10 Largest Ethnic Groups and Nationalities in America

The 10 largest ethnic groups and nationalities in America prove that America is a diverse country, ready to accept a person, regardless of their race or nationality. There is a reason the country is known as the land of opportunity.

The status of America as the protector of the rights of the minorities has been under question in recent times, and maybe for a good reason. After all, when you live in a country where black people are incarcerated at a rate which is six times that of white people or you hear news where a white cop shoots an unarmed black person without suffering from any consequences, you start to believe that maybe safety for minorities is an illusion.

To add fuel to the fire, the country has just elected a sexist xenophobe who openly disrespects minorities, claiming that Mexico breeds rapists who should be deported and is considering a blanket ban on Muslims from entering the country. It is obvious that America’s reputation as the protector of the oppressed has suffered greatly in recent times. After all, when your own president ridicules people, who do they go to?

But is it actually true? I think the reaction has been vastly overstated and decrying the US for its treatment of minorities is not based on fact, but emotion. According to the projections made by the US Census Bureau, by the 2040s, non-Hispanic whites will make up less than 50 percent of the population. In other words, there won’t be any ethnicity or race which will make up the outright majority. If that is not a sign of diversity, I don’t know what is. It shows that the US is accepting of varying nationalities and races.

On the other hand, it is worrying that minorities do not feel safe in the country. It’s more than just a figment of their imagination. Police action against blacks has already left the minorities shaken and wary, Trump’s presidency has completely destroyed any hope they might have left. Stories of racism and sexism have been on the rise since the day Trump was deemed president-elect, with Muslims and Mexicans, among others, being publicly humiliated and told to get out of the country. They fear that his presidency is legitimizing such beliefs and making them more acceptable. You might think these people are overreacting to the presidency just because their candidate did not win, but it is much more than that.

When you have Steve Bannon running your campaign, the chair of a newspaper which has been called xenophobic, sexist and racist, why would the people trust you when they say you are looking out for your interest?

Again, since Trump hasn’t yet ascended the throne, how he will actually take charge is up for debate and pure conjecture based on history. His recent statements have made it seem like he does not plan to implement some of the most controversial measures he has suggested like building a wall on the border with Mexico. His tone suggests that such statements were to garner support, not to actually implement. If that is the case, then the minorities may have something to be pleased about.

Minorities make up around 37 percent of the total population of the US, which shows that at least the pre-Donald Trump US has been accepting of all nationalities. They cannot be discounted, and the thought that they don’t matter is incorrect. In fact, some of the most important people in the countries belong to ethnic minorities. To learn more about the importance of ethnic groups, you can visit the 7 Most Educated Ethnic Groups in America. To determine the 10 largest ethnic groups and nationalities in America, we considered the statistic provided by two surveys carried out by the US Census Bureau. It’s important to note that ethnicity and race are separate things, and this is reflected in the rankings. Ethnicity is how one self-identifies, which is how the surveys got their results.

Our findings showed us the following:

10. Scottish

Percentage of population: 1.56

We are starting our list of largest ethnic groups and nationalities in America with Scottish people that started migrating to America back in the 1700s as a consequence of the battle of Culloden in which the structures of the Clan were broken. The Scots decided to move and searched for a place where they could lead a better life, eventually settling in America, where they are mainly located in Virginia and South Carolina.

9. French

Percentage of population: 2.36

The French Americans, while a large part of the population of the United States, do not have a significantly unique identity, mainly due to the fact that they have assimilated easily. The French are one of the oldest nationalities to reside in the United States, where many arrived even before the founding of the country. With a high birth rate, coupled with the French zest for romance, the population jumped at a high rate.

8. Polish

Percentage of population: 2.7

One of the largest ethnic groups and nationalities in America, the Poles, also the largest Slavic ethnic group located in the United States, and first arrived in the country in the late 1500s, well before its formation. Poles even led armies in the Revolutionary Wars and they are regarded as heroes in this country.

7. Asian

Percentage of population: 4.89

Asians make up a large population of the country and it includes Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese and Indians, among other populations. While Asians generally migrated to the country in the 18th century, the laws were made so strict in the 1800s and early 1900s that few were eligible for immigration. When the laws were relaxed in the 1950s, the Asian population again started moving to the country and is now the fastest growing national or ethnic population in the US.

6. Italian

Percentage of population: 4.95

You probably have thought that this nationality is high on our list of largest ethnic groups and nationalities in America. However Italian Americans are very popular and have had a unique identity established, so much so that even stereotypes have been created in pop culture. Consistent immigration occurred from the 1820s until 2004. Most of the population in the US is from the Sicily, which was an impoverished part of Italy struggling with poverty and unfair ruling. Italian-Americans are said to have strong ties to both church and family, and this information was used to attempt to create an accurate portrayal of Italian-Americans in the classic movie, The Godfather. Don Vito Corleone in the movie was also from Sicily.

5. Americans

Percentage of population: 6.38

Yes, its ironic but Americans are only the 5th  out of 10 largest ethnic groups and nationalities in America. These refer to people who simply identify as Americans and nothing else. They are said to descend from colonists in pre-revolution American colonies. Americans dominated both the culture as well as the government, with many presidents coming from this line. It hasn’t been easy trying to distinguish ethnic Americans, mainly because people often use hyphenated American names. The identity of Americans maintains a stronghold in the South, where most Americans reside.

10 Largest Ethnic Groups and Nationalities in America

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4. English

Percentage of population: 7.04

The Americans may have seceded from the British, but the English outnumber the ethnic Americans even today. Even though the percentage of Americans identifying themselves as having British origins has greatly dropped in the past few years, they are still number 4 in the 10 largest ethnic groups and nationalities in America. The impact of the British cannot be understated. This can be seen by the fact that around 8 out of 10 surnames in the United States actually have a British origin.

3. Irish

Percentage of population: 9.58

The Irish Americans have a long history and association with America. The number of Irish-Americans is around 30 million, around three times more than the Irish residing on the actual island of Ireland. Around 250,000 migrants moved to America in the midst of the colonial era. The late 1800s saw more than half a million Irish move to the United States, which was the greatest Irish migration to the US in history.

2. Black or African Americans

Percentage of population: 12.57

While their racial ties are to the Black tribes in Africa, African Americans now make up a significant portion of the American population. This increase in numbers has allowed them to raise their voice against the injustices they have experiences. African Americans have had a long, cruel history in the US, having initially been brought as slaves before slavery was finally declared illegal. Even then, equal rights were but a dream, though now officially blacks have the same rights as anyone else in the United States.

10 Largest Ethnic Groups and Nationalities in America

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1. Germans

Percentage of population: 13.27

Germans have taken to America like fish to water. With German Americans accounting for a third of all ethnic Germans, it is no surprise that they top the list of 10 largest ethnic groups and nationalities in America.

The Germans moved from Europe to the United States after facing oppression on the basis of religion or even politics. Furthermore, farmers also moved to the US after being allured by the land available, where they thought their efforts would earn a greater reward.

Most of the German immigrants have assimilated with the population, to the point that Germans and Americans are more or less indistinguishable. Now, only 5 percent of German Americans even speak their mother tongue. While others may decry them for losing their tradition and culture, when you move to a new country, you need to adapt to their way of living instead of trying to force your methods, and in this respect, the Germans have greatly succeeded.