Talk:Race and ethnicity in the United States

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Map Legend[edit]

Many of the census maps don't have legends. This can be incredibly misleading and should be fixed. I'll do it myself if I get a chance, but that may take a while. If someone has these maps and could just upload a legend, that would be great.

If a map shades a lot of counties darkly, it might look like there are tons of people of that ancestry, but without a leged there is no way to tell--"darkly" might mean 1% or 90%. That's why legends exist. You can see that by comparing the Scottish map with the Asian one. (Also, as noted above, comparing a continent vs. a country is not cool and also really misleading.) The Scottish map is really red, with a lot of counties shaded darkly, but the legend shows that those counties have a few percent of people of Scottish ancestry. In the Asian map, some of the light purple counties are upwards of 80% Asian. So the Asian map makes it look like there are no people of Asian descent, but in fact they have really high numbers in some counties. The overall effect is that Asians are almost erased, and Scots are over-represented, when the two (very different) maps are compared. (Also, this issue is separate from the under-reporting of people of Scottish ancestry, since the map issue is about representing the existing data as accurately as possible. It's a second, and also important, issue to discuss the quality of the census data.)

British American excludes the Irish[edit]

Why are the Irish erroneously counted seperately from the other British peoples when the great majority of Irish emigration occured when Ireland as a whole was British and part of the United Kingdom? The Irish were, and arguably still are, just as 'British' as are the Scots, English and Welsh and wikipedia should not be held ransom to the political fashions/Nationlistic POV which flatly contradict history. (talk) 15:59, 12 June 2009 (UTC) Why is there only reference to England in the article when presumably they are refering to Britain? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:53, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

Why so many Germans?[edit]

Has there ever been mass German migrations into the United States? It seems like a very high percentage. I'd expect English ancestry to be higher. (talk) 18:02, 26 September 2011 (UTC) Yes, there has been a massive German immigration into the U.S. from the XVII to the XX Centuries. But in my opinion it is true that the English ancestry is at least as high as the German. The difference is that a great part of those of "English" ancestry just call themselves "American". British (English, Scot, Welsh, Irish) ancestry would be more appropiate. Also in Argentina there was a large Italian immigration and now there are more people who considers themelves of Italian ancestry because those of Spanish ancestry are just called "Argentines" (Criollos) with some exceptions of XIX and XX cetury immigrants (Galicia, Asturias regions) who still remember their past.-- (talk) 06:03, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

I have recently added a paragraph explaining the serious under-count of English and British-Americans and that they are still by far the largest ethnic group; however how German-American have suddenly self-reported in such huge numbers is bizarre as they only make up 5.8% of the population according to the latest dna surveys. Twobells (talk) 22:51, 12 July 2014 (UTC)

scottish and scotch-irish problem[edit]

As I understand it the actual numbers of Americans descendants from Scottish and Scotch-Irish immigrants to the US is always under-represented in the census because these groups have tended to assimilate to such an extent that they have lost affiliation with, or even knowledge of, their ancestral country of origin. Areas of formidable Scottish and Scotch-Irish settlement are also areas where many claim only to be simply 'Americans.' Scholars give the reason that, owing to their Protestantism, they were more easily able to blend into mainstream Anglo-American culture than, say, Irish Catholics, Italians, etc.

Also, many who today claim Irish ancestry are in fact descendant from Scotch-Irish, or Anglo-Irish (i.e. protestant) immigrants.

The majority of the more than 300 million people currently living in the United States consists of White Americans, who trace their ancestry to the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa.[edit]

North Africans and Middle Easteners are counted as white? This is novel. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:03, 7 February 2014 (UTC)

This is indeed less than intuitive. Apparently it is indeed a "novel" concept, introduced for the 2010 census. Some background on this would be nice. Perhaps they felt 1 million was too small to bother introducing a separate category. Clearly, this isn't going to be the last word, as the Middle Eastern American is one of the most rapidly growing. --dab (𒁳) 09:28, 1 May 2014 (UTC)

See Gualtieri's book, "Between Arab and White". Basically, in the early 1900s, only "whites" could become US citizens, so the early Arab Americans argued in court that they were white, in order to have the chance to have political rights. After 9/11, as Arab Americans are sometimes called out or targeted based on how they look, and identified by others as non-white, many have begun to change (or have grown up with) a different racial identity than white. But as of 2000 the US census still codes Arab Americans as white.

Number of African Americans[edit]

Something cannot be right here, for 2000, we report 25 million and for 2010, we report 41 million. What? 16 million African Americans appeared out of nowhere within a decade? Does anyone know what is going on here? --dab (𒁳) 09:23, 1 May 2014 (UTC)

so, the African American article reports

2000 34.6 million
2010 38.9 million

so apparently both figures are off by millions. This is terrible, perhaps somebody who knows what they are doing can fix it? Also, even with these figures I ask myself where did 4.3 million come from in just ten years? Natural population growth seems unlikely, especially in a purely self-reported category. Does this reflect that the category "mixed race" has again become less popular during the 2000s? Any other ideas? --dab (𒁳) 09:40, 1 May 2014 (UTC)

Jewish Americans=[edit]

Where are more than 5 mln Jewish Americans? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:38, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Uhhh mass immigration from Europe in the early and mid 20th century? Sam Dufus (talk) 20:16, 21 December 2014 (UTC)

Maps are disingenuous[edit]

The maps at the top of the ancestry section are disingenuous. Why compare descendants from a continent (e.g. Africa) to those from a country (e.g. Germany)? We should either compare countries (e.g. Germany to Guinea) or countries (e.g. Europe to Africa). Anything else skews the results. (talk) 14:25, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

Weird Unsourced Statements[edit]

Under White Americans this statement appears "Other 'white' Americans include people of Iranian, Jewish, Afghan, Turkish, Armenian, Romanian, Dutch/Flemish, Lithuanian, Latvian, Polish, Austrian, Luxembourgian, former Yugoslav, Greek, Hungarian, Azerbaijani, Portuguese, Czech, Slovak, Albanian, Australian, and New Zealander."

Uhh I understand that it's trying to clarify that white in this context doesn't just mean western Europe, but also includes places like the middle east.

But for one this was already clarified in the top of the paragraph in a much clearer way. Two is that nowhere else is the word "white" in quotes but there, which gives it a weird vibe. Three is that though it seems specific, all it does is confuse, as it is a incomplete listing of counties that are consider ethnically "white" (I use the word white in quotes because I, personally, consider race to be a cultural construct, but I sure as hell am not going to do that in the article.)Which is realated to the point of that the contries it includes seems to be completely random, like okay Afghan, alright I didn't know that was counted as "white" interesting, but Dutch? Like have you guys ever met a dutch person? They are the whitest motherfuckers alive. I really don't ANYONE was wondering "Hmm what race is my tall, blonde, blue-eyed, who's pale skin is the very essence of the word white, and I wonder if her West Germanic Language is a creole of a Bantu or something?" Four, no source. So just kinda seems like this person thought of a list of Denonyms that sound vaguely foreign and non-white and said "yeah these people are white betcha didn't know that" So I'm removeing it. As well as any other places "White" is inappropriately in qoutes. Sam Dufus (talk) 20:16, 21 December 2014 (UTC)