Biggest self reported ancestry in each US state.

There is a fascinating long identified quirk in self-reported US ancestry, that people will significantly unreport English ancestry. Someone can have three English grandparents and one Irish grandparent, but will report themselves as Irish as it is considered more interesting, and English more generic.


There is a fascinating long identified quirk in self-reported US ancestry, that people will significantly unreport English ancestry. Someone can have three English grandparents and one Irish grandparent, but will report themselves as Irish as it is considered more interesting, and English more generic.


Yeah, I’m over 55% English with trace German, French, and Croatian, and nobody in my family talks about being English. But I hear German and Croatian quite a bit. Weird.


Makes sense then that Utah and Idaho more accurately report their English ancestry. Recording Genealogy is very important to members of the LDS church, who, of course, make up majorities in both states. The rest of us are going off of biased verbal accounts while Mormons actually have the receipts.


Lol “have the receipts” is the best description of an ancestry account I’ve ever heard.


Also note that there was significant religious migration to Utah by English Mormons in the mid 19th century. So it's more recent than the typical white person with old roots in Kentucky or Arkansas, where most of their immigrant ancestors came over from the British Isles in the 18th century or 17th century. Lots of Utah Mormons will also have New England and New York ancestors, maybe back to the pilgrims. But if you also have more recent English ancestry, it's more present in your mind.


Same in Brazil. People with e.g. both Portuguese and Italian ancestry will tend to emphasize the latter. Being from the motherland isn't as flashy


From what I've seen when people have multiple ancestries they go with whichever one they think is the most exotic. English is like the least exotic ancestry so it usually goes unreported.


Same thing happens in the UK. Lots of people will report ''partial Irish ancestry,'' because one of their ancestors was an Irishman who immigrated to London in the 1860s.


I was raised to believe that I was Irish and then when I grew up found out I’m like 75% English


That's exactly the case in my family from looking at my results on AncestryDNA and 23andMe. I took both tests. They both said I was 2/3rds British. I've been told my whole life over and over how Irish I am (8% Irish according to the tests) lol


Everyone wants to be an ethnic white


White is not an ethnicity


That is not what they are saying.


Interesting to see the opposite happens in Australia, most genetic studies show Australians are slightly more Irish than English yet English ancestry is reported at 3x the rate of Irish


Makes sense. Additionally, I don't think distancing oneself from the enemy (not now, but upon independence) is a quirk. Seems to be rather natural. So that identity culture gets passed thru generations. Today, the "boring" English background certainly adds to it. My family never talked about English background. Focused on Irish/Scottish from one side. German/dutch the other. By 23andme, I traced back 30-35% of DNA to London, 60% to Hamburg, Amsterdam. Hanseatic fam.


>distancing oneself from the enemy > >Focused on Irish/***Scottish*** Speaking as someone from Scotland it always really fascinates me how Americans seem to completely forget that the war for Independence was fought against both us and the English.


Also the Irish lol, they were a part of the empire at that point even if it wasn’t willing.


I'm always curious at how people can know with certainty what their ancestry even is. I've been told that I'm German, Irish, Dutch, and Native American. I've never seen proof of any of it, and haven't met a ton of my extended family. Even my last name is unreliable for this. I looked it up since I've never encountered anyone with the same one, and it is considered an English last name. But I've also been told it is made-up since 6 generations before me, an ancestor stole a horse and was going to be hanged for it, so he changed his last name. It's a fun story, but I have no idea if that is as truthful as my great-grandmother being 100% Native American.


Idk about the story but from what l've read, it was REALLY common for immigrants to change their last names to more English/British sounding names, to assimilate, especially non-Germanic non-Protestant immigrants.


My Italian great grandfather did this, except instead of picking an easy to pronounce English-ish name, he made up a bizarre vaguely French sounding name with an accent that no one really knows how to pronounce. Thanks, grandpa.




Some families really kept track, or hung onto the stories, traditions, and foodways even as they intermarried with other backgrounds. My Dad always strongly identified with his Italian and Swedish ancestry bc he knew exactly when and from where his great-great grandparents immigrated. Like we could go back to their villages and meet people with the same last name we’re related to. But inversely the “American” portion of his ancestry was a big mystery until we started doing ancestry research and got lucky finding already completed research from a distant cousin. And the Swedish/Italian are only 1/4 of his genetic background let alone mine but I still grew up learning about our Italian and Swedish family history.


>I'm always curious at how people can know with certainty what their ancestry even is. I've been told that I'm German, Irish, Dutch, and Native American. I've never seen proof of any of it, and haven't met a ton of my extended family. >Even my last name is unreliable for this. I looked it up since I've never encountered anyone with the same one, and it is considered an English last name. But I've also been told it is made-up since 6 generations before me, an ancestor stole a horse and was going to be hanged for it, so he changed his last name. It's a fun story, but I have no idea if that is as truthful as my great-grandmother being 100% Native American Well, you can check with a DNA test. Also, last names are obviously European sounding and you can draw conclusions if you originated as a Smith from Schmidt or Smyte . Cause those names are from professions people had like blackSMITH.


If you go on /r/23andme you’ll see that many results line up with the map pretty well. You get midwesterners with 50%+ German/Scandinavian, southerners with high British and Irish or Sub-Saharan African etc.


i'm very interested in genealogy and history so i recently did a 23 and me test that pretty much confirmed what my grandmothers have told me about their families immigration. results were near exactly what i expected: 75% english (more specifically northern english and scottish) and irish and 20% norwegian. the only unexpected part was the 5% swedish that i still cant account for in my family's records, but it could have been a fluke.


I think the answer here is either more recent immigration and/or ethnic enclaves. I’ve got friends from West Michigan whose family has lived in Holland (A town on Lake Michigan) for 150 years and they all would proudly say that they’re Dutch, because their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents all lived in Holland their whole life, and they still have a Dutch last name, celebrate tulip time, etc. because there was a huge wave of Dutch immigrants that founded the town about 150 years ago and that influence and lineage has carried on ever since. That Dutch identity supersedes the “American” identity for them when asked about their ethnicity (even though their politics and culture are fairly in-line with a lot of white America). I imagine there’s a similar situation in some neighborhoods/towns/rural areas across the country, especially for those with many recent immigrants.


My great grandmother put together our family tree and I found a lot of comments she made on Ancestry. Basically it’s a lot of messaging other people who have ties to your relatives or your surname to get documents and find out who is related to who. When I look up my name on name origin sites it says Scottish but according to what nana found it’s Irish. European immigrants tend to have more documentation than a lot of other people, my Korean family have no documentation of their existence pre 70s. We don’t even know the exact day my mom was born.


It seems like everyone has a 100% native American great-grandmother. Wonder what was going on in those times. I come from a black family, and on both sides there's a random 100% Native American thrown in


Some people’s families are so recently emigrated that they don’t need any proof or research. It’s self evident. All of my grandparents came over in the 40s and 50s. We have their passports, social securities from their home countries, etc.


There are lots of records. Birth, marriage, property sales, census, military, medical, death, burial, etc. I've gone through mine for quite a few generations and even if one person in a family changes the spelling of their name, there are brothers and sisters that may not have done so. And crowd-sourcing is a thing too. As you go back each generation, you obviously get a greater pool of descendants that may have kept better records than you. For many people it's much easier than you can imagine.


I guess people just guess based on where their ancestors say they are from. Could get blood tests done also. I’ve been quite intrigued in doing that myself tbh, as all I know is that I’m English and like everyone in my family for several generations was English. Except one ages ago who was a tiny bit Irish


Depends how long they’ve been around. All my great grandparents got here at the turn of the last century, so my parents are very aware of where the family came from, had the languages spoken to them, also the last names are very distinct


my dad tested at 70% Italian and we have an Italian sounding last name but they changed it when my great grandfather came over from Italy in 1912. my dad has some paperwork from Italy, and my parents and I all did DNA tests. I also did a lot of research last year about my genealogy because I think it's a fascinating subject


You can look it up an FamilySearch. It’s a free wiki-like family tree of humanity created by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons). Typically once find your grandparents or great grandparents, somebody has already filled in the rest. It’s a little more work and money but you can also use Ancestry.com. Typically the data from family search has been ported over so it’s available but you have to compile it yourself. But you can also do DNA stuff and be really confident about connections to other people who have already done research.


It wasn't hard to ask my grandparents where they came from.


Depends how long your family has been in the country. My grandparents on both sides would answer either "Pennsylvania" or "Germany," but none ever lived in or even visited Germany. They were born and raised in the US, just like their parents and their grandparents before them as far as I know. Eventually, you get so far removed from the generation that emigrated to the US that nobody is in living memory anymore: you might be talking about people that died before your grandparents were even born.


Tennessee, Kentucky and Florida did not understand the assignment.


If your dad is Cuban/Irish and your mom is Italian/German what the fuck else are you supposed to put down other than American? Sounds like they understood the assignment far more than the dude pretending to be Scottish because their great grandpa came from "clan Mackenzie".


To be fair, so many families in Kentucky originated in like 1600s/1700s Virginia (my own family included). Hundreds of years of living in the mountains, all they know is that they are just American (and Scots-Irish)


I grew up in West TN. All my ancestors were already in the United States by the time of the Revolutionary War. As soon as West TN opened up for settlement, they moved and my family has been there ever since. We happen to know that our ancestors were mostly Scots-Irish and English, but my family has been here for so long that we have no connection to “the old country.”


The "Old Country" for me is Kentucky, Wisconsin, Minnesota & Michigan. It's where my "American" ancestors came from. Their ancestors came from someplace called "Europe." Have a good day! :-)


Then your "German" ancestors can easily be descedants of ethnic Czechs, Jews and Ukrainians who were Germanized during the XIX century in what was then Austria-Hungary and moved to the US in the early XX century.


Yep. It depends how far back you want to go. For ancestry, are you talking about your parents generation? Your grandparents? Your great-grandparents? Hundreds of years ago? Thousands? If you go back thousands of years, most of humanity can claim African ancestry, but that's not really in the spirit of the question, so clearly there's an upper bound on the answer. I would argue something near the great-grandparents generation (or maybe their parents) as the sweet spot for the upper bound. It's recent enough that it can plausibly impact your own upbringing (e.g., if that generation emigrated to the US, your parents generation will have had an "old country" upbringing when visiting their grandparents). Any older than that, and subsequent generations have probably assimilated into the predominant American culture, so your upbringing has virtually nothing to do with the country your distant relatives emigrated from hundreds of years ago.


If you go back far enough, doesn’t all of humanity originate in African? Like not just most of humanity but literally all of it?


My first ancestors came to the US in the 1760s, learned this through my mother doing an ancestry test. After seeing the results she got, I will never call myself anything but American. There’s no point on breaking any of it down to tiny percentages.


Same with my family who lived on the islands off of Maine for a few hundred years. Doesn’t really matter to them where their ancestors came from


Correct. I’ve (KY/OH roots) done some ancestry work and of my 4 sets of 2x great grandparents (all born in the early 1800s bc my family waits to have kids) only 1 set wasn’t born here. And the ancestors of those who were had been here for generations. If your family has been here for 200 years, I think you can call your heritage American.


People are confusing a lack of a family member keeping track of family genealogy for nationalism. Newsflash, your ancestors just didn’t write down where your family came from prior to the 1700s. To turn something like this into weird “pride” in your state and country is fucking bizarre


I don’t think it’s a nationalistic or state pride as much as it is that after a point, people start considering themselves American over and further roots. Like if your family were in the US pre revolution, especially if they were some of the original groups of settlers that survived, that is so long ago that they hold zero connection to their (most likely English) roots. It’s just that America has been around for such a relatively short period of time and is so diverse that people don’t really see “Ethnically American” as a thing. If you wanted to play this game super hard, we are all probably ethnically African because it’s believed humanity originated in Africa but that’s obviously not what the goal of this was.


Can I really say I’m truly Scottish because John Gilbert came here in 1608 FROM Scotland then? No. I know WHAT we consist of but we have zero connection to that country. It’s not “yeah my great grandfather came from Scotland in 1880” where it’s at least within a hundred years of my birth.


>To turn something like this into weird “pride” in your state and country is fucking bizarre I don't think it's just pride, though that's obviously a big part of it for some people. I really think some of it is culture too. I was raised by my grandparents who were first generation Americans. And I think, in a way, that gave me at least *some* connection to their cultures. Not only did they pass down traditions, and recipes, there was practically a direct connection to the "old world" since my family knew where they came from, in some cases right down to the towns.


> your ancestors just didn’t write down where your family came from prior to the 1700s They absolutely did. It was a big part of identity. The US didn’t exist yet. >To turn something like this into weird “pride” in your state and country is fucking bizarre Agreed. It can be a kernel of hate. As soon as “we do it this way, and they do it that way” progresses into “therefore we are better, and they are a threat.” It’s worse than bizarre — it’s destructive.


Same, mine moved to the Carolinas from France in 1720. It's fun to look back, but at this point we're just American.


They did though. "American" is a perfectly valid ancestry descriptor if your family has lived in America for centuries, and any ancestry before that is unknown/vague. This is especially common in parts of the South and Appalachia. Notice how this map also includes two other post-colonial ancestries in African-American and Mexican.


Yes! Thank you. I had family that settled here over century before independence and while I have a good idea where those lines came from (England, France, Netherlands...) I have zero clue which is my dominant ancestry. I also feel zero ties to those countries. Why guess when the real answer is American?


What if your ancestry was traced to Napoleon or admiral Nelson or some other historical figure. May not make you feel more connected to France or Britain but it would be interesting and maybe make you curious about your ancestry story.


Not even gonna lie, it totally would lol. I am directly descended from one of the Mayflower settlers (so, England), distantly related to a bunch of Presidents/declaration and constitution signers (also all probably England), and some scandalous traitors like Benedict Arnold and RE Lee. It's really a mixed bag ancestrally speaking. Napoleon or Nelson would be infinitely cooler. Edit: Needless to say I have tried to track my ancestry and have done a good job on some family lines but documentation for the majority is pretty poor pre-18th century (except those ancestors that were Quakers who have excellent records).




That's literally what he said.


Lol sorry just woke up 😆


I've asked some people before what their ancestry is and they say American. Not that they didn't understand the question, they just literally don't know. Their great great grandparents were from Kentucky or (west) Virginia and they can trace back to the 1700's but after that, no clue. I don't blame them since I only know back to the 1850's for my family


In Tennessee, they only know that grandpappy came from "tha holler."


Also southern culture tends to supercede any cultural history from the old country. My family roots are apparently Irish, but being in rural VA for generations you’d never know it.


I mean out of all the places in America, and all the different stereotypical American archetypes (loud New Yorker, hipster California/Oregan/West coaster, Dont mess with Texas, etc etc there’s so many) I would say that southern culture has to be a front runner with the most influence.


Im from TN and can confirm that both my grandpapies came from a holler


Post-colonial ethnicities are as valid as pre-colonial ones. Both "american" and "african-american" are post-colonial ethnicities.


This is typical found with people from the Appalachian Mountains. Who’s ancestors would often intermingle with other nationalities like German, Irish, and English. Also native peoples, and even runaway African slaves. So it’s not that they don’t understand the question it’s more like they can’t say one thing like “oh yea I’m German” because they’re not just German. They’re something brand new that could’ve happened only in America and maybe Canada. So they just say American. In fact some people believe that “American” will grow to be one of the biggest reported ancestries in the future


After your lineage has been in the country for more than a few generations, why wouldn't you answer American? I said the same when asked by the Census in 2020. I have some German lineage deep in my family history (a bunch of other ethnicities too), but anyone in my family born in Germany died decades before I was born. I've never met them, I didn't have a German upbringing, I can't speak German, and aside from some lines on a family tree, I have no connection to Germany at all. As far as I'm concerned, my heritage is American, not German. In contrast, a close friend of mine considers himself an Italian-American. He wasn't born in Italy, but his grandfather was, and his upbringing was typical Italian-American in terms of food, music, culture, etc. In his case, I understand why he would answer "Italian" for the question, but in mine, "American" fits much better than "German."


Yeah, if you move to Germany they aren't going to say "Oh look, a fellow German!" they are going to identify you as American because you are culturally American.


Eh, the census considers "American American" and "French Canadian" [ancestries](https://www.census.gov/acs/www/about/why-we-ask-each-question/ancestry/) so don't see why broader American isn't one either.


It’s actually a very interesting question. At what point do you consider your ancestry to be “American”? 100 years? 200? 300? Never?


>Tennessee, Kentucky and Florida did not understand the assignment. I grew up in the Northeast where it wasn't uncommon to self-identify as Italian American, or Irish American — with most people claiming to be simply *Italian*, *Irish,* or *Polish* or whatever. Being in business, the topic would come up now and again in meetings since I have an Italian surname and I sort of used it as an ice-breaker. But when I moved to Florida everything changed. The locals not only didn't discuss their ancestry, they didn't even seem to know anything about their heritage. Almost anyone I've ever asked, simply said they were *American*. I thought that was pretty strange at first but then I learned that most of these people have had family in America for multiple generations. Meanwhile my grandparents were first generation Americans. So now I totally get the difference in identity there.


Nah once your family has been here since like the 16/1700’s you’re just American. 3/4 of my family came here in the 1600’s we know everything from then on but we’re not sure if they were French, English, Scottish or Dutch.


If they didn’t, why aren’t California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Alabama, Georgia, North n South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, and DC in the same group? “Mexican” and “African American” are post colonial identities too.


People in other states are delusional for claiming any relation to a country they’ve never been to and haven’t had a relative go to in 4 generations


What an ignorant af comment


They probably didn't turn the back on family.


I moved to Kentucky from NJ. Asking around about where their ancestors are from, no one really knows or cares to know. I thought it was super weird when I moved down here. In NJ, everyone has an idea of what kinda muts we are.


I mean, if your family has been in America for 300 to 400 years, what's a better answer? Those families' American ancestors not only pre-date the US Constitution, but most of the other countries listed. Italy was only unified 150 years ago. Germany only became distinct from the HRE 200 years ago.


Like others said to be fair some of our families have been here a LONG time. My dad's side was here in the late 1600's and it's like at what point am I Mongolian because of Genghis Khan?


Born and raised from Kentucky, that tracks. My Ancestry.com DNA is English, Scottish, Welsh, Irish, French and German. 20% here, 10% there. The ancestral pool in the commonwealth varies quite a bit because historically there were a lot of immigrants from different places that settled here throughout America’s history. In the end, ancestral roots just isn’t a thing here, unless you hear someone (wrongly) claim “my great-great-grandmother was Cherokee!” 🧐 It’s just American by this point.


In much of Appalachia, ancestry becomes very difficult to determine. Literacy often will only goes back three or four generations, so census records become less reliable. In addition, the rampant economic changes post-war combined with out-migration have caused many ancestral lineages (family bibles) to become lost. Combine this with the already complicated racial history of the South, and you end up with a mess.


Why not? Where would you draw the line? I’ve got family who have lived in the north of England for generations so would have a bit of Danish/Norwegian ancestry but I would never claim to be Danish/Norwegian. I think you should go by grandparents or, at a push, great grandparents


As a Floridian I can say every time people ask me (since my last name is German) if I’m German, I always respond, “No I’m American.” Basically because I have zero cultural or interpersonal ties to anything German. It makes more sense to simply say American 🤷🏼‍♂️


You do not understand the question. DNA and Ancestry are different. See Mexican and African-American.


They actually are the only ones that got the assignment correct. If you're second+ generation and have never been to the other country or speak the language your ancestry is American. You don't get to claim to be German without even having the slightest understanding of their culture


I wonder why the people in every other state chose to draw the lines where they did and not go further to where *those* people ultimately came from. Because, the assignment, right?


Interesting correlation between them and terrible anti-education policies


Stupid question incoming: I thought the USA was founded on the backs of English colonies, with the founding fathers being of English heritage, with the exception of the Spanish controlled southern America. With that in mind, I’m surprised to see the small English representation here?


People aren't enumerating all ancestries and ignoring the ones that are 100+ years old likely. So it amplifies minority ancestry. Genetic ancestry tests likely would show majority of the population is part British.


Makes sense, thank you.


Given that 78% of us speak "only" English, it'll be confusing to foreigners to see so little English ancestry.


I still don’t get it though. If the original colonies were English (meaning Great Britain) then how can it be that so few Americans are of English descent today? Is it that this graphic is false, or something else going on? 🤔


1. Immigration from rest of Europe. 2. British descendants not knowing how they ended up in America, because of how long they've been here. 3. The "American" category consisting mostly British descendants because of point no. 2. 4. British being further broken into English, Welsh and Scottish. 5. Southwest was taken from Mexico, Louisiana from France and Deep South in general have a large number of Blacks because of slavery. 6. Hawaii has always been majority non-European.


I would bet money that over half the “Germans” are more English than German


They’re probably more American than both of those


You can be 2 things.


American and English. Gotcha


Why There so many germans


Lots of German immigration


Because Germans migrated later than the English. People tend to self-report what they know about their heritage and because Germans arrived later this is what they know. If DNA testing would be done English would probably be the most reported one.


No easy answer but here is a link: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/heres-why-many-german-americans-143320767.html


Americans tend to ignore their British ancestry so even if they're only some small percentage German that's what they'll identify as. Possibly because they're aware of a German ancestor who immigrated but all their English ancestors immigrated so long ago they can't trace it back that far.


Germans were one of the earliest immigrant groups in America. Already in 1776 was 9 % of the population of German descent.


Germans were among the earliest settlers, but their population was nowhere near the British population, back in the 1700s.


Listening to my family, I assumed I had a lot of German ancestry, but I found really only one great-grandparent from Germany. I was mostly English.


German Revolution of 1848 and the subsequent immigration of Germans. Also Jewish people prior to the Holocaust.


>Also Jewish people prior to the Holocaust. Not so much. Very little Jewish immigration to the US was directly from Germany, so most American Jews when forced to pick a national ancestry (since the Census doesn't recognize "Jewish" responses) will say Russian, Ukrainian, or Polish, with Hungarian and Romanian probably being the next most common.


It’s trendier than saying English


Absolutely. All those 23andme tests people put on here just ignore the (often) majority English response. I suppose it's more fun to 'reconnect with their heritage' by visiting Naples than it is to holiday in Grantham.


There was way more immigration to the US from Germany than from the UK after independence.


Exactly, idk why people on reddit demand that Americans are mostly English. I see this on every post like this. A lot of us didn't get here until the early 1900s, lol.


Idk man. We currently have the second largest Oktoberfest in the world, this weekend, in Cincy. The people here are pretty damn German. My paternal grandma (oma) came from Frankfurt. My maternal great grandmother and grandfather came from Germany. I don’t think it’s a “trendy” thing for most as your comment implies.


Population Density.


Bc many dont wanna identify with having English herritage


Germans lost ww1, and it was easy to immigrate. The midwest was booming at the time so thats where they went.


No, the bulk of German immigration came in the 19th century and they had already become the largest ancestry group in the Midwest before WW1 – enough to support fears of their language and culture "taking over", which came to a head during the war.


It’s funny how everyone speaks English but nobody thinks their ancestors are from England


The American founding fathers just chose English out of a hat




Appalachian American fuck yeah here to save the motherfuvkin day now.


The Native American one for Oklahoma is funny, we all say we are Indian even if we don’t have proof haha


There’s that old joke- what do you get when you have 32 white people in a room? 1 Cherokee.


You know they are lying as soon as they say Cherokee, lol. I grew up on a reservation, and there used to be jokes about it.


Yep. Oklahoman here. I was told several times by older family members that I had Native American ancestry and blood. I did Ancestry DNA testing several years ago and had absolutely 0% Native American ancestry


Cause half of Oklahoma is technically federal reservations and under tribal jurisdiction.


The Irish are lying


1% Irish ancestry claim to be full Irish


Lived in Colorado 30+ years…not once have I ever met a person who was of German descent


you haven't seen a white person?


I’m surprised Texas didn’t report “Texan” as their ancestry.


What is "American"?


I moved to Oklahoma over a year ago, lots of native communities here, each with their own government and license plates. I see 4-6 every time I get out on the road.


Ancestry and DNA are different. Explaining as a Kentuckian who is 2/3 british 1/3 german DNA but of American ancestry. I have a family tree that does not have a foreign born person on it…. yet. “Genetics is the branch of biology that deals with the transmission and variation of inherited characteristics, in particular chromosomes and DNA, whereas genealogy is the descent of a person, family, or group from an ancestor or ancestors, lineage, or pedigree.”


Did we really win ww2 /s


My Hungarian-Jewish Canadian immigrant ass sitting here in Tennessee like 👀


My grandfather on my dads side was from Italy, while my great grandmother on my moms side was from Ireland. I live in the Northeast.


Irish+Italian makes sense for Northeast lol.


So the people of KY, TN, and FL are too stupid to understand the question.




Data and sources?


American Community Survey from the Census Bureau is what asks this usually, but it was also asked by the decennial census in 2020, though that part of it won't be released for a week or two.


Adding — what does “biggest” mean?


American? Oof


It's funny, Americans get flak if they identify with and celebrate their heritage, or if they don't.




Everyone moved from somewhere at what point does it become valid? Are the English not ethnically English since they came from what's now Germany originally? The Japanese didn't just appear in Japan they came from mainland Asia but they definitely aren't Chinese.


No, they get flak when they say they are Irish, which is objectively false, rather than Irish American, which is objectively true.


Still waiting on people who say this to be consistent. Are you going to hound some child of Pakistani immigrants in the UK to call themselves "Pakistani-British" instead of simply "Pakistani"? What about Asian-Americans? I don't know a single Asian person in America that doesn't simply call themselves "Asian" rather than "Asian-American". As an Irish-American, I do think it's best to say "Irish-American", and I don't call myself "Irish". I just think this obsession against Irish-Americans having connections to our ancestral culture is another annoying Reddit bandwagon.


Doesn't that apply to everything on this list other than native American and American?


There comes a point where ancestry is so watered down and vague that it is pointless to measure. My family tree's first connection to what would be the United States is on my paternal line dating back to 1680 from France. So we have been "American" for almost 350 years. And I am <10% French according to 23 and me. I have some Irish, some English, some Italian. My largest concentration is English though. My most recent ancestor migration is my great grandfather moving here from Italy. So our migration period was 1680 to roughly 1910. So 4 options here: 1. Use most prominent Ancestry (which is still <50%): English 2. Use the oldest ancestry prior to America (which is <10%): French 3. Use my last name origin (which is <10%): French 4. Use my most recent European Ancestry (which is around 30%): Italian Personally I wouldn't answer "American" just because I know that is not what the question is asking. But providing any answer would be (to some extent) inaccurate.


So your ancestry is European, not a completely pointless metric


Is it? I don't think it's that simple. If you go back tens of years, his ancestry is American. If you go back hundreds of years, his ancestry is European. If you go back thousands of years, his ancestry is likely African given humanity's origin in Africa before spreading to Europe. Why adopt "hundreds of years" as the genesis for ancestry rather than "tens of years" or "thousands of years?" It's becomes an arbitrary pointless metric when you're so far removed from the emigration that you have no ties to the old world anymore. Any European in his family died centuries before even his grandparents were born, so it seems silly to consider that as part of your ancestry when your upbringing has nothing to do with that culture.


You could say Western Europe. My mother-in-law is a mix from all over Europe so we just say that.


350 sounds like a short time. I forgot this county is literally only like 250 years old.


Why not? These people started to embrace their land and culture like the rest of the world..


Because your identity is not what ancestry is or means


My ancestry is a mix of like 8 different countries, and that’s just my dads side, I don’t know my moms side because she was adopted. Saying I’m German or English seems silly because that only 15% true. I’m just American. I imagine there’s a lot of people who are so mixed and removed from when their ancestors migrated here that there’s no real answer other than “American”.


How far do you want to take it? How many generations are enough? Must I identify from where my great grandparents are from or perhaps their grandparents? Why is Mexican OK by that standard, should they not be Spanish?


Well then at what point does their identity become their ancestry?


My family has been in the Americas since the 1500s and I don’t even think of myself as being of American descent. I am of Scottish, Native American and German descent. If I consider the two Powhatan grandmothers from the Virginia colonies in my family tree I could have bragging rights going back tens of thousands of years.


Surprised Utah isn’t Portuguese with the amount of Brazilian population it has been getting.


Brazilians don't identify as being "portuguese". If that question would be asked to Brazilians, they would mostly answer "brazilian".


It really depends. Brazilians from the south would gladly talk one hour or so about their German, Polish, Italian etc ancestors hahaha. PS: just a joke.


>German German and Southern Brazilian.........


Didnt think I’d have to explain ethnicity and ancestry to a bunch of Brazilians… Most common one is Portuguese so 😭


Lol, you think that is where most of Brazilian people are from?


Absolutely no one gives a shit. If you are beyond 3rd gen anything...Just say you're American and stop telling people you are anything else.


I’m first generation but agree my children’s children will have lost our native tongue and will identify as just American as anyone else.


I think 330 million people care. Oh, except you.


No...no one actually gives a shit. Most Americans and people from other countries don't make it a habit to announce they are 55% .....or 32%..... Every time I hear another American telling someone in Europe I am 2/3s this or that....I know the person they are speaking to is just thinking "C***".


There's also the African part, and being black is absolutely huge in America.


It always strikes me as a bit crazy....You never really hear anyone from any other country who came from anywhere, tell anyone in the country their family immigrated to bring up their heritage as often as Americans. I'm sure when I first came over to work I sounded the same but now, 10+ years later, it is so obviously cringe.


What other country, with as much global influence as America, is literally made up of fairly recent immigrants? What other nation is full of people who can trace their ancestry to other countries as recently as one or two generations ago? Especially just a vast array of countries. Isn't the UK somewhat similar to us? They have tons of recent immigrants from around the globe.


England. Infact London is the most culturally diverse city in the world. You also have Canada, Australia, Brazil....etc The UK has loads of immigrants but no one is standing around telling each other what % of what their perceived heritage is. I suspect the US does it because our historical establishment is so young. But....by the time you are 3rd and 4th generation...you are American..not English...or Irish...Italian...etc


How can you be ancestrally american? Lol that’s just Native American isn’t it?


An actual number would have been nice.


Cool map! Ask again in March and see what colour the self-reported ancestry is…




These mfers really said American


The "american ancestry category" looks so strange too mee. They loose they original culture at that point for TN and KY, what about florida (be cuban is a shame)?


Who would have thought the most sensible states would be FL, KY, and TN.


Oh look. Another BS map.


What’s your ancestry? I’m American 😂


Tennessee, Kentucky, and Florida are ashamed of something (in-breeding?) Because there's no such option since Native American was also a choice. Also, the Mexica are also indigenous, and your colonizer's language does not change your ethnicity.


Italian in NY. Must be NYC in the last 100 years. My Dutch, German and Scottish ancestors go back to colonial times, as do millions of other people's.


This looks suspicious


Rammstein’s song “Amerika” has double meaning.


"American" ![gif](emote|free_emotes_pack|facepalm)


What a terrible map






No there's just more people self identifying as German than Scandinavian. You may have a small town here or there that exemplifies their Scandinavian heritage, but the majority is German. Maybe if this was by county we would see a better distribution of identity such as polish chicago, German milwaukee, and scandanavian door county area.




Yeah it would be neat to see a county breakdown where the majority isn't representative of the whole state.


Scandinavia is no country.


I don’t think responses of “American” should count. They might as well report their ancestry as “Human”…


Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee: Number one ancestry “American” need I say more?