White Americans

White Americans are Americans who are descendants from any of the white racial groups of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa or in census statistics, those who self-report as white based on having majority-white ancestry. White Americans (including White Hispanics) constitute the historical and current majority of the people living in the United States, with 72% of the population in the 2010 United States Census. Non-Hispanic whites totaled about 197,285,202 or 61% of the U.S. population.[3][4] European Americans are the largest ethnic group of White Americans and constitute the historical population of the United States since the nation's founding.

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

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

White Americans
Total population
Increase223,553,265 (2010)[1]
72% of the total U.S. population
Increase197,285,202 (Non-Hispanic: 2017)[2]
61% of the total U.S. population
Regions with significant populations
All areas of the United States

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

Historical and present definitions

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

U.S. Census definition

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

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

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

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

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

Abraham Lincoln O-77 matte collodion print
President Abraham Lincoln was descended from Samuel Lincoln and was of English and Welsh ancestry.
Actress Raquel Welch of Spanish (via Bolivia) and English ancestry back to the Mayflower.[20]

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

Additionally, people who reported Muslim (or a sect of Islam such as Shi'ite or Sunni), Jewish, Zoroastrian, or Caucasian as their "race" in the "Some other race" section, without noting a country of origin, are automatically tallied as White.[21] The US Census considers the write-in response of "Caucasian" or "Aryan" to be a synonym for White in their ancestry code listing.[22]

Social definition

In the contemporary United States, essentially anyone of European descent is considered White. However, many of the non-European ethnic groups classified as White by the U.S. Census, such as Arab Americans, Jewish Americans, and Hispanics or Latinos may not identify as, and may not be perceived to be, White.[23][24][25][26][27][28]

The definition of White has changed significantly over the course of American history. Among Europeans, those not considered White at some point in American history include Italians, Greeks, Spaniards, Irish, Swedes, Finns, and Russians.[28][29][30] Early on in the United States, membership in the white race was generally limited to those of British, Germanic, or Nordic ancestry.[31]

David R. Roediger argues that the construction of the white race in the United States was an effort to mentally distance slave owners from slaves.[32] The process of officially being defined as white by law often came about in court disputes over pursuit of citizenship.[33]

Critical race theory definition

Critical race theory developed in the 1970s and 1980s, influenced by the language of critical legal studies, which challenged concepts such as objective truth, rationality and judicial neutrality, and by critical theory.[34] Academics and activists disillusioned with the outcomes of the Civil Rights Movement pointed out that though African Americans supposedly enjoyed legal equality, white Americans continued to hold disproportionate power and still had superior living standards.[35] Liberal ideas such as meritocracy and equal opportunity, they argued, hid and reinforced deep structural inequalities and thus serves the interests of a white elite.[36] Critical race theorists see racism as embedded in public attitudes and institutions, and highlight institutional racism and unconscious biases.[37] Legal scholar Derrick Bell advanced the interest convergence principle, which suggests that whites support minority rights only when doing so is also in their self-interest.[38][39]

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

Yet, according to Seidman, Whites are most commonly unaware of their privilege and the manner in which their culture has always been dominant in the US, as they do not identify as members of a specific racial group but rather incorrectly perceive their views and culture as "raceless", when in fact it is ethno-national (ethnic/cultural) specific, with a racial base component.[40]

Demographic information

Self-identified as White 1790–2010
Year Population % of
the U.S.
% change
(10 yr)
Year Population % of
the U.S.
% change
(10 yr)
1790 3,172,006 80.7 Steady 1910 81,731,957 88.9 Increase22.3%
1800 4,306,446 81.1 Increase35.8% 1920 94,820,915 89.7 Increase16.0%
1810 5,862,073 81.0 Increase36.1% 1930 110,286,740 89.8 Increase16.3%
1820 7,866,797 81.6 Increase34.2% 1940 118,214,870 89.8 (highest) Increase7.2%
1830 10,532,060 81.9 Increase33.9% 1950 134,942,028 89.5 Increase14.1%
1840 14,189,705 83.2 Increase34.7% 1960 158,831,732 88.6 Increase17.7%
1850 19,553,068 84.3 Increase37.8% 1970 178,119,221 87.5 Increase12.1%
1860 26,922,537 85.6 Increase37.7% 1980 188,371,622 83.1 Increase5.8%
1870 33,589,377 87.1 Increase24.8% 1990 199,686,070 80.3 Increase6.0%
1880 43,402,970 86.5 Increase29.2% 2000 211,460,626 75.1 Increase5.9%
1890 55,101,258 87.5 Increase26.9% 2010 223,553,265 72.4 (lowest) Increase5.7%
1900 66,809,196 87.9 Increase21.2% 2020 TBD TBD TBD
Source: United States census bureau.[41][42][43][44]

White Americans constitute the majority of the 308 million people living in the United States, with 72% of the population in the 2010 United States Census.[a][1][46]

The largest ethnic groups (by ancestry) among White Americans were Germans, followed by Irish and English.[47] In the 1980 census 49,598,035 Americans cited that they were of English ancestry, making them 26% of the country and the largest group at the time, and in fact larger than the population of England itself.[48] Slightly more than half of these people would cite that they were of "American" ancestry on subsequent censuses and virtually everywhere that "American" ancestry predominates on the 2000 census corresponds to places where "English" predominated on the 1980 census.[49][50]

White Americans are projected to remain the majority, though with their percentage decreasing to 72% of the total population by 2050. However, projections state that non-Hispanic Whites of that group will become less than 50% of the population by 2042 because Non-Hispanic Whites have the lowest fertility rate of any major racial group in the United States,[51] mass-immigration of other ethnic groups with higher birth rates, and because of intermarriage with non-whites.

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

Geographic distribution

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

Overall the highest concentration of those referred to as "Non-Hispanic Whites" by the Census Bureau was found in the Midwest, New England, the Rocky Mountain states, Kentucky, and West Virginia. The lowest concentration of whites was found in southern and mid-Atlantic states.[6][52][53]

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

States with the highest percentages of White Americans, as of 2007:[54]

States with the highest percentages of non-Hispanic Whites, as of 2007:[55]

Income and educational attainment

Race Income

Race Income

White Americans have the second highest median household income and personal income levels in the nation, by cultural background. The median income per household member was also the highest, since White Americans had the smallest households of any racial demographic in the nation. In 2006, the median individual income of a White American age 25 or older was $33,030, with those who were full-time employed, and of age 25 to 64, earning $34,432. Since 42% of all households had two income earners, the median household income was considerably higher than the median personal income, which was $48,554 in 2005. Jewish Americans rank first in household income, personal income, and educational attainment among White Americans.[56] In 2005, White households had a median household income of $48,977, which is 10% above the national median of $44,389. Among Cuban Americans, with 86% classified as White, those born in the US have a higher median income and educational attainment level than most other Whites.[57]

The poverty rates for White Americans are the second-lowest of any racial group, with 11% of white individuals living below the poverty line, 3% lower than the national average.[58] However, due to Whites' majority status, 48% of Americans living in poverty are white.[59]

White Americans' educational attainment is the second-highest in the country, after Asian Americans'. Overall, nearly one-third of White Americans had a Bachelor's degree, with the educational attainment for Whites being higher for those born outside the United States: 38% of foreign born, and 30% of native born Whites had a college degree. Both figures are above the national average of 27%.[60]

Gender income inequality was the greatest among Whites, with White men outearning White women by 48%. Census Bureau data for 2005 reveals that the median income of White females was lower than that of males of all races. In 2005, the median income for White American females was only slightly higher than that of African American females.[61]

White Americans are more likely to live in suburbs and small cities than their black counterparts.[62]

Population by state

White American by state in the USA in 2010
   more than 90%

2000 and 2010 censuses

White American population as of 2000 and 2010 censuses[63]
State Pop. 2000 % 2000 Pop. 2010 % 2010 % growth
Alabama Alabama 3,162,808 71.1% 3,275,394 68.5% +3.6%
Alaska Alaska 434,534 69.3% 473,576 66.7% +9.0%
Arizona Arizona 3,873,611 75.5% 4,667,121 73.0% +20.5%
Arkansas Arkansas 2,138,598 80.0% 2,245,229 77.0% +5.0%
California California 20,170,059 79.7% 21,453,934 74.0% +6.4%
Colorado Colorado 3,560,005 82.8% 4,089,202 81.3% +14.9%
Connecticut Connecticut 2,780,355 81.6% 2,772,410 77.6% -0.3%
Delaware Delaware 584,773 74.6% 618,617 68.9% +5.8%
Washington, D.C. District of Columbia 176,101 30.8% 231,471 38.5% +31.4%
Florida Florida 12,465,029 78.0% 14,109,162 75.0% +13.2%
Georgia (U.S. state) Georgia 5,327,281 65.1% 5,787,440 59.7% +8.6%
Hawaii Hawaii 294,102 24.3% 336,599 24.7% +14.4%
Idaho Idaho 1,177,304 91.0% 1,396,487 89.1% +18.6%
Illinois Illinois 9,125,471 73.5% 9,177,877 71.5% +0.6%
Indiana Indiana 5,320,022 87.5% 5,467,906 84.3% +2.8%
Iowa Iowa 2,748,640 93.9% 2,781,561 91.3% +1.2%
Kansas Kansas 2,313,944 86.1% 2,391,044 83.8% +3.3%
Kentucky Kentucky 3,640,889 90.1% 3,809,537 87.8% +4.6%
Louisiana Louisiana 2,856,161 63.9% 2,836,192 62.6% -0.7%
Maine Maine 1,236,014 96.9% 1,264,971 95.2% +2.3%
Maryland Maryland 3,391,308 64.0% 3,359,284 58.2% -0.9%
Massachusetts Massachusetts 5,367,286 84.5% 5,265,236 80.4% -1.9%
Michigan Michigan 7,966,053 80.2% 7,803,120 78.9% -2.0%
Minnesota Minnesota 4,400,282 89.4% 4,524,062 85.3% +2.8%
Mississippi Mississippi 1,746,099 61.4% 1,754,684 59.1% +0.5%
Missouri Missouri 4,748,083 84.9% 4,958,770 82.8% +4.4%
Montana Montana 817,229 90.6% 884,961 89.4% +8.3%
Nebraska Nebraska 1,533,261 89.6% 1,572,838 86.1% +2.6%
Nevada Nevada 1,501,886 75.2% 1,786,688 66.2% +19.0%
New Hampshire New Hampshire 1,186,851 96.0% 1,236,050 92.3% +4.1%
New Jersey New Jersey 6,104,705 72.6% 6,029,248 68.6% -1.2%
New Mexico New Mexico 1,214,253 66.8% 1,407,876 68.4% +15.9%
New York (state) New York 12,893,689 67.9% 12,740,974 65.7% -1.2%
North Carolina North Carolina 5,804,656 72.1% 6,528,950 68.5% +12.5%
North Dakota North Dakota 593,181 92.4% 605,449 90.0% +2.1%
Ohio Ohio 9,645,453 85.0% 9,539,437 82.7% -1.1%
Oklahoma Oklahoma 2,628,434 76.2% 2,706,845 72.2% +3.0%
Oregon Oregon 2,961,623 86.6% 3,204,614 83.6% +8.2%
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania 10,484,203 85.4% 10,406,288 81.9% -0.7%
Rhode Island Rhode Island 891,191 85.0% 856,869 81.4% -3.8%
South Carolina South Carolina 2,695,560 67.2% 3,060,000 66.2% +13.5%
South Dakota South Dakota 669,404 88.7% 699,392 85.9% +4.5%
Tennessee Tennessee 4,563,310 80.2% 4,921,948 77.6% +7.9%
Texas Texas 14,799,505 71.0% 17,701,552 70.4% +19.6%
Utah Utah 1,992,975 89.2% 2,379,560 86.1% +19.4%
Vermont Vermont 589,208 96.8% 596,292 95.3% +1.2%
Virginia Virginia 5,120,110 72.3% 5,486,852 68.6% +7.2%
Washington (state) Washington 4,821,823 81.8% 5,196,362 77.3% +7.8%
West Virginia West Virginia 1,718,777 95.0% 1,739,988 93.9% +1.2%
Wisconsin Wisconsin 4,769,857 88.9% 4,902,067 86.2% +2.8%
Wyoming Wyoming 454,670 92.1% 511,279 90.7% +12.4%
United States United States of America 211,460,626 75.1% 223,553,265 72.4% +5.7%

2016 and 2017 estimates

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


From their earliest presence in North America, White Americans have contributed literature, art, cinema, religion, agricultural skills, foods, science and technology, fashion and clothing styles, music, language, legal system, political system, and social and technological innovation to American culture. White American culture derived its earliest influences from English, Scottish, Welsh, and Irish settlers and is quantitatively the largest proportion of American culture.[65] The overall American culture reflects White American culture. The culture has been developing since long before the United States formed a separate country. Much of American culture shows influences from English culture. Colonial ties to Great Britain spread the English language, legal system and other cultural attributes.[66]

Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America

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

In his 1989 book Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America, David Hackett Fischer explores the details of the folkways of four groups of settlers from the British Isles that moved to the American colonies during the 17th and 18th centuries from distinct regions of Britain and Ireland. His thesis is that the culture of each group persisted (albeit in modified form), providing the basis for the modern United States.[67]

According to Fischer, the foundation of America's four regional cultures was formed from four mass migrations from four regions of the British Isles by four distinct ethno-cultural groups. New England's formative period occurred between 1629 and 1640 when Puritans, mostly from East Anglia, settled there, thus forming the basis for the New England regional culture.[68] The next mass migration was of southern English Cavaliers and their working class English servants to the Chesapeake Bay region between 1640 and 1675. This spawned the creation of the American Southern culture.[69]

Then, between 1675 and 1725, thousands of Irish, Cornish, English and Welsh Quakers plus many Germans sympathetic to Quaker ideas, led by William Penn, settled the Delaware Valley. This resulted in the formation of the General American culture, although, according to Fischer, this is really a "regional culture", even if it does today encompass most of the U.S. from the mid-Atlantic states to the Pacific Coast.[70] Finally, a huge number of settlers from the borderlands between England and Scotland, and from northern Ireland, migrated to Appalachia between 1717 and 1775. This resulted in the formation of the Upland South regional culture, which has since expanded to the west to West Texas and parts of the American Southwest.[71]

In his book, Fischer brings up several points. He states that the U.S. is not a country with one "general" culture and several "regional" culture, as is commonly thought. Rather, there are only four regional cultures as described above, and understanding this helps one to more clearly understand American history as well as contemporary American life. Fischer asserts that it is not only important to understand where different groups came from, but when. All population groups have, at different times, their own unique set of beliefs, fears, hopes and prejudices. When different groups moved to America and brought certain beliefs and values with them, these ideas became, according to Fischer, more or less frozen in time, even if they eventually changed in their original place of origin.[72]


Admixture in Non-Hispanic Whites

Some White Americans have varying amounts of American Indian and Sub-Saharan African ancestry. In a recent study, Gonçalves et al. 2007 reported Sub-Saharan and Amerindian mtDNA lineages at a frequency of 3.1% (respectively 0.9% and 2.2%) in American Caucasians (in the USA, "Caucasian" includes people from North Africa and Western Asia as well as Europeans).[73] Recent research on Y-chromosomes and mtDNA detected no African admixture in European-Americans. The sample included 628 European-American Y-chromosomes and mtDNA from 922 European-Americans[74]

DNA analysis on White Americans by geneticist Mark D. Shriver showed an average of 0.7% Sub-Saharan African admixture and 3.2% Native American admixture.[75] The same author, in another study, claimed that about 30% of all White Americans, approximately 66 million people, have a median of 2.3% of Black African admixture.[76] Shriver discovered his ancestry is 10 percent African, and Shriver's partner in DNA Print Genomics, J.T. Frudacas, contradicted him two years later stating "Five percent of European Americans exhibit some detectable level of African ancestry."[77]

White Americans (European Americans) on average are: 98.6 percent European, 0.19 percent African and 0.18 percent Native American. Inferred British/Irish ancestry is found in European Americans from all states at mean proportions of above 20%, and represents a majority of ancestry, above 50% mean proportion, in states such as Mississippi, Arkansas, and Tennessee. Scandinavian ancestry in European Americans is highly localized; most states show only trace mean proportions of Scandinavian ancestry, while it comprises a significant proportion, upwards of 10%, of ancestry in European Americans from Minnesota and the Dakotas.[78]

Admixture in Hispanic Whites

Although most Hispanic Americans self-identify in the white racial category of the US Census and/or other official government data collecting, an overwhelming majority of them would in their personal lives consider themselves as ethnically mestizo (of mixed European and Amerindian background) or mulatto (of mixed European and sub-Saharan African background).[79]

Thus, only a minority of those Hispanic Americans who self-identified in their personal lives as mestizo or mulatto actually selected "multiracial" as their race on the U.S. census, with 9 out of every 10 of them preferring to pick white, one of the five single race categories available on the U.S. census.[79]

In contrast to non-Hispanic European Americans, whose average European ancestry ranges about 98.6%,[78][80] genetic research has found that the average European admixture among self-identified Hispanic White Americans is 73% European, while the average European admixture for Hispanic Americans overall (regardless of their self-identified race) is 65.1% European admixture.

See also


  1. ^ Of the foreign-born population from Europe (4,817 thousand), in 2010, 62% were naturalized.[45]


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External links

American ancestry

American ancestry refers to people in the United States who self-identify their ancestoral origin or descent as "American", rather than the more common officially recognized racial and ethnic groups that make up the bulk of the American people. The majority of these respondents are White Americans, who however no longer self-identify with their original ethnic ancestral origins or simply use this response as a political statement. This response is attributed to a multitude of or generational distance from ancestral lineages. Although U.S. Census data indicates "American ancestry" is commonly self-reported in the Deep South and Upland South, the vast majority of Americans and expatriates do not equate their nationality with ancestry, race or ethnicity, but with citizenship and allegiance.

Angry white male

"Angry white male" is a pejorative expression for white males holding conservative to reactionary views in the context of U.S. politics, typically characterized by "opposition to liberal anti-discriminatory policies" and beliefs. In particular, angry white males stereotypically oppose affirmative action policies and feminism.

Cracker (term)

Cracker, sometimes white cracker or cracka, is a racial term for white people, used especially for poor rural whites in the Southern United States. It is also at times used indiscriminately and pejoratively against any person of white background. However, it is sometimes used in a neutral or positive context or self-descriptively with pride in reference to a native of Florida or Georgia (see Florida cracker and Georgia cracker).


"Hillbilly" is a term (often derogatory) for people who dwell in rural, mountainous areas in the United States, primarily in Appalachia and the Ozarks.

The first known instances of "hillbilly" in print were in The Railroad Trainmen's Journal (vol. ix, July 1892), an 1899 photograph of men and women in West Virginia labeled "Camp Hillbilly", and a 1900 New York Journal article containing the definition: "a Hill-Billie is a free and untrammeled white citizen of Tennessee, who lives in the hills, has no means to speak of, dresses as he can, talks as he pleases, drinks whiskey when he gets it, and fires off his revolver as the fancy takes him". The stereotype is twofold in that it incorporates both positive and negative traits: "Hillbillies" are often considered independent and self-reliant individuals who resist the modernization of society, but at the same time they are also defined as backward and violent. Scholars argue this duality is reflective of the split ethnic identities in white America.

Nationwide opinion polling for the 2016 United States presidential election by demographic

This page lists nationwide public opinion polling among demographics that have been conducted relating to the 2016 United States presidential election between prospective Democratic and Republican candidates. The two major party candidates were chosen at the Democratic National Convention and Republican National Convention in July 2016. The general election occurred on Tuesday, November 8, 2016.

Non-Hispanic whites

Non-Hispanic whites or whites not of Hispanic or Latino origin (commonly referred to as Anglo-Americans), are European Americans who are not of Hispanic or Latino origin/ethnicity, as defined by the United States Census Bureau. Hispanics and Latinos can be of any race, as the United States Census Bureau regards the Hispanic ethnicity as independent of race. Non-Hispanic White Americans are a subcategory of White Americans, the other being White Hispanic and Latino Americans.

Americans of European ancestry represent ethnic groups that combined account for more than half of the share of the Non-Hispanic white population are the Germans, the Irish, and English (additionally Americans).

In the United States, this population was first derived from English (and, to a lesser degree, French) settlement of the Americas, as well as settlement by other Europeans such as the Germans and Dutch that began in the 17th century (see History of the United States). Continued growth since the early 19th century is attributed to sustained very high birth rates alongside relatively low death rates among settlers and natives alike as well as periodically massive immigration from European countries, especially Germany, Ireland, England, Italy, Greece, Sweden and Norway, as well as Poland, Russia, and many more countries. It typically refers to an English-speaking American in distinction to Spanish speakers in Mexico and the Southwestern states; German speakers (Amish) in North Dakota, Ohio, and Pennsylvania; French speakers in Quebec, New England, and Louisiana; and traditionally Russian and Yiddish-speaking American Jews in New York.In 2011, for the first time in U.S. history, non-Hispanic whites accounted for under half of the births in the country, with 49.6% of total births. Over 50% of children under age one are minorities. Between 2015 and 2016 for the first time in American history the population of non-Hispanic whites declined by 0.005% and then declined by 0.016% between 2016 and 2017 to a historic low of 60.7%. Between 2042 and 2045, the United States is projected to be a majority minority nation and by 2060 the white population will decline by roughly 16.1 million.

North Central Florida

North Central Florida is a region of the Southern U.S. state of Florida which comprises the north-central part of the state and encompasses the Gainesville Metropolitan Statistical Area (Alachua and Gilchrist counties), and the North Florida counties of Bradford, Columbia, Hamilton, Lafayette, Madison, Marion, Putnam, Suwannee and Union. The region's largest city is Gainesville, home of the University of Florida, while the largest metropolitan area is the Ocala Metropolitan Area. Other principal cities in the region include Lake City, Live Oak, and Palatka. As of 2010, the region had a population of 873,189.

Like the Florida Panhandle, this region is often recognized as part of the Deep South, as compared to the rest of the state. The majority of white Americans in North Central Florida are traditionally of relatively unmixed English ancestry.The landscape and climate of North Central Florida are distinct from the sub-tropical environment most associated with Florida. The landscape of North Central Florida has gently rolling hills dominated by magnolia trees and large Southern live oak hammocks draped with Spanish moss.

The region also has large expanses of pine tree forests. The climate is quite mild throughout the year but has very distinct winters with temperatures dropping below freezing quite often.


Preppy (also spelled preppie) or prep (all abbreviations of the word preparatory) is a subculture in the United States associated with old private Northeastern university-preparatory schools. The terms are used to denote a person seen as characteristic of a student or alumnus of these schools. Characteristics of preps in the past include a particular subcultural speech, vocabulary, dress, mannerisms, etiquette, reflective of an upper-class upbringing.

Race and ethnicity in the United States

Race and ethnicity in the United States is a complex topic both because the United States of America has a racially and ethnically diverse population and because the country has a heavily racist history involving slavery and anti-miscegenation laws. At the federal level, race and ethnicity have been categorized separately.

The most recent United States Census officially recognized five racial categories (White American, Black or African American, Native American and Alaska Native, Asian American, and Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander) as well as people of two or more races. The Census Bureau also classified respondents as "Hispanic or Latino" or "Not Hispanic or Latino", identifying Hispanic and Latino as an ethnicity (not a race), which comprises the largest minority group in the nation. The United States Supreme Court unanimously held that "race" is not limited to Census designations on the "race question" but extends to all ethnicities, and thus can include Jewish (which has the unique status as both an ethnicity and a religion), Arab, Hungarian, Laotian, Zulu, etc. The Census also asked an "Ancestry Question," which covers the broader notion of ethnicity, in the 2000 Census long form and the American Community Survey; the question will return in the 2020 Census.As of July 2016, White Americans are the racial majority. African Americans are the largest racial minority, comprising an estimated 12.7% of the population. Hispanic and Latino Americans are the largest ethnic minority, comprising an estimated 17.8% of the population. The White, non-Hispanic or Latino population make up 61.3% of the nation's total, with the total White population (including White Hispanics and Latinos) being 76.9%.White Americans are the majority in every census-defined region (Northeast, Midwest, South, West) and in every state except Hawaii, but contribute the highest proportion of the population in the Midwestern United States, at 85% per the Population Estimates Program (PEP) or 83% per the American Community Survey (ACS). Non-Hispanic Whites make up 79% of the Midwest's population, the highest ratio of any region. However, 35% of White Americans (whether all White Americans or non-Hispanic/Latino only) live in the South, the most of any region.Currently, 55% of the African American population lives in the South. A plurality or majority of the other official groups reside in the West. The latter region is home to 42% of Hispanic and Latino Americans, 46% of Asian Americans, 48% of American Indians and Alaska Natives, 68% of Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders, 37% of the "two or more races" population (Multiracial Americans), and 46% of those self-designated as "some other race".

Racial inequality in the United States

Racial inequality in the United States identifies the social advantages and disparities that affect different races within the United States. These can also be seen as a result of historic oppression, inequality of inheritance, or overall prejudice, especially against minority groups.


Redneck is a derogatory term chiefly but not exclusively applied to white Americans perceived to be crass and unsophisticated, closely associated with rural whites of the Southern United States. Its usage is similar in meaning to cracker (especially regarding Texas, Georgia, and Florida), hillbilly (especially regarding Appalachia and the Ozarks), and white trash (but without the last term's suggestions of immorality).By the 1970s, the term had become offensive slang, its meaning expanded to include racism, loutishness, and opposition to modern ways.Patrick Huber, in his monograph A Short History of Redneck: The Fashioning of a Southern White Masculine Identity, emphasized the theme of masculinity in the 20th-century expansion of the term, noting, "The redneck has been stereotyped in the media and popular culture as a poor, dirty, uneducated, and racist Southern white man."

Reverse racism

Reverse racism or reverse discrimination is a concept often associated with conservative social movements that portrays affirmative action and similar color-conscious programs for redressing racial inequality as a form of anti-white racism, whereby gains by racial minorities result in harms to the white majority.Belief in reverse racism is widespread in the United States; however, there is little to no empirical evidence that white Americans suffer systemic discrimination, Racial and ethnic minorities generally lack the power to damage the interests of whites, who remain the dominant group in the U.S. Claims of reverse racism tend to ignore such disparities in the exercise of power and authority, which scholars argue constitute an essential component of racism.Allegations of reverse racism by opponents of affirmative-action policies began to emerge prominently in the 1970s. While the U.S. dominates the debate over the issue, the concept of reverse racism has been used internationally to some extent wherever white supremacy has diminished, such as in post-apartheid South Africa. Allegations of reverse racism therefore form part of a racial backlash against gains by people of colour.

Stereotypes of white Americans

Stereotypes of white people in the United States are generalizations about the character and behavior of white Americans.

Swamp Yankee

"Swamp Yankee" is a colloquial pejorative for rural Yankees (northeastern Americans with English colonial ancestry). The term "Yankee" connotes urbane industriousness, whereas the term "Swamp Yankee" suggests a more countrified, stubborn, independent, and less-refined subtype.

White America (song)

"White America" is a political hip hop song by rapper Eminem released in 2002 from his fourth studio album, The Eminem Show. The song was also performed at the MTV Video Music Awards. It is the first full song on the album, and describes Eminem's rise to prominence and allegations from parents and politicians that he had influenced criminal behavior on young white Americans.

White Americans in California

White Californians are White Americans living in California. They currently make up 72.9% of the state's population. 38.0% of the population is non-Hispanic white.

As of 2015, California has the largest minority population in the United States. Non-Hispanic whites decreased from about 76.3 - 78% of the state's population in 1970 to 38.0% in 2015. It was estimated in 2015 that Hispanic and Latino Americans became more numerous than non-Latino White Americans for the first time. Since 2000 (the US Census), California has been known as the second state in US history (after Hawaii since its statehood in 1959) to have a non-white majority.

The largest named ancestries of white Californians are Mexican (25%), German (9%), Irish (7.7%), English (7.4%), Italian ( 5.8% ); there are 65 other ethnicities with sizable populations in California including Albanians, Australians, Canadians, Dutch, Portuguese, French and even White South Africans. Both Los Angeles and San Francisco have large numbers of residents with English, French, Italian, German, Palestinian, Iranian, Russian, Ukrainian, Armenian and Scandinavian ancestry.Being the largest state in population, California also has the largest population of White Americans in the U.S., totaling 21,453,934 residents as of the 2010 census, as well as the largest population of non-Hispanic whites, 17,029,126. However California has the third smallest percentage number of non-Hispanic whites at 57.2%, behind New Mexico and Hawaii.

White Hispanic and Latino Americans

In the United States, a White Hispanic is an American citizen or resident who is racially white and of Hispanic descent and/or speaks the Spanish language natively. The term white, itself an official U.S. racial category, refers to people "having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe".

Based on the definitions created by the Office of Management and Budget and the U.S. Census Bureau, the concepts of race and ethnicity are mutually independent, and respondents to the census and other Census Bureau surveys are asked to answer both questions. Hispanicity is independent and thus not the same as race, and constitutes an ethnicity category, as opposed to a racial category, the only one of which that is officially collated by the U.S. Census Bureau. For the Census Bureau, ethnicity distinguishes between those who report ancestral origins in Spain or Hispanic America (Hispanic and Latino Americans), and those who do not (non-Hispanic Americans). The U.S. Census Bureau asks each resident to report the "race or races with which they most closely identify."White Americans are therefore referenced as white Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites, the former consisting of white Americans who report Hispanophone identity (Spanish Hispanic Latin America), and the latter consisting of white Americans who do not report Hispanophone ancestry.

As of 2010, 50.5 million or 16.3% of Americans identified as Hispanic or Latino. Of those, 26.7 million, or 53%, also self-identified as white.

White and European people in Hawaii

White Americans in Hawaii, caucasians also known as Haole, are of European descent. They form 24.7% of the population according to the 2010 United States Census. There are around 294,102 White people in Hawaii. Including people with two or more races, The number of people with white ancestry are 476,162 or 39.3%, meaning that around 14.6% of the white population is mixed race.

White ethnic

White ethnic is a term used to refer to White Americans who are not Old Stock or White Anglo-Saxon Protestant. They consist of a number of distinct groups and make up approximately 9.4% of the United States population. The term usually refers to the descendants of immigrants from Southern, Central and Eastern Europe, Ireland, the Caucasus, and France/French-speaking Canada. In the 19th century, American industrial development caused millions of immigrants to emigrate from Europe to the United States. Many came to provide labor for the industrial growth of the Northeast and Midwest. A large number of Slavic, Magyar, Baltic, Celtic, and Mediterranean immigrants settled in the nation's growing cities. This immigration wave continued until 1924 when Congress enacted the Johnson-Reed Act, which restricted immigration as a whole, and from Southern and Eastern European countries in particular. Additionally, the onset of the Great Depression in the 1930s acted as a deterrent to further immigration to the United States from Europe.

Separated from the ruling class by blood, religion, and economic circumstances, white ethnics retained a strong and distinct sense of identity. During the early 20th century, many white ethnics were relegated to menial or unskilled labor. They were often subject to ethnic discrimination and xenophobia and were lampooned with stereotypes. In contrast to the mostly Protestant Anglo-Saxon majority, white ethnics tend to practice Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodox Christianity, Islam, or Judaism. These cultural and religious differences helped them retain a strong and separate identity from the rest of America.In the 1950s and 1960s, suburbanization caused many young ethnics to leave the city and settle in the nation's burgeoning suburbs with the hope of rising into a higher economic class. At the same time, white ethnics became more involved in American political life and began to challenge the Anglo-Saxon ruling class for greater political power and civil rights. The election of John F. Kennedy as President in 1960 was the first time that a white ethnic (Irish-Catholic) was elected President. However, it was not the first time that a white ethnic was nominated for the Presidency. In the 1960s and 1970s, several ethnic organizations were more vocal in promoting white ethnic culture.

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