Racial and ethnic demographics of the United States

Racial and ethnic demographics of the United States

legend|#0075ff|Germanlegend|#d93190|Puerto RicanThe United States is a diverse country racially and ethnically. [cite web |url=http://www.census.gov/population/pop-profile/2000/chap16.pdf |title=OUR DIVERSE POPULATION: Race and Hispanic Origin, 2000 |accessdate=2008-04-24 |format=PDF |publisher=United States Census Bureau] White Americans are the racial majority and are spread throughout the country; racial minorities, composing one fourth of the population, are concentrated in coastal and metropolitan areas. The Black American or African American population is concentrated in the South, and also spread throughout parts of the Northeast and Midwest. Black Americans make up the largest racial minority in the United States.

Of the total population, White Americans make up 76%, per the 2006 American Community Survey (ACS). As with all the racial groups, part of the White American population is of Hispanic descent: 68% are of non-Hispanic origins, and 8% are Hispanic (comprising approximately half of the Hispanic group's population). White Americans are the majority in every region, but attain their highest concentration in the Midwest, where they account for 84% of the population.cite web |url=http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/DTTable?_bm=y&-context=dt&-ds_name=ACS_2006_EST_G00_&-CONTEXT=dt&-mt_name=ACS_2006_EST_G2000_B02001&-tree_id=306&-redoLog=false&-currentselections=ACS_2006_EST_G2000_B02001&-currentselections=ACS_2006_EST_G2000_B02003&-currentselections=ACS_2006_EST_G2000_C02003&-geo_id=01000US&-geo_id=02000US1&-geo_id=02000US2&-geo_id=02000US3&-geo_id=02000US4&-search_results=01000US&-format=&-_lang=en |title=B02001. RACE - Universe: TOTAL POPULATION |work=2006 American Community Survey |accessdate=2008-01-30 |publisher=United States Census Bureau] Asian Americans are concentrated in the Western states; 47% of them reside there, mostly in California and Hawaii. Half of the American Indian population resides in the West; there were 4.1 million in 2000, including those of partial ancestry, cite web |url=http://www.census.gov/prod/2001pubs/cenbr01-1.pdf |title=Overview of Race and Hispanic Origin: 2000 |accessdate=2008-01-30 |last=Grieco |first=Elizabeth M |coauthors=Rachel C. Cassidy |format=PDF |publisher=United States Census Bureau] their highest population ever since the U.S. was founded in 1776. More than three quarters of the Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander population is found in the West, mostly in Hawaii and California. The Two or more races population resides mostly in the West and South, where a combined 69% of all multiracial Americans reside. Americans of "Some other race" — a catchall, non-standard category almost all of whose members are reclassified as white in official documents — are nearly all Hispanic or Latino in ancestral or national origin, and 44% lived in the West in 2006.

Hispanic and Latino Americans form a racially and ethnically diverse ancestral group, constituting the nation's largest collated ancestral minority. Hispanics and Latinos are most concentrated in the West, where they represent 27% of the population, corresponding to 43% of the group's population nationwide.cite web |url=http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/DTTable?_bm=y&-context=dt&-ds_name=ACS_2006_EST_G00_&-CONTEXT=dt&-mt_name=ACS_2006_EST_G2000_B03002&-tree_id=306&-redoLog=false&-geo_id=01000US&-geo_id=02000US1&-geo_id=02000US2&-geo_id=02000US3&-geo_id=02000US4&-search_results=ALL&-format=&-_lang=en |title=B03002. HISPANIC OR LATINO ORIGIN BY RACE - Universe: TOTAL POPULATION [regions] |work=2006 American Community Survey |accessdate=2008-01-29 |publisher=United States Census Bureau]

Racial categories

In the 2000 census, Americans self-described as belonging to these racial groups:
*White: those having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa
*Black or African American: those having origins in any of the black racial groups of Sub-Saharan Africa
*American Indian or Alaska Native, also called Native Americans: those having origins in any of the original peoples of North, Central and South America, and who maintain tribal affiliation or community attachment
*Asian, also called Asian American: those having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, and the Indian subcontinent; frequently specified as Chinese American, Korean American, Indian American, Filipino American, etc
*Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander: those having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands
*Some other race: respondents write in the race they consider themselves to be, if different from the foregoing categories. This category captures responses such as Mestizo, Creole, and Mulatto,cite web |url=http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/race/racefactcb.html |title=Racial and Ethnic Classifications Used in Census 2000 and Beyond |accessdate=2007-11-02 |publisher=United States Census Bureau] but among the write-in entries reported in the 2000 census were also South African, Moroccan, Belizean, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban and Wesort, mixed, interracial, and others. [cite web |url=http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/meta/long_68184.htm |title=Persons reporting some other race, percent, 2000 |accessdate=2008-05-05 |publisher=United States Census Bureau] This is not a standard OMB race category
* Two or more races, also known as multiracial: those who check off and/or write in more than one race. There is no actual option labelled "Two or more races" on census and other forms; instead, people who report more than one race are categorized together in subsequent processing. Any number, up to all six, of the foregoing racial categories can be reported by any respondent

Ethnicity: Hispanic and Latino Americans

The question on Hispanic or Latino origin is separate from the question on race. [cite web |url=http://www.census.gov/dmd/www/pdf/d61a.pdf |title=Short Form Questionnaire |accessdate=2008-05-05 |format=PDF |publisher=United States Census Bureau] Hispanic Latino Americans have origins in the Hispanophone countries of Latin America. Many respondents with Spain as their ancestral land also select this category, although they are not overtly included in the Government's definition.cite web |url=http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/fedreg/1997standards.html |title=Revisions to the Standards for the Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity |accessdate=2008-05-05 |publisher=Office of Management and Budget] Self-identifying as being Hispanic or Latino "and" not Hispanic or Latino was neither explicitly allowed nor explicitly prohibited. On the Race question, Hispanic and Latino Americans choose from among the same categories as all Americans: no separate racial category exists for Hispanic and Latino Americans, as they do not make up a separate race.cite web |url=http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/compraceho.html |title=U.S. Census Bureau Guidance on the Presentation and Comparison of Race and Hispanic Origin Data |accessdate=2007-04-06 |publisher=United States Census Bureau |quote=Race and Hispanic origin are two separate concepts in the federal statistical system. People who are Hispanic may be of any race. People in each race group may be either Hispanic or Not Hispanic. Each person has two attributes, their race (or races) and whether or not they are Hispanic.] Thus each racial category contains Non-Hispanic or Latino and Hispanic or Latino Americans. For example: the White race category contains Non-Hispanic Whites and Hispanic Whites (White Hispanics); the Black or African American category contains Non-Hispanic Blacks and Hispanic Blacks (Black Hispanics); and likewise for all the other categories. See the section on Hispanic and Latino Americans in this article.

Racial identity and categorization: pros and cons

There is a movement to eliminate the use of racial and ethnic categories and prohibit government collection of race-related information.Fact|date=April 2007 One aspect of this movement is the elimination of Affirmative Action. Results of this movement's efforts have been mixed. In California, for example, Proposition 209 was approved by the voters in 1996 and eliminated Affirmative Action - at least to the extent Affirmative Action amounted to a system of race-based preferences in California; but voters just as firmly rejected Proposition 54, which would have made California the first state barred from collecting or maintaining statistics about race and ethnicity.Fact|date=April 2007

The category "Asian American" originally included only East and Southeast Asian peoples. The category was broadened about 1940 to include South Asian groups (the peoples of the Indian Subcontinent, Ceylon the Maldives, and the Nicobar Islands). But the category does not include Southwest or West Asians (e.g., Arabs, Jews, Kurds), Central Asians (Turkmen, Uzbeks), North Asians (Kalmyks, Tatars), or Northeast Asians. The category previously included Pacific Islander, which is now a separate category; but the term "Asian-Pacific Islander" or "APA" is still in popular use. Or|date=April 2007

The term "Black" is popularly associated with the historic African-American population that has lived in the United States since before the abolition of slavery in 1863. The Census makes no distinction between them and post-slavery immigrants from Africa, the Caribbean, and other places. Likewise, the term "African American" has been limited only to those of Black sub-Saharan descent, excluding White Africans.

Before the decision to allow multiple racial choices, the categories disregarded the multiracial heritage of many Americans. For these and other reasons, the broad categories which have traditionally been used to define race in America have come under much criticism.

The term "Hispanic" has historically been misconstrued to refer to race or physical appearance. In general, Hispanics are assumed to have traits such as dark hair and eyes, and tan or brown skin. Many others are viewed as physically intermediate between whites, blacks and/or Amerindians. [ [http://www.pbs.org/newshour/essays/june97/rodriguez_6-18.html A CULTURAL IDENTITY] ] Even though the Census Bureau and the American Community Survey rectify this, the "Hispanic or Latino" category is typically labeled an "ethnic" category even though Hispanics and Latinos vary ethnically as well as racially. As such, Hispanics have also been included in Affirmative Action programs regardless of race or ethnicity. [ [http://www.rawstory.com/exclusives/tryferis/hispanic.htm Separated by a common language: The case of the white Hispanic] ]

For many Americans, the subject of race is very sensitive and potentially offensive. They claim that to categorize people by their race is divisive. This thinking is especially associated with political correctness. Others respond that there are legitimate reasons why race is used by state and federal governments - especially the association of certain medical conditions with particular ethnic groups. The Census Bureau answers the question "Why does the Census Bureau need to ask about race on its questionnaires?":

"Race is key to implementing any number of federal programs and it is critical for the basic research behind numerous policy decisions. States require race data to meet legislative redistricting requirements. Also, they are needed to monitor compliance with the Voting Rights Act by local jurisdictions. Federal programs rely on race data in assessing racial disparities in housing, income, education, employment, health, and environmental risks." [cite web |url=https://ask.census.gov/cgi-bin/askcensus.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=305&p_created=1078244268&p_sid=ChPt6wQi&p_accessibility=0&p_redirect=&p_lva=&p_sp=cF9zcmNoPTEmcF9zb3J0X2J5PSZwX2dyaWRzb3J0PSZwX3Jvd19jbnQ9MjM0LDIzNCZwX3Byb2RzPSZwX2NhdHM9JnBfcHY9JnBfY3Y9JnBfcGFnZT0xJnBfc2VhcmNoX3RleHQ9cmFjZQ**&p_li=&p_topview=1 |title=United States Census Bureau Question & Answer Center |accessdate=2008-05-05 |publisher=United States Census Bureau]

Many Americans have protested census methods of racial classification because, in the past, to have non-white "blood" had a social stigma, until racial discrimination was outlawed in the 1960s. Conversely, today some critics decry what they perceive as preferential treatment for racial and ethnic minorities, who these critics say unfairly receive employment programs, student loans, college admissions and other awards by affirmative action policy. The critics call it reverse racism, and some states lifted or changed the policies in the 1990s as the debate over racial preferences continues.Fact|date=April 2007

A few critics have compared the practice of racial classification to historical uses in other countries, particularly South Africa prior to the dismantling of Apartheid. They also recall to the Nuremberg Laws of Nazi Germany, which classified Jews as a race of culture destroyers. They and others (e.g., Gypsies) were subsequently subjected to the regime's genocidal policies. The U.S. Constitution and civil rights laws prohibit racial discrimination by government entities but not by most private sector businesses or individuals, so many Americans worry that racism continues to have adverse socioeconomic effects on millions of their fellow citizens.Fact|date=April 2007

Racial makeup of the U.S. population

White Americans

The majority of the 300 million people currently living in the United States consists of White Americans, who trace their ancestry to the original peoples of Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East, in many cases by way of other countries and regions (for example: Australia, Latin America, South Africa). Most White Americans are European American, descendants of immigrants who arrived since the establishment of the first colonies, but especially after Reconstruction.

White Americans are the majority in forty-eight of the fifty states, with California and Hawaii as the exceptions. The District of Columbia, which is not a state, also has a non-white majority.cite web |url=http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/DTTable?_bm=y&-context=dt&-ds_name=ACS_2006_EST_G00_&-CONTEXT=dt&-mt_name=ACS_2006_EST_G2000_B02001&-tree_id=306&-redoLog=false&-_caller=geoselect&-currentselections=ACS_2006_EST_G2000_B02001&-currentselections=ACS_2006_EST_G2000_B02003&-currentselections=ACS_2006_EST_G2000_C02003&-geo_id=01000US&-geo_id=04000US01&-geo_id=04000US02&-geo_id=04000US04&-geo_id=04000US05&-geo_id=04000US06&-geo_id=04000US08&-geo_id=04000US09&-geo_id=04000US10&-geo_id=04000US11&-geo_id=04000US12&-geo_id=04000US13&-geo_id=04000US15&-geo_id=04000US16&-geo_id=04000US17&-geo_id=04000US18&-geo_id=04000US19&-geo_id=04000US20&-geo_id=04000US21&-geo_id=04000US22&-geo_id=04000US23&-geo_id=04000US24&-geo_id=04000US25&-geo_id=04000US26&-geo_id=04000US27&-geo_id=04000US28&-geo_id=04000US29&-geo_id=04000US30&-geo_id=04000US31&-geo_id=04000US32&-geo_id=04000US33&-geo_id=04000US34&-geo_id=04000US35&-geo_id=04000US36&-geo_id=04000US37&-geo_id=04000US38&-geo_id=04000US39&-geo_id=04000US40&-geo_id=04000US41&-geo_id=04000US42&-geo_id=04000US44&-geo_id=04000US45&-geo_id=04000US46&-geo_id=04000US47&-geo_id=04000US48&-geo_id=04000US49&-geo_id=04000US50&-geo_id=04000US51&-geo_id=04000US53&-geo_id=04000US54&-geo_id=04000US55&-geo_id=04000US56&-geo_id=04000US72&-search_results=01000US&-format=&-_lang=en |title=B02001. RACE - Universe: TOTAL POPULATION [states] |2006 American Community Survey |accessdate=2008-05-05 |publisher=United States Census Bureau] Non-Hispanic Whites, however, are the majority in forty-six states, with Hawaii, New Mexico, California, and Texas, as well as the District of Columbia, as the exceptions. [cite web |url=http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/population/005514.html |title=Texas Becomes Nation’s Newest "Majority-Minority" State, Census Bureau Announces |accessdate=2008-05-05 |publisher=United States Census Bureau] The latter five have "minority majorities", i.e. minority groups are a majority of their populations.

The non-Hispanic White percentage (68 in 2006) [cite web |url=http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/DTTable?_bm=y&-state=dt&-ds_name=PEP_2006_EST&-CONTEXT=dt&-mt_name=PEP_2006_EST_G2006_T004_2006&-redoLog=true&-_caller=geoselect&-geo_id=01000US&-geo_id=NBSP&-format=&-_lang=en |title=T4-2006. Hispanic or Latino By Race [15] |accessdate=2008-05-30 |work=2006 Population Estimates |publisher=U.S. Census Bureau] tends to decrease every year, and this sub-group is expected to become a plurality of the overall US population after the year 2050. However, White Americans overall (non-Hispanic Whites together with White Hispanics) will remain the majority, at 73.1% (or 303 million out of 420 million) in 2050, from 80% in 2006 (per the Population Estimates Program, not the ACS; it is 76% in the ACS, as previously noted).cite web |url=http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/usinterimproj/natprojtab01a.pdf |title=UNITED STATES POPULATION PROJECTIONS BY RACE AND HISPANIC ORIGIN: 2000 TO 2050 |accessdate=2008-05-05 |format=Excel |publisher=United States Census Bureau] [cite web |url=http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/DTTable?_bm=y&-state=dt&-ds_name=PEP_2006_EST&-CONTEXT=dt&-mt_name=PEP_2006_EST_G2006_T003_2006&-redoLog=true&-_caller=geoselect&-geo_id=01000US&-geo_id=NBSP&-format=&-_lang=en |title=T3-2006. Race [7] |accessdate=2008-05-30 |work=2006 Population Estimates |publisher=U.S. Census Bureau] In the 2000 Census, Americans were able to state their ancestries. The most frequently stated white ancestries were:
* German - 15.2%
* Irish - 10.8%
* English - 8.7% (may be an undercount, in 1980 almost twice as many people claimed English ancestry)fact|date=September 2008
* "American" - 7.2% (those who did not identify any other heritage)
* |accessdate=2008-01-22]
* Italian - 5.6%
* Polish - 3.2%
* French - 3.0%
* Scottish - 1.7%
* Dutch - 1.6%
* Norwegian - 1.6%
* - 1.5%
* Swedish - 1.4%
* Russian - 0.9%
* French Canadian - 0.8%

. Even though a high proportion of the population has two or more ancestries, only slightly more than one ancestry was stated per person. This means that the percentages listed are significantly dependent on subjective perception of which of several ancestry lines is relevant. Many citizens listed themselves simply as "American" on the census (7.2%).
Dutch and Hanoverians, whose countries were non-simultaneously in personal union with the British monarchy, settled in the British colonies, but more often retroactively seek identity in their respective countries today (Netherlands and Germany). This helps colonial diasporas fit in more with current nations. (See British American).

The largest Central European ancestry was Polish (both Catholic Poles and Ashkenazi Jews), and the largest Eastern European ancestry was Russian (includes a recent influx of Ashkenazi Jews). There were other significant ancestries from Central, Eastern and Southern Europe, as well as from French Canada. Most who registered as French American are descended from colonists of Catholic New France — exiled Huguenots quickly assimilated into the relevant British population of the Thirteen Colonies and were immediately seen and self-regarded as subjects of the Crown under the old Plantagenet claim.Other ethnic European origins included are Dutch/Belgian, Lithuanian, Latvian, former Yugoslavs, Greek, Hungarian, Portuguese, Czech, Slovak, Australian, and New Zealander. A comparatively small fraction of recent immigrants are non-Hispanic whites, but the largest numbers come from Canada, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.

In addition to Spanish ancestry, including the Isleños of Louisiana and the Hispanos of the Southwest, most White Hispanics are of Mexican, Puerto Rican, and Cuban ancestry.cite web |url=http://pewhispanic.org/files/reports/35.pdf |title=Shades of Belonging |author=Sonya Tafoya |year=2004 |publisher=Pew Hispanic Center |accessdate=2008-01-22] Other Latin American ancestries include Colombian, Argentine, Chilean, Uruguayan, and Brazilian.

According to the 2006 ACS, there are 1.5 million Arab Americans, accounting for 0.5% of the American population.cite web |url=http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/DTTable?_bm=y&-context=dt&-ds_name=ACS_2006_EST_G00_&-CONTEXT=dt&-mt_name=ACS_2006_EST_G2000_B04003&-tree_id=306&-redoLog=false&-geo_id=01000US&-search_results=ALL&-format=&-_lang=en |title=B04003. TOTAL ANCESTRY REPORTED |work=2006 American Community Survey |accessdate=2008-03-18 |publisher=United States Census Bureau] The largest subgroup was by far the Lebanese Americans, with 481,675, nearly a third of the Arab American population. Most Lebanese descend from immigrants of the late 18th century through the early 19th century. Over 1/4 of all Arab Americans claimed two ancestries, having not only Arab ancestry but also non-Arab. Among them, 14.7% reported Irish, 13.6% reported Italian, and 13.5% reported German ancestry in the 2000 census. Assyrians were also listed in the US census under Assyrian/Chaldean/Syriac.

Black Americans

About 12.4% of the American people are Black or African American, most of whom are primarily descendants of Africans who lived through the Slavery era in the U.S. between 1619 and the 1860s and emancipated during the American Civil War. Black Americans are the largest "racial" minority as opposed to Hispanics and Latinos, who are the largest "ethnic" minority. The historical national origin of the majority of Black Americans is untraceable, as most African nations were named centuries after they arrived in the United States, the continent of Africa serves as an indicator of geographic origin and a descriptive term. Starting in the 1970s, the black population has been bolstered by immigration from the Caribbean, especially Jamaica, Haiti, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic, as well as from South America, primarily from Guyana, Brazil, and Colombia. More recently, starting in the 1990s, there has been an influx of African immigrants to the United States, due to the instability in political and economic opportunities in various nations in Africa.

Historically, most African Americans lived in the Southeast and South Central states of Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Since World War I there occurred the Great Migration of rural black Americans to the industrial Northeast, urban Midwest and, in a smaller wave, to the West Coast that lasted until 1960. Today, most African Americans (56%) live in the Southern US and in urban areas, but are increasingly moving to the suburbs. Historically, any person with any sub-Saharan African ancestry, even if they were mostly white, were designated and classified as "black", according to the "one drop theory," by which any black/African ancestry made the person "black" in legal sense. Today, the US census in law and practice does not declare any person to belong in any race or ethnicity without the prior consent of that person.

Asian Americans

A third significant minority is the Asian American population, comprising 13.1 million in 2006, or 4.4% of the U.S. population. California is home to 4.5 million Asian Americans, whereas 512,000 live in Hawaii, where they compose the plurality at 40% of the islands' people. [cite web |url=http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/DTTable?_bm=y&-context=dt&-ds_name=ACS_2006_EST_G00_&-_geoSkip=15&-CONTEXT=dt&-mt_name=ACS_2006_EST_G2000_B02001&-tree_id=306&-_skip=0&-redoLog=false&-geo_id=01000US&-geo_id=02000US1&-geo_id=02000US2&-geo_id=02000US3&-geo_id=02000US4&-geo_id=04000US01&-geo_id=04000US02&-geo_id=04000US04&-geo_id=04000US05&-geo_id=04000US06&-geo_id=04000US08&-geo_id=04000US09&-geo_id=04000US10&-geo_id=04000US11&-geo_id=04000US12&-geo_id=04000US13&-geo_id=04000US15&-geo_id=04000US16&-geo_id=04000US17&-geo_id=04000US18&-geo_id=04000US19&-geo_id=04000US20&-geo_id=04000US21&-geo_id=04000US22&-geo_id=04000US23&-geo_id=04000US24&-geo_id=04000US25&-geo_id=04000US26&-geo_id=04000US27&-geo_id=04000US28&-geo_id=04000US29&-geo_id=04000US30&-geo_id=04000US31&-geo_id=04000US32&-geo_id=04000US33&-geo_id=04000US34&-geo_id=04000US35&-geo_id=04000US36&-geo_id=04000US37&-geo_id=04000US38&-geo_id=04000US39&-geo_id=04000US40&-geo_id=04000US41&-geo_id=04000US42&-geo_id=04000US44&-geo_id=04000US45&-geo_id=04000US46&-geo_id=04000US47&-geo_id=04000US48&-geo_id=04000US49&-geo_id=04000US50&-geo_id=04000US51&-geo_id=04000US53&-geo_id=04000US54&-geo_id=04000US55&-geo_id=04000US56&-geo_id=04000US72&-currentselections=ACS_2006_EST_G2000_B02001&-currentselections=ACS_2006_EST_G2000_B02003&-currentselections=ACS_2006_EST_G2000_C02003&-search_results=01000US&-_showChild=Y&-format=&-_lang=en&-_toggle= |title=B02001. RACE - Universe: TOTAL POPULATION [states] |accessdate=2008-02-08 |work=2006 American Community Survey |publisher=United States Census Bureau] Asian Americans live across the country, and are also found in large numbers in New York City, Chicago, Boston, Houston, and other urban centers. It is by no means a monolithic group. The largest groups are immigrants or descendants of immigrants from the Philippines, China, India, Vietnam, Cambodia, South Korea and Japan. While the Asian American population is generally a fairly recent addition to the nation's ethnic mix, relatively large waves of Chinese, Filipino and Japanese immigration happened in the mid to late 1800s.

Two or more races

Multiracial Americans numbered 6.1 million in 2006, or 2.0% of the population. [cite web |url=http://www.census.gov/prod/2001pubs/c2kbr01-6.pdf |title=The Two or More Races Population: 2000. Census 2000 Brief |accessdate=2008-05-08 |last=Jones |first=Nicholas A. |coauthors=Amy Symens Smith |format=PDF |publisher=United States Census Bureau] They can be any combination of races (White, Black or African American, Asian, American Indian or Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, "Some other race") and ethnicities. The U.S. has a growing multiracial identity movement. Miscegenation or interracial marriage, most notably between whites and blacks, was deemed immoral and illegal in most states in the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. California and the western US had similar laws to prohibit White-Asian American marriages until the 1950s. As society and laws change to accept inter-racial marriage, these marriages and their mixed-race children are possibly changing the demographic fabric of America. However, demographers state that the American people are mostly multi-ethnic descendants of various immigrant nationalities culturally distinct until assimilation and integration took place in the mid 20th century. The "Americanization" of foreign ethnic groups and the inter-racial diversity of millions of Americans isn't a new phenomenon.

Native Americans

Indigenous peoples of the Americas, such as American Indians and Inuit, made up 0.8% of the population in 2006, numbering 2.4 million. An additional 1.9 million declared part-Native American or American Indian ancestry. [cite web |url=http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/DTTable?_bm=y&-context=dt&-ds_name=ACS_2006_EST_G00_&-CONTEXT=dt&-mt_name=ACS_2006_EST_G2000_B02010&-tree_id=306&-redoLog=false&-currentselections=ACS_2006_EST_G2000_B02001&-geo_id=01000US&-geo_id=02000US1&-geo_id=02000US2&-geo_id=02000US3&-geo_id=02000US4&-search_results=01000US&-format=&-_lang=en |title=B02010. AMERICAN INDIAN AND ALASKA NATIVE ALONE OR IN COMBINATION WITH ONE OR MORE OTHER RACES |accessdate=2008-02-22 |work=2006 American Community Survey |publisher=United States Census Bureau] The legal and official designation of who is Native American by descent aroused controversy by demographers, tribal nations and government officials for many decades. The blood quantum laws are complex and contradictory in admittance of new tribal members, or for census takers to accept any respondent's claims without official documents from the US Bureau of Indian Affairs. Genetic scientists estimated that over 15 million other Americans may be one quarter or less of American Indian descent. Once thought to face extinction in race or culture, there has been a remarkable revival of Native American identity and tribal sovereignty in the 20th century. The Cherokee are at 800,000 full or part-blood degrees. 70,000 Cherokee live in Oklahoma in the Cherokee Nation, and 15,000 in North Carolina on remnants of their ancestral homelands. The second largest tribal group is the Navajo, who call themselves "Na-Dené" and live on a 16-million acre (65,000 km²) Indian reservation covering northeast Arizona, northwest New Mexico and southeast Utah. It is home to half of the 450,000 Navajo Nation members.

Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders

Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders numbered 426,194 in 2006, or 0.14% of the population. Additionally, nearly as many report partial Native Hawaiian ancestry, for a total of 813,474 people of full or part Native Hawaiian ancestry. [cite web |url=http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/DTTable?_bm=y&-context=dt&-ds_name=ACS_2006_EST_G00_&-CONTEXT=dt&-mt_name=ACS_2006_EST_G2000_B02012&-tree_id=306&-redoLog=false&-currentselections=ACS_2006_EST_G2000_B02001&-currentselections=ACS_2006_EST_G2000_B02003&-currentselections=ACS_2006_EST_G2000_C02003&-geo_id=01000US&-geo_id=02000US1&-geo_id=02000US2&-geo_id=02000US3&-geo_id=02000US4&-search_results=01000US&-format=&-_lang=en |title=B02012. NATIVE HAWAIIAN AND OTHER PACIFIC ISLANDER ALONE OR IN COMBINATION WITH ONE OR MORE OTHER RACES |accessdate=2008-02-22 |work=2006 American Community Survey |publisher=United States Census Bureau] Despite these numbers, which show that just more than half are "full-blooded", most Native Hawaiians on the island chain of Hawaii are said to be highly mixed with Asian, European and other ancestries. Only 1 out of 50 Native Hawaiians can be legally defined as "full blood" and some demographers believe that by the year 2025, the last full-blooded Native Hawaiian will die off, leaving a culturally distinct, but racially-mixed population. However, there is more individual self-designation of what is Native Hawaiian than before the US annexed the islands in 1898. Native Hawaiians are receiving ancestral land reparations. Throughout Hawaii, the preservation and universal adaptation of Native Hawaiian customs, Hawaiian language, cultural schools solely for legally Native Hawaiian students, and historical awareness has gained momentum for Native Hawaiians.

ome other race

In the 2000 census, this non-standard category was intended to capture responses such as Mulatto and Mestizo, two multiracial groups to which many Hispanics and Latinos belong. Responses such as Moroccan, Belizean, Mexican, and South African, were also given in this category. In 2006, 6.4% of the total U.S. population were estimated to be "some other race", with 97% of them being Hispanic or Latino.cite web |url=http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/DTTable?_bm=y&-context=dt&-ds_name=ACS_2006_EST_G00_&-CONTEXT=dt&-mt_name=ACS_2006_EST_G2000_B03002&-tree_id=306&-redoLog=false&-currentselections=ACS_2006_EST_G2000_B02001&-currentselections=ACS_2006_EST_G2000_B02003&-currentselections=ACS_2006_EST_G2000_C02003&-geo_id=01000US&-search_results=01000US&-format=&-_lang=en |title=B03002. HISPANIC OR LATINO ORIGIN BY RACE - Universe: TOTAL POPULATION |accessdate=2008-02-22 |work=2006 American Community Survey |publisher=United States Census Bureau]

Due to this category's non-standard status, statistics from government agencies other than the Census Bureau (for example: the Center for Disease Control's data on vital statistics, or the FBI's crime statistics) omit "Some other race" and include the people in this group in the white population, thus including the vast majority (about 90%) of Hispanic and Latino Americans in the white population. For an example of this, see The World Factbook, published by the Central Intelligence Agency. [cite web |url=https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/us.html |title=CIA - The World Factbook -- United States |accessdate=2008-05-08 |publisher=CIA]

Hispanic and Latino Americans

Americans of Hispanic origin do not form a race but an ancestral group known as "Hispanic or Latino", the largest ancestral minority in the country, composing 14.8% of the population in 2006. [cite web |url=http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/DTTable?_bm=y&-context=dt&-ds_name=ACS_2006_EST_G00_&-CONTEXT=dt&-mt_name=ACS_2006_EST_G2000_C03001&-tree_id=306&-redoLog=false&-currentselections=ACS_2006_EST_G2000_B02001&-currentselections=ACS_2006_EST_G2000_B02003&-currentselections=ACS_2006_EST_G2000_C02003&-geo_id=01000US&-search_results=01000US&-format=&-_lang=en |title=C03001. HISPANIC OR LATINO ORIGIN BY SPECIFIC ORIGIN |work=2006 American Community Survey |accessdate=2008-05-05 |publisher=United States Census Bureau] Mexican Americans made up 64% of this number, or 28 million, followed next by Puerto Rican Americans with 4 million. The Hispanic or Latino category is based on ancestral or national origin, not race, and is defined by the government as people "who classify themselves in one of the specific Hispanic or Latino categories listed on the Census 2000 or ACS questionnaire - "Mexican," "Puerto Rican," or "Cuban" - as well as those who indicate that they are "other Spanish, Hispanic, or Latino.""cite web |url=http://factfinder.census.gov/home/en/epss/glossary_h.html#hispanic_or_latino_origin |title=American FactFinder Help; Hispanic or Latino origin |accessdate=2008-05-05 |publisher=United States Census Bureau] (ACS refers to the American Community Survey.) The inclusion of Spain was explicit in the 1990 census, but not so in the 2000 census and the American Community Survey definitions, although the term "Spanish", formerly used for the Hispanic or Latino group ("Persons of Spanish Origin", "Persons of Spanish Surname", etc) was retained, in "Spanish/Hispanic/Latino". [cite web |url=http://www.census.gov/population/www/documentation/twps0076.html |title=Historical Census Statistics On Population Totals By Race, 1790 to 1990, and By Hispanic Origin, 1970 to 1990, For Large Cities And Other Urban Places In The United States |accessdate=2008-05-05 |last=Gibson |first=Campbell |coauthors=Kay Jung |date=February, 2005 |publisher=United States Census Bureau |quote=The Hispanic origin population of the United States was defined three different ways in 1970 census reports, the first and second based on 15-percent sample data and the third based on 5-percent sample data: (1) as the Spanish language population (the population of Spanish mother tongue plus all other individuals in families in which the head or wife reported Spanish mother tongue); (2) as the Spanish heritage population (the population of Spanish language and/or Spanish surname in the five Southwestern states of Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas; the population of Puerto Rican birth or parentage in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania; and the population of Spanish language elsewhere); and (3) as the population of Spanish origin or descent based on self-identification.]

Hispanic and Latino Americans may be of any race. Their racial breakdown in 2006 was as follows: 52.3% White; 41.2% "Some other race"; 3.9% Two or more races; 1.4% Black or African American; 0.75% American Indian or Alaska Native; 0.35% Asian; and 0.09% Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander.

The "Some other race" respondents usually identify by their national origin only (e.g. "Mexican", "Salvadoran", "Colombian"). In Census 2000 data, the "some other race" category overlaps by 97% with the Hispanic/Latino category, suggesting that this group is virtually the only one using the category.cite book |title=Changing Race: Latinos, the Census, and the History of Ethnicity in the United States |last=Rodriguez |first=Clara E. |year=2000 |publisher=New York University Press |location=New York]

The spectacular growth of the Hispanic population through immigration and higher birth rates are noted as a partial factor for the US’ population gains in the last quarter-century. The Bureau of the Census projects that by 2050 one-quarter of the population will be Hispanic. [cite web |url=http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/population/001720.html |title=US Census Press Releases |accessdate=2008-05-05 |date=2004-03-18 |publisher=United States Census Bureau] Bureau figures show the U.S. population grew by 2.8 million between July 1, 2004, and July 1, 2005. [cite web |url=http://www.smithsonianmag.com/people-places/presence-oct06.html?page=4 |title=300 Million and Counting |last=Garreau |first=Joel |accessdate=2008-05-05 |work=Smithsonian Magazine |date=October, 2006 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution] Hispanics accounted for 1.3 million of that increase. [cite web |url=http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/population/006808.html |title=U.S. Census Bureau: Nation’s Population One-Third Minority |accessdate=2005-05-05 |date=2006-05-10 |publisher=United States Census Bureau]


A new report from the Census Bureau projects that by 2042 non-Hispanic whites will no longer make up the majority of the population. This is a revision of earlier projections which projected this demographic change to take place in 2050. Today non-Hispanic whites make up about 68% of the population. This is expected to fall to 46% in 2050. This, as a result of a much older white population, relative to minorities. The report foresees the Hispanic population rising from 15% today to 30% by 2050. Today African Americans make up 12% of the population, in 2050 they are projected to comprise 15% of the population. Asian Americans make up 5% of the population today and they are expected to make up 9% in 2050. The U.S. has nearly 305 million people today. The population is projected to reach 400 million by 2039 and 439 million in 2050. [ [http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hfEKtmHabcnFBA-xANi-gzFX9PqwD92HNIPO1 White Americans no longer a majority by 2042] ] [ [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/13/AR2008081303524.html?hpid=topnews U.S. to Grow Grayer, More Diverse] ]

ee also

*Demographics of the United States
*Immigration to the United States
*Maps of American ancestries
*Race in the United States
*Race and ethnicity in the United States Census


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