Friday, March 17, 2017

America's Stewpot: Our Ethnic Mix

March 17, AD 461: Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, dies. The Catholic Church declares a saint's "feast day" to be the day of his death, since, especially early on, a date of birth could be difficult, even impossible, to determine. Ever since, March 17 has been "St. Patrick's Day," a day to celebrate Irishness -- whatever you think that means.

March 17, 1861: The Parliament of Italy proclaims Vittorio Emanuele Maria Alberto Eugenio Ferdinando Tommaso, King of Sardinia and Duke of Savoy, as the nation's monarch. He takes the title of King Victor Emmanuel II of Italy. This is considered to be the nation's Unification Day.

Note that one of the flags in that photo of a New York St. Patrick's Day Parade is most definitely Italian, rather than Irish.

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No 2 sets of ethnic groups in America celebrate their national heritage as much as the Irish and the Italians. Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill, the longtime Boston Congressman who served as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1977 to 1986, said in his memoir, "I knew I was Irish before I knew I was American."

But neither is the largest ethnic group in America. I decided to look it up, and see how many of each is living in America.

America has been described as a "melting pot": Where every ingredient dissolves into a liquid and forms a single meal, with a single taste.

Years ago, I read (I don't remember where) that a better analogy would be a "stewpot": Where the ingredients do combine to create a better meal, but that they maintain their solidity and identity.

Each of these figures is an estimate, based on the 2010 Census. In addition, for each one that represents at least 5 percent of the population, I have included that percentage. And, of course, there is some crossover:

Overall: 324.6 million
Hispanics: 56.6 million, 17.6 percent
African-Americans: 42.0 million, 12.6 percent
British (non-Irish): 36.2 million, 11.1 percent
Slavs: 20.7 million, 6.3 percent (includes just over 1 million Yugoslavs)
Scandinavians: 11.20 million, 3.4 percent
East Asians: 7.99 million, 2.4 percent
South Asians: 5.18 million, 1.6 percent
Caribbeans (West Indians): 2.53 million, 0.7 percent

Broken down further
Germans: 46.1 million, 14.4 percent
Irish: 33.3 million, 10.5 percent
Mexicans: 31.8 million, 11.1 percent
English: 25.9 million, 8.0 percent
Italians: 17.2 million, 5.4 percent
French (including French-Canadians): 10.3 million
Poles: 9.50 million, including yours truly
Scots: 8.30 million
Puerto Ricans: 5.37 million
Native Americans: 5.22 million
Chinese: 4.76 million
Norwegians: 4.64 million
Dutch: 4.50 million
Swedes: 4.35 million
Indians: 3.98 million
Filipinos: 3.90 million
Russians: 3.16 million
Cubans: 2.11 million
Salvadorans: 2.10 million
Welsh: 1.98 million
Vietnamese: 1.98 million
Dominicans: 1.87 million
Koreans: 1.82 million
Arabs: 1.70 million
Czechs: 1.70 million
Danes: 1.52 million
Hungarians: 1.47 million
Japanese: 1.41 million
Portuguese: 1.37 million
Greeks: 1.32 million
Guatemalans: 1.24 million
Jamaicans: 1.09 million
Colombians: 1.08 million
Syrians: 1.00 million
Romani (formerly known as Gypsies): 1.00 million
Ukrainians: 976,000
Swiss: 917,000
Haitians: 830,000
Slovaks: 798,000
Austrians: 735,000
Lithuanians: 653,000
Finns: 649,000
Spanish (descended wholly from Spain, not Latin America): 635,000
Pakistanis: 519,000
Romanians: 518,000
Lebanese: 504,000
Bangladeshi: 500,000
Persians/Iranians: 470,000
Croatians: 415,000
Brazilians: 372,000
Belgians: 361,000
Cambodians: 330,000
Thais: 304,000
Egyptians: 251,000
Laotians: 246,000
Turks: 207,000
Albanians: 201,000
Serbians: 199,000
Samoans: 184,000
Panamanians: 183,000
Slovenes: 172,000
Nepalese: 140,000
Bosnians: 122,000
Burmese: 100,000
Afghans: 96,000
Bulgars: 95,000
Indonesians: 95,000
Latvians: 93,000
Macedonians: 61,000
Basques: 58,000
Eskimos: 49,000
Sri Lankans: 45,000
Icelandic: 43,000
Estonians: 27,000
Montenegrins: 24,000
Kosovars: 13,000
Cypriots: 8,000

By Religion
Christian: 219 million, 67.4 percent
  Protestant: 150 million, 46.2 percent
  Catholic: 69 million, 21.4 percent
Jewish: 6.2 million, 1.9 percent
Muslim: 2.9 million, 0.9 percent
Buddhist: 2 million, 0.7 percent
Hindu: 2 million, 0.7 percent
Others: 5.8 million, 1.8 percent
None professed: 74 million, 22.8 percent

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