the American, English, Scottish and “Scotch-Irish” ethnicities, which all descend from Britain, they number 19.1% compared to the German 15.2%.

  5. Richard Hann says:

    This is exactly why the US was so dominant in the 20th century, sadly, this dominance will not remain…………….

    • willybb says:

      Actually if you read better the survey the % of Americans with only German ancestry aren’t very much and the rest of silly Americans that claim to be German have at the end more than 2 or 3 ancestry

  6. Edward Ernst says:

    I think that the current immigrants would do well to emulate those who came here before them. The customs, beliefs, traditions, ethics, and desire to better their position in life, as well as their desire to contribute to this nation seem to be lacking in many current immigrants. It seems they only want to take advantage of the freebies our government offers them. Instead of providing them with every possible aid, shouldn’t we be offering them a way to better their lot in life?

    • WoodyinNYC says:

      All the immigrants who I’ve met are eager to work hard and get ahead. Do you actually know any
      who don’t?

      The hate talk about other people wanting freebies is pure propaganda, 100% false, and intends to
      divide us working people and keep the richest of the rich strong. Don’t be a sucker for hate talk.

      • SheWhoMustBeObeyed says:

        Well, the legal immigrants I’ve met are interested in working; the illegals may or may not be interested in working – and they are definitely interested in applying for welfare programs.

        The problem is that even if one is hardworking, if one is not equipped to earn an adequate income in a 21st C economy, one cannot support a family. The issue with modern migrations is that in the old days the US did not admit those likely to become public charges – known today as welfare recipiients. In the old days immigrants were admitted only if they were considered to be of benefit to the country; today we let people stay after they enter illegally because they are “needy.” We impoverish our nation for the benefit of those who come from nations whose poverty is self-inflicted by pervasive corruption.

    • “their desire to contribute to this nation seem to be lacking in many current immigrants”, I can’t speak for anyone else other than myself. Putting my entire life-saving (about 90k) and full dedication into creating a unique and powerful database integration solution in the 2002 after 911, trying to be helpful… you can’t say that “lacking in contribution…”

      • SheWhoMustBeObeyed says:

        I suspect that you came here legally.

        The issues I am referring to are predominant among undocumented migrants and those who seem to identify more with their home country than the USA. This means we have people pushing for policies that are detrimental to Americans, and advantageous to foreigners. I think dual citizenship should be abolished because divided loyalties can be problematic.

        • lone eagle says:

          The sun does not set on the United States of America, meaning that there are millions of Americans who live abroad, or live and work abroad. This benefits America as it ensures an American global presence. it would be detrimental to American foreign policy if Israeli-Americans were forced to choose between being an American or an Israeli since Israel is an important American ally not only because of its presence in the Middle East, but also because of Israeli-American R&D defense programs. Some months ago a young American from Texas with dual nationality while a member of the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) was killed in action in the Gaza Strip. As for Irish-Americans their dual loyalty has been known for over a 100 years and has benefited the United States tremendously such as ensuring the survival of the United States during the Civil War when 150,000 Irish in 38 Irish regiments served in the US Army and thus ensured the defeat of the Confederate States, which was being supported by Great Britain and France. It was known by these Irish troops the significance of the Cross of St. Andrew in the Confederate battle flag and its relationship to Britain. Irish-Americans support of their Irish homeland enabled Ireland to gain its freedom from Britain, and in this respect Germany contributed to the destruction of the British empire in two world wars by militarily and economically weakening Britain so that after WWI Ireland became a Free State in the British Commonwealth and after WWII Ireland completely severed its ties with Britain by becoming a republic and leaving the commonwealth. Ireland realizes that its efforts to free itself of Britain could not have been possible without the support of Irish-Americans. An Irish-American born in New York City Eamon de Valera who was captured after the Easter Rising in 1916 was saved from execution by the British because of his US passport. Eamon de Valera was a dominant political figure in Ireland for over 50 years and served as the head of state and head of government of Ireland. It was Irish-American support through Senator Ted Kennedy over the objections of the British government that ensured that the head of Sinn Fein Gerry Adams obtained a visa to the US that helped to end The Troubles in Northern Ireland. So dual nationality and a dual loyalty are not detrimental to American interests.

          • SheWhoMustBeObeyed says:

            I do not think smuggling weapons to terrorist groups or influencing US policy to the benefit of foreign nations over the interests of the US is healthy. Both the Irish dual loyalists, and the Jewish dual loyalists have done so. So have the Greeks and Croatians. The Mexicans have also influenced US policy to the advantage of Mexico, and the disadvantage of the US.

            We really, really, really don’t need this. I am neither an Israeli nor an Irishman nor a Croatian nor a Greek. I do not want my country’s interests sacrificed for the benefit of a foreign country. I do not wish to go to war in the Middle East to benefit foreign powers – be it Saudi or Israel.

        • RichFsr says:

          Well spoken. “Duel citizenship” is a danger to any autonomous country. Whether anyone likes it or not we are not “world citizens”. Each ethnic culture has it’s own beliefs, ideology and customs. Some of which are incompatible to the ideals and customs of their host nation. To continue to function in that society brings discontent, disillusionment and sometime violent reaction.

          • lone eagle says:

            On this planet we have an international system in place whose security is largely provided by the United States which is critical to avoid past disasters such as WWII. The United States is the only entity on the planet that can ensure the world remains free of world wars where millions are killed as what occurred in WWII. This statement ” I do not want my country’s interests sacrificed for the benefit of a foreign country” by SheWhoMustBeObeyed’ was astonishing to me because the United States has been doing exactly that since 1941, sacrificing American blood in foreign countries that not only benefited that foreign country, but the United States. If Americans did not die on the beaches of Normandy in June 1944, just what kind of Europe would the United States be facing today? American interests do not end at the shores of the East or West Coast. The lifeblood of the American economy is dependent upon international trade. Currently the US and the EU are negotiating the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP), an agreement if it is invoked will be a free trade agreement between the world’s two largest economies. But what if the US after WII had not decided to establish the Marshall Plan to help rebuild Europe, but instead decided to adopt an isolationist policy and withdraw from the world right after WWII, well most likely Western Europe would have gone the way of Eastern Europe, overrun by the Soviet Union and isolating the United States. Seven years after the Civil War was concluded and 4 years before the destruction of the 7th Cavalry at the Little Big Horn, in 1872 the United States supplemented Great Britain as the world’s largest economy and since 1872 the US has been the world’s largest economy as it is today. However the US’s military in 1941 was miniscule and was regarded as a joke by Hitler, Italy and Japan and why the Germans, the Italians, and the Japanese had no hesitation in declaring war on the United States since the US was not regarded as a military power as it is today. Unfortunately the lesson of Dec 7, 1941 was not learned by the US and after WWII the US Military was downsized, especially the US Army. Yes the US had the atomic bomb, but that did not help the US Army’s 24th Infantry Division in South Korea. On a quiet Sunday morning on June 25, 1950 the North Korean army invaded South Korea and since that early Sunday morning the US has not been the same. The US Army’s 24th Infantry Division was the canary in the coal mine as it demonstrated how degraded the US Army’s combat capabilities were. Eight days after the North Koreans invaded South Korea, on July 3, 1950 the 24th Infantry Division arrived in South Korea and was rapidly destroyed by the North Korean army with the commanding general of the division wandering the hills in South Korea begging for food from South Korean peasants. After 35 days he was captured. As for Irish-Americans they served American interests by contributing to the destruction of the British Empire which allowed the American economy to expand into former British colonies. Within the former British Empire there were trade preferences that benefited British companies at the expense of American companies. Some years ago while at a US Embassy there was young boy who had come in to renew his US passport. He was born in the US of foreign parents and thus was a US citizen. He was a dual national. His father was with him, and the father was an officer in the military of that country and was in his uniform. For the young boy to renew his US Passport the American embassy official asked to see his other passport for purposes of identification since his first US passport was issued to him when he was very young. The young boy gave the American embassy official his other passport and the American embassy official said Ok, well come back in two weeks to pick up your American passport. As for the birther issue that hounded President Obama in his first term, I was shocked that Americans thought that he had been born outside the US and not an American even when he had an American mother. Even if President Obama had been born outside the US, he was still a native born American by virtue of the fact he was an American since at least one of his parents was an American.

          • SheWhoMustBeObeyed says:

            Lone Eagle wrote:
            On this planet we have an international system in place whose security is largely provided by the United States which is critical to avoid past disasters such as WWII.

            My response:
            An unfortunate situation that makes dual citizenship and divided loyalties even more dangerous as influencing the US to attack one’s own nation’s enemies is very attractive – an international version of “let you and him fight.”
            Lone Eagle continued:
            This statement ” I do not want my country’s interests sacrificed for the benefit of a foreign country” by SheWhoMustBeObeyed’ was astonishing to me because the United States has been doing exactly that since 1941, sacrificing American blood in foreign countries that not only benefited that foreign country, but the United States.

            I respond:
            You are aware that the US entered WWII after several thousand Americans were killed or wounded at Pearl Harbor? The US didn’t just go in there because the Brits were on the side of freedom and justice while oppressing the colonies over in Africa and Asia while the Germans were the bad guys because they were oppressing people in Europe.

            Lone Eagle:
            If Americans did not die on the beaches of Normandy in June 1944, just what kind of Europe would the United States be facing today?

            I respond:

            Hyperbole. Go read about Pearl Harbor and why we became involved in WWII. The aftermath wasn’t so great – Truman deliberately handed over protesting central and eastern European nations to Stalin, knowing full well what the outcome would be.

            Lone Eagle:
            American interests do not end at the shores of the East or West Coast. But what if the US after WII had not decided to establish the Marshall Plan to help rebuild Europe, but instead decided to adopt an isolationist policy and withdraw from the world right after WWII, well most likely Western Europe would have gone the way of Eastern Europe, overrun by the Soviet Union and isolating the United States.

            I respond:
            If we hadn’t established the Marshall Plan, that time and energy would have gone into improving our own industry. The idea that western Europe would have been overrun by the Soviet Union is laughable – eastern and central Europe were only overrun because Truman handed them over. Perhaps you should read the treaties, the agreements, and some of Truman’s own notes which are now available?

            In any event, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan haven’t worked out very well, now have they? They were all cases of the US being influenced to invade places where it had no real interests. Iraq and Afghanistan didn’t need to be taught “democracy” – all that was needed was to find Messrs. Hussein and bin Laden and arrest or kill them. The rest has been a disaster for all concerned. It has reached the apogee of stupidity with the President suggesting we negotiate with the “good Taliban” – an idea akin to negotiating with Nazis or Stalinists – and then suggesting that ISIS was just a JV squad right before they decided to eat Syria and Iraq and cut little girls’ heads off on video.

  7. Bob Shive says:

    Identify seems like such a nebulous word. By descent, on my Dad’s side, I am mostly German with a smattering of Irish. On my Mom’s side, I am Slavic (though not Polish). Probably pretty common for the area in which I was born and raised. I will happily tell this to anyone who asks what my ethnic background is. Perhaps this qualifies as “identify”. But I do not live in any community that would consider itself of either ethnicity. Nor, as far as I know, do I follow practices or customs specific to either; or speak any of the languages. So it’s a little hard to know just what “identify” means. Questions of this type have been asked for many years on the Census. And I don’t think the definitions have been any more enlightening.

  8. RichFsr says:

    The magic word still is “Legal”. German immigrants came here through the front door, were approved for access and made a new life here LEGALLY. Our latest “immigrants” are NOT LEGAL but law breakers who slipped over the border ILLEGALLY and hide in the shadows of society. Many are using illegal IDs, stealing to survive, and are proving to not be the kind of citizens we want here.

    • NcbA says:

      I wouldn’t describe America as a ‘melting pot’. The ingredients don’t mix well and there are often hostilities between various ethnicities. For example, in the New England area where I lived, the Irish and Italians were considered low-life thugs and the Germans were despised insects. As much as various European groups maligned each other, it was NOTHING compared to the contempt and abuse with which Hispanics or blacks were treated..Most Americans do not mention their foreign ancestors outside their own group because of the hostility it may engender and it is seen as ‘unAmerican’. Anyone with a brown/black skin who is thinking of emigrating to the US has a bad shock in store for them, ESPECIALLY if they are middle-eastern, Muslim, or Arabic.
      The ‘melting-pot’ is one of America’s favorite myths along with its pretend concern for human rights, equality, equal opportunity, etc.

      • DocSavage says:

        America has NEVER been a “melting pot”, you’re absolutely right. About the only constant during the time when this phrase was coined was that European immigrants were accepted to the extent that they learned to hate African Americans.

      • Janet Rabner Lewis says:

        Pardon me, but I don’t give a damn if someone knows my ancestry. I’ve never had any problems. Maybe I’ve just never lived in one of those areas where it really matters. I don’t care if they know I’m a Christian, either.

      • SheWhoMustBeObeyed says:

        The melting pot did occur – in rural and frontier America. The east coast is very provincial, and the first time I heard someone refer to an Irish Catholic marrying an Italian Catholic as a “mixed marriage” was an individual from NY – and everyone in the room thought he was from outer space.

        I can assure you the melting pot is alive and well today. Visit any masjid and note that the American converts are willing to marry between ethnic groups – the main barrier to intermarriage in any Muslim community is the concern of Indo-Pak parents about “caste” (which isn’t Islamic at all, but seems to be part of their social structure) and the concern of Arab parents about the need for only marrying people from the right tribes.

        Forty years ago marriages between the Spanish and the Anglos weren’t rare in New Mexico. They were beginning to happen in the Yakima Valley as well, a place where intermarriage with the indigenous people had already been going on for decades.

        Visit the Grand Ronde reservation or any of the other coastal tribes in Oregon. They have intermarried extensively with first the French and American traders and trappers, and then with the Scandinavian seamen and fishers of the coast. This began in the 19th C., if not before.

        Yes, ethnic relations weren’t ideal – but they have improved so much within my own lifetime that I simply refuse to “pick up the White man’s burden” and take responsibility for everything wrong in the country. That sort of silliness went out with Kipling.

    • willybbb says:

      so at the end, you are a son of immigrants that came to america by using a boat like irish, italians and british

      but america is not german.

    • Brandon says:


      How did German immigrants come here through the front door? How were they legal? What immigration papers did they have? Did they have prior authorization from the US to come here? NO! They too were illegals. They all got on boats and showed up at Ellis Island and were allowed to stay because they were White. The majority left Europe because of economic chaos and lack of economic opportunities and came here to seek economic security to provide for their family. Sounds familiar? Isn’t this the same reason why people south of the border are coming here? Unfortunately, South and Latin Americans who arrive here under the exact same circumstance as these Germans (no visa, no immigration papers) are demonized and white folks like you want them to be rounded up and sent back to where they came from.

      You should be ashamed of this blatant racist hypocrisy instead of trying to use it to demonize others. If the Mexicans and other South Americans were treated like the Germans – allowed to stay here without question, given legalization paperwork, and welcomed, there will be no need for them to hide, and steal. Do you think if these Germans who showed up at Ellis Island without any immigration papers were demonized, ostracized, and refused work permits they too wouldn’t have stolen and lied to survived in this country?

      Stop using being a racist moron and expect people to support the garbage you are spewing.

      • Karl Browne says:

        When my forefathers and most of the other Germans came between 1850 and 1890 there really weren’t any laws… which really led to the creation of Immigration Laws and Ellis Island. Once Ellis Island came about the only restrictions on Northern Europeans (British, German, Scandanavian) were that they had enough funds to get started in the US and that they were healthy. Then another big push came after WWI and WWII, mostly as DPs (displaced persons). So sorry to ruin your dream, but we came legally.

        • Brandon says:

          Actually, you were a bald face liar. There were numerous immigration and naturalization laws on the books going as far back as 1790 when the Naturalization Act was passed. Then came the Steerage Act of 1819. The American Republican Party also known as the Native American Party sought to ban immigration and were opposed to the increase of immigrants into this country.

          Contrary to what you are claiming, Northern and Western Europeans who immigrated to this country were never required to prove they had enough funds in order to settle here? A majority of them were economic refugee or leaving their countries in Europe in order to seek financial security in the US. Are you suggesting they had to produce hundreds of thousands of dollars to show they could sustain themselves in the US for decades? I agree, they had to go through medical exams at Ellis Island but they were never required to prove they had funds to sustain themselves. Many simply had to show they already had relatives here.

          So why can’t we apply the same courtesy to modern day non-white European immigrants, a majority of whose already have relatives here? Let me guess, it has to be different for them because they are not white.

          • SheWhoMustBeObeyed says:

            With all due respect, where were you miseducated in history? I can assure you that the last of my immigrant ancestors, who came here *before* Ellis Island was opened, were indeed required to prove that none of them would become a “public charge.” Those who came earlier either managed to farm and feed themselves, or they starved in frontier New England.

          • SheWhoMustBeObeyed says:

            Many of those who came to the US were NOT economic refugees. In the earliest days there were religious refugees – and that continued into the early 1900s with fleeing Ashkenazim from Central and Eastern Europe.

            The Irish used to save every penny possible to send over one member of the family, who would then find a job and send for the others; the potato famine refugees were probably the closest thing to “economic refugees” that the US ever accepted on a large scale.

            Other early immigrants who could not afford to come on their own came as indentured servants, or were recruited by various enter

      • RichFsr says:

        “Racist”? Who said anything about racism except you? If anybody is racist, it’s you. You damn sure must be one of those socialist liberals because that’s their answer for every issue they can’t defend. I don’t have any problem with anybody coming here from anywhere as long as they do it through legal channels. Not under fences in the dead of night.

      • Dave says:

        Sadly, some folks here seem woefully misinformed.

        I am an American of German ancestry and possess full copies of my greatgrandfather’s legal immigration documentation. (My cousin keeps the original set) My greatgrandfather was released from his Prussian citizenship and was naturalized as a legal US citizen after being in-processed by the US government at Ellis island. I think this was the normal process for many seeking a new start in America at that time in our history. During the industrial revolution and afterward millions of European immigrants were welcomed to the United States due to their level of education, skill set, and technical aptitude.

        Enough of the hateful German bashing please. Germans and Americans of German ancestry have made great contributions to American life and society. It’s a fact, it’s history.

        I believe most of the folks coming to America illegally today are under extreme economic or political pressure to do so. I think for many it’s about survival. I can’t say I wouldn’t do the same if I was in their shoes. I believe America is still the land of opportunity.

        For anyone interested in German language and culture, please check out:
        The GI has several centers in the US.

        I have made it a point to maintain some ties to my German roots. And why not? many other Americans of other ethnic groups do the same. I have studied the German language, can cook some ethnic dishes, have lived, studied, and travelled in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. I will encourage my children to do the same.

  9. Andrew Allison says:

    Stuff and nonsense, VOX should be ashamed of itself publishing such rubbish. The demographic data used is from 2000 and doesn’t take into account the rapid increase in Asian and Hispanic populations during the past 14 years. As of July 1, 2013, Hispanics were the largest ethnic group. The American population is changing in very significant ways.

  10. N says:

    I identify as American. Some of my ancestors came over on the Mayflower; some of my other ancestors apparently met the boat. My genealogy includes English, Irish, Scots, French, Dutch, Germans, and Ashkenazim. My ancestors fought on both sides in the American Revolution, and came here – all of them – fleeing religious persecution.

    The earliest ones were English, Dutch, and Huguenot. My earliest English ancestors were separatists, people who believed in the separation of church and state; it is a grievous insult to confuse the separatists of Plymouth – who protected Roger Williams from the puritans who wished to hang him – with the puritans of Boston and Salem. The separatists not only never held witch trials, they refused to do so when pressured by the puritans, and they considered the whole affair to be a “delusion sent from Satan.”

    Now, the difference between my immigrant ancestors and the modern “immigrant” is that when my ancestors came there was no free school breakfast, free school lunch, welfare, or free education. One either made their way or they died – as many did in those first years at Plymouth. When my last immigrant ancestors arrived – before Ellis Island – they had to prove that they had sufficient assets that they would not become a public charge. If they – or their families – became dependent on welfare, in those days referred to as being a public charge – they were deported. Their US citizen children could return as adults – but supporting them was not the responsibility of their neighbors.

    Most of the hostility toward today’s modern undocumented migrant is that they evade the legal strictures, hold our laws in contempt, and hold their hands out for handouts. It doesn’t matter how hard they work – as it didn’t matter for preceding immigrants – if they cannot support themselves they become public charges and it is unfair for everyone else to subsidize law breakers who have more children than they can support and, for the most part, hold Americans and American law in contempt.

    • RichFsr says:

      Well said N. Unfortunately the liberal socialists on this page don’t support your beliefs. They have the same “entitlement” mentality as the illegals who use phony IDs to scam our social services.

  11. DocSavage says:

    If you look at map for places where people identify as “American”, these places almost exactly coincides with those areas dominated by for generations by the Scots-Irish, an ethnic group that long ago learned to think of itself as not BEING an ethnic group.

    The Scots-Irish did the dirty work for the English along the western frontier, exterminating Indians, clearing forests, breaking new slaves. They also were the bulk of the Confederate Army and did most of the dying then. After that, they receded into the hills and/or slowly migrated west, ending up in California in the 30’s, where they were reviled as “Okies”. About 17% of California descends from them. They are the backbone of the Reagan-GOP constituency there adn among the most conservative of all American voters.

    The Scots-Irish have always been different from the English and Irish. If you grew up in West Virginia or Kentucky, as I did, you’d know the difference. Nobody likes the English there, or, rather, the difference between the English and the Scots-Irish is typically compounded by class; the English own and run things, towns, land, businesses, mines and mills. The Scots-Irish work in them, and we are treated pretty bad. Any attempt to understand the American ethnic mix, and its impact on history, is doomed unless you account for the Scots-Irish.

    • SheWhoMustBeObeyed says:

      Absolutely correct; many of those on the frontier were Scot-Irish, the people who were deported from the Scots border by James I when he became king of both England and Scotland.

  12. Though America speaks English and most of its outward institutions are of English origin (forms of government, laws, civic bodies, and so on), it is fair to say that German culture has been dominant in shaping the nation’s character. Three examples come to mind immediately: (1) America’s intense pride in itself, (2) America’s steadfast focus on the virtue of work, and (3) America’s elevation of patriotism to a virtual religion. No other country does chest-pounding so well as America, except Germany. Sadly, even though these two countries are so much alike, that is probably why they were destined to fight each other in two devastating world wars.

    Thus our body may be English, but our soul as a nation is German. That’s not a bad combination.

    • SheWhoMustBeObeyed says:

      Actually, our essential government form was borrowed from the Six Nations, the Great League of the Iroquois. All of that Greco-Roman silliness was added later as a sop to slaveholding. The Six Nations thought that Europeans were insane because they thought one person could own another. They also found the French preferable to the English in the earliest days since the French were not as troubled by witches, would led to the suspicion that the British were very, very, very occupied with performing witchcraft and other deviltry.

  13. Lenoige says:

    Je suis desole! Porquoi!?

  14. jason says:

    If you look at the map and determine the demographics of the dominant groups, you will see potential future countries. An Hispanic/Mexican South West and a Black South. Not now and not even the next day. Supposedly by 2050 every group will be a “minority group”. That should prove interesting.

  15. John Rowe says:

    No mention of the hundreds of thousands of ethnic Scots who stopped over in Ireland on their way to America and became what looked like the majority of participants that defeated the British Army in the American revolution and gave America its very close resembance to a Scots Irish accent.,

    • Karl Browne says:

      I’m not sure how many people really realize their genealogy to that extent… they probably think they’re “English” because they have British surnames…

  16. willybbb says:




    This people make me laugh. Germany= sausages, obesity, bad cars such volkswagen and bmw that aren’t Ferrari

    and leonardo da vinci wasn’t german. mona lisa isn’t german, Renaissance isn’t german,

  17. Dora,

    Very Interesting. Thank you.


  18. I’ve been told I’m German, Dutch and Irish (my mother’s side) and Polish and Slovakian (father’s side)….in other words, I’M A HEINZ VARIETY!!!!

  19. Don W says:

    People should be American first. If you left a country and culture to come here to have a better life, then do not let the ways of that old culture keep you from melding into American culture.
    I am American first. If I wanted to be Irish like my ancestors then I would go to Ireland. If asked what I am, I would say American. That is what is wrong with a lot of ethnic groups. If asked what they are, a lot of people say African-American, or Irish-American etc. If you are a hyphenated American then you will never fully accept being a citizen of this country.
    When Americans on vacation overseas see another countryman, they don’t see the ethnicity first, they see the fellow American.
    Whatever your ethnic background, put it on a side burner, just be another citizen like everyone else and treat people equal and they will do likewise.

  20. David says:

    Who cares? What have YOU contributed to society? So people make it sound like bragging rights or something. Who cares?

  21. Anonymous says:

    Finally! The Census bureau publishes something useful for policy makers and everyday taxpayers.

    But let’s kick it up a notch: create an interactive map that shows the percentages of self-identified ethnicity per state when the mouse pointer hovers over that state. Then by county. Then by city. And then apply affirmative action based on ancestry with those counties and cities.

    In the meantime, I shall wear my tinfoil hat and brace myself for the Second American Civil War:
    – The American Roman Empire (North)
    – American-African Alliance (Southeast)
    – The Mexican Collective (Southwest)
    – The European States (Northeast)
    – The Latter Day Saints (Utah)
    – Florida (Florida)

  22. Mike says:

    The report failed to include the British as a whole.

  23. David says:

    And that’s what eventually happened to this country and why where we are today. European Americans ,if you will, don’t stick together like other ethnicities. And still to this day, right here on this little post people are bickering about yester-century. And that’s why we will not make it. I’ll be dead by then and thankfully I don’t have any children that will have to indure the hardships that are down the road for “us”. The wheel turns I guess. just remember that the next time you look at you children and grand children in the eyes and tell them you love them.

  24. lone eagle says:

    I am a dual national, Irish and American and a former US Marine officer and a Vietnam Veteran (69-70). I have used both passports Irish and American and have used my Irish passport along with my US Marine Corps ID to gain admittance to a US Embassy. In Vietnam I was the executive officer of a Marine direct support artillery battery and my most experienced Marine artilleryman was an Irish-Canadian from Montreal, while the commanding officer of our unit was from Stockholm, Sweden whose father was a police officer in Stockholm. Prior to Vietnam I attended the The Basic School at Quantico, Virginia and in my platoon at TBS was a former enlisted Marine with 7 Purple Hearts from Vietnam who was from Canada. I have three adult Thai-American children with Thai and American passports and who vote by absentee in the US.

  25. As best as my memories can serve me, immigration in the United States was one based on “goodwill and humanitarianism.” And the churches were the institutions managing and administering it. When did this become a political ‘potato’ and relevance?

    • SheWhoMustBeObeyed says:

      Immigration was never based on goodwill an humanitarianism. Never confuse the poem on the statue of liberty with national policy. Even the author of that had directed the poem to religious refugees from Europe, not the people she considered incapable of assimilation or likely to require charity.

  26. RichFsr says:

    This whole report is erroneous anyway. It’s 14 years old and the geographic picture has changed dramatically since then. The Hispanic population has totally changed the graphics.

  27. NcbA says:

    Since the US is currently going ballistic over the immigration from Mexico, and the perception of many Americans is that anyone with a Hispanic name and brown skin is an illegal, fence jumping, welfare sucking thug, it would be interesting to know what percent of Mexican immigrants are actually illegal, don’t pay taxes, receive welfare, and commit violent crimes. But I imagine VOA would rather just pretend that the US as one big, happy, diverse but united family.

  28. Duro says:

    WRONG: “31 million people who identify as “Mexican”.” Add the 27 million here illegally and you get them as the biggest with 58 million. Take that, Obama