In addition to the United States, Americans and people of American descent can be found internationally. As many as seven million Americans are estimated to be living abroad, and make up the American diaspora.
The United States of America is a diverse country, racially, and ethnically.Six races are officially recognized by the U.S. Census Bureau for statistical purposes: White, American Indian and Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African American, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, and people of two or more races. "Some other race" is also an option in the census and other surveys.
The United States Census Bureau also classifies Americans as "Hispanic or Latino" and "Not Hispanic or Latino", which identifies Hispanic and Latino Americans as a racially diverse ethnicity that comprises the largest minority group in the nation.
In 2014, The United States Census Bureau began finalizing the ethnic classification of MENA populations. According to the Arab American Institute (AAI), Arab Americans have family origins in each of the 22 member states of the Arab League. Following consultations with MENA organizations, the Census Bureau announced in 2014 that it would establish a new MENA ethnic category for populations from the Middle East, North Africa and the Arab world, separate from the "white" classification that these populations had previously sought in 1909. The expert groups, felt that the earlier "white" designation no longer accurately represents MENA identity, so they successfully lobbied for a distinct categorization. This new category would also include Jewish Americans. The Census Bureau does not currently ask about whether one is Sikh, because it views them as followers of a religion rather than members of an ethnic group, and it does not combine questions concerning religion with race or ethnicity. As of December 2015, the sampling strata for the new MENA category includes the Census Bureau's working classification of 19 MENA groups, as well as Turkish, Sudanese, Djiboutian, Somali, Mauritanian, Armenian, Cypriot, Afghan, Azerbaijani and Georgian groups. In January 2018, it was announced that the Census Bureau would not include the grouping in the 2020 Census.
African Americans (also referred to as Black Americans or Afro-Americans, and formerly as American Negroes) are citizens or residents of the United States who have origins in any of the black populations of Africa. According to the 2009 American Community Survey, there were 38,093,725 Black and African Americans in the United States, representing 12.4% of the population. In addition, there were 37,144,530 non-Hispanic blacks, which comprised 12.1% of the population. This number increased to 42 million according to the 2010 United States Census, when including Multiracial African Americans, making up 14% of the total U.S. population.[c] Black and African Americans make up the second largest group in the United States, but the third largest group after White Americans and Hispanic or Latino Americans (of any race). The majority of the population (55%) lives in the South; compared to the 2000 Census, there has also been a decrease of African Americans in the Northeast and Midwest.
According to US Census Bureau data, very few African immigrants self-identify as African American. On average, less than 5% of African residents self-reported as "African American" or "Afro-American" on the 2000 US Census. The overwhelming majority of African immigrants (~95%) identified instead with their own respective ethnicities. Self-designation as "African American" or "Afro-American" was highest among individuals from West Africa (4%-9%), and lowest among individuals from Cape Verde, East Africa and Southern Africa (0%-4%). African immigrants may also experience conflict with African Americans.
Black and African American population by ancestry group
Another significant population is the Asian American population, comprising 17.3 million in 2010, or 5.6% of the U.S. population.[d] California is home to 5.6 million Asian Americans, the greatest number in any state. In Hawaii, Asian Americans make up the highest proportion of the population (57 percent). Asian Americans live across the country, yet are heavily urbanized, with significant populations in the Greater Los Angeles Area, New York metropolitan area, and the San Francisco Bay Area.
They are by no means a monolithic group. The largest sub-groups are immigrants or descendants of immigrants from Cambodia, Mainland China, India, Japan, Korea, Laos, Pakistan, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Asians overall have higher income levels than all other racial groups in the United States, including whites, and the trend appears to be increasing in relation to those groups. Additionally, Asians have a higher education attainment level than all other racial groups in the United States. For better or for worse, the group has been called a model minority.
While Asian Americans have been in what is now the United States since before the Revolutionary War, relatively large waves of Chinese, Filipino, and Japanese immigration did not begin until the mid-to-late 19th century. Immigration and significant population growth continue to this day. Due to a number of factors, Asian Americans have been stereotyped as "perpetual foreigners".
According to the 2010 Census, there are 5.2 million people who are Native Americans or Alaska Natives alone, or in combination with one or more races; they make up 1.7% of the total population.[e] According to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), an "American Indian or Alaska Native" is a person whose ancestry have origins in any of the original peoples of North, Central, or South America. 2.3 million individuals who are American Indian or Alaskan Native are multiracial; additionally the plurality of American Indians reside in the Western United States (40.7%). Collectively and historically this race has been known by several names; as of 1995, 50% of those who fall within the OMB definition prefer the term "American Indian", 37% prefer "Native American" and the remainder have no preference or prefer a different term altogether.
The United States has a growing multiracial identity movement.Multiracial Americans numbered 7.0 million in 2008, or 2.3% of the population; by the 2010 census the Multiracial increased to 9,009,073, or 2.9% of the total population. 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 largest population of Multiracial Americans were those of White and African American descent, with a total of 1,834,212 self-identifying individuals.Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States, is biracial with his mother being of English and Irish descent and his father being of Kenyan birth; however, Obama only self-identifies as being African American.
Population by selected Two or More Races Population
According to the 2010 United States Census, 6.2% or 19,107,368 Americans chose to self-identify with the "some other race" category, the third most popular option. Also, 36.7% or 18,503,103 Hispanic/Latino Americans chose to identify as some other race as these Hispanic/Latinos may feel the U.S. Census does not describe their European and American Indian ancestry as they understand it to be.
A significant portion of the Hispanic and Latino population self-identifies as Mestizo, particularly the Mexican and Central American community. Mestizo is not a racial category in the U.S. Census, but signifies someone who has both European and American Indian ancestry.
Uncle Sam is a national personification of the United States and sometimes more specifically of the American government, with the first usage of the term dating from the War of 1812. He is depicted as a stern elderly white man with white hair and a goatee beard, and dressed in clothing that recalls the design elements of the flag of the United States - for example, typically a top hat with red and white stripes and white stars on a blue band, and red and white striped trousers.
English is the de facto national language. Although there is no official language at the federal level, some laws--such as U.S. naturalization requirements--standardize English. In 2007, about 226 million, or 80% of the population aged five years and older, spoke only English at home. Spanish, spoken by 12% of the population at home, is the second most common language and the most widely taught second language. Some Americans advocate making English the country's official language, as it is in at least twenty-eight states. Both English and Hawaiian are official languages in Hawaii by state law.
While neither has an official language, New Mexico has laws providing for the use of both English and Spanish, as Louisiana does for English and French. Other states, such as California, mandate the publication of Spanish versions of certain government documents. The latter include court forms. Several insular territories grant official recognition to their native languages, along with English: Samoan and Chamorro are recognized by American Samoa and Guam, respectively; Carolinian and Chamorro are recognized by the Northern Mariana Islands; Spanish is an official language of Puerto Rico.
Religion in the United States has a high adherence level compared to other developed countries, as well as a diversity in beliefs. The First Amendment to the country's Constitution prevents the Federal government from making any "law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof". The U.S. Supreme Court has interpreted this as preventing the government from having any authority in religion. A majority of Americans report that religion plays a "very important" role in their lives, a proportion unusual among developed countries, although similar to the other nations of the Americas. Many faiths have flourished in the United States, including both later imports spanning the country's multicultural immigrant heritage, as well as those founded within the country; these have led the United States to become the most religiously diverse country in the world.
Several of the original Thirteen Colonies were established by settlers who wished to practice their own religion without discrimination: the Massachusetts Bay Colony was established by English Puritans, Pennsylvania by Irish and English Quakers, Maryland by English and Irish Catholics, and Virginia by English Anglicans. Although some individual states retained established religious confessions well into the 19th century, the United States was the first nation to have no official state-endorsed religion. Modeling the provisions concerning religion within the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, the framers of the Constitution rejected any religious test for office, and the First Amendment specifically denied the federal government any power to enact any law respecting either an establishment of religion or prohibiting its free exercise, thus protecting any religious organization, institution, or denomination from government interference. The decision was mainly influenced by European Rationalist and Protestant ideals, but was also a consequence of the pragmatic concerns of minority religious groups and small states that did not want to be under the power or influence of a national religion that did not represent them.
American culture includes both conservative and liberal elements, scientific and religious competitiveness, political structures, risk taking and free expression, materialist and moral elements. Despite certain consistent ideological principles (e.g. individualism, egalitarianism, faith in freedom and democracy), the American culture has a variety of expressions due to its geographical scale and demographic diversity.
^Cooper, Matthew (November 15, 2013). "Why the Philippines Is America's Forgotten Colony". National Journal. Retrieved 2015. c. At the same time, person-to-person contacts are widespread: Some 600,000 Americans live in the Philippines and there are 3 million Filipino-Americans, many of whom are devoting themselves to typhoon relief.
^Michele Chabin (March 19, 2012). "In vitro babies denied U.S. citizenship". USA Today. Jerusalem. Retrieved 2012. Most of the 200,000 U.S. citizens in Israel have dual citizenship, and fertility treatments are common because they are free.
^"Americans in France". Embassy of the United States, Paris. United States Department of State. Archived from the original on April 18, 2015. Retrieved 2015. Today, although no official figure is available it is estimated that over 150,000 American citizens reside in France, making France one of the top 10 destinations for American expatriates.
^"Background Note: Costa Rica". Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs. United States Department of State. April 9, 2012. Retrieved 2012. Over 130,000 private American citizens, including many retirees, reside in the country and more than 700,000 American citizens visit Costa Rica annually. Bloom, Laura Begley (July 31, 2018). "More Americans are fleeing to cheap faraway places". New York Post. Retrieved 2020. Approximately 120,000 citizens live in this stable country, many as retirees, according to the State Department.
^"Colombia (03/28/13)". United States Department of State. Archived from the original on April 20, 2013. Retrieved 2014. Based on Colombian statistics, an estimated 60,000 U.S. citizens reside in Colombia and 280,000 U.S. citizens travel, study and do business in Colombia each year.
^"Hong Kong (10/11/11)". Previous Editions of Hong Kong Background Note. United States Department of State. October 11, 2011. Retrieved 2012. There are some 1,400 U.S. firms, including 817 regional operations (288 regional headquarters and 529 regional offices), and over 60,000 American residents in Hong Kong.
^"Argentina (03/12/12)". Previous Editions of Argentina Background Note. United States Department of State. March 12, 2012. Retrieved 2012. The Embassy's Consular Section monitors the welfare and whereabouts of some 37,000 U.S. citizen residents of Argentina and more than 500,000 U.S. tourists each year.
^"Bahamas, The (01/25/12)". Previous Editions of Panama Background Note. United States Department of State. January 25, 2012. Retrieved 2012. The countries share ethnic and cultural ties, especially in education, and The Bahamas is home to approximately 30,000 American residents.
^Kate King (July 18, 2006). "U.S. family: Get us out of Lebanon". CNN. Archived from the original on March 6, 2012. Retrieved 2012. About 350 of the estimated 25,000 American citizens in Lebanon had been flown to Cyprus from the U.S. Embassy in Beirut by nightfall Tuesday, Maura Harty, the assistant secretary of state for consular affairs, told reporters.
^"Panama (03/09)". Previous Editions of Panama Background Note. United States Department of State. March 2009. Retrieved 2012. About 25,000 American citizens reside in Panama, many retirees from the Panama Canal Commission and individuals who hold dual nationality.
^"Honduras (11/23/09)". Previous Editions of Honduras Background Note. United States Department of State. November 23, 2009. Retrieved 2012. U.S.-Honduran ties are further strengthened by numerous private sector contacts, with an average of between 80,000 and 110,000 U.S. citizens visiting Honduras annually and about 15,000 Americans residing there.
^"Bermuda (12/09/11)". Previous Editions of Bermuda Background Note. United States Department of State. December 9, 2011. Retrieved 2012. An estimated 8,000 registered U.S. citizens live in Bermuda, many of them employed in the international business community.
^See, e.g., Allen v. Barr, No. 18-3028, at p.4This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain. (2d Cir. Jan. 3, 2020) (the court agreed with a lawful permanent resident (LPR) of the United States that he is an American and cannot be removed from the country); Khalid v. Sessions, 904 F.3d 129, 131This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain. (2d Cir. 2018) (same); Tineo v. Attorney General, 937 F.3d 200, 218This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain. (3d Cir. 2019) ("Tineo became a U.S. citizen when his father naturalized...."); Anderson v. Holder, 673 F.3d 1089, 1092 (9th Cir. 2012) (same); Dent v. Sessions, 900 F.3d 1075, 1080This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain. (9th Cir. 2018) ("An individual has third-party standing when [(1)] the party asserting the right has a close relationship with the person who possesses the right [and (2)] there is a hindrance to the possessor's ability to protect his own interests.") (quoting Sessions v. Morales-Santana, 137 S.Ct. 1678, 1689This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain. (2017)) (internal quotation marks omitted); see also Gonzalez-Alarcon v. Macias, 884 F.3d 1266This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain. (10th Cir. 2018).
^Petersen, William; Novak, Michael; Gleason, Philip (1982). Concepts of Ethnicity. Harvard University Press. p. 62. ISBN9780674157262. Retrieved 2013. ...from Thomas Paine's plea in 1783...to Henry Clay's remark in 1815... "It is hard for us to believe ... how conscious these early Americans were of the job of developing American character out of the regional and generational polaritities and contradictions of a nation of immigrants and migrants." ... To be or to become an American, a person did not have to be of any particular national, linguistic, religious, or ethnic background. All he had to do was to commit himself to the political ideology centered on the abstract ideals of liberty, equality, and republicanism. Thus the universalist ideological character of American nationality meant that it was open to anyone who willed to become an American.
^8 U.S.C.§ 1101(22) ("The term 'national of the United States' means (A) a citizen of the United States, or (B) a person who, though not a citizen of the United States, owes permanent allegiance to the United States.") (emphasis added).
^Fiorina, Morris P., and Paul E. Peterson (2000). The New American Democracy. London: Longman, p. 97. ISBN0-321-07058-5;
^U.S. Census Bureau. Foreign-Born Population Frequently asked Questions viewed January 19, 2015. The U.S. Census Bureau uses the terms native and native born to refer to anyone born in Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or the U.S. Virgin Islands.
^ abcAdams, J.Q., and Pearlie Strother-Adams (2001). Dealing with Diversity. Chicago: Kendall/Hunt. ISBN0-7872-8145-X.
^ abThompson, William, and Joseph Hickey (2005). Society in Focus. Boston: Pearson. ISBN0-205-41365-X.
^Holloway, Joseph E. (2005). Africanisms in American Culture, 2d ed. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, pp. 18-38. ISBN0-253-34479-4. Johnson, Fern L. (1999). Speaking Culturally: Language Diversity in the United States. Thousand Oaks, California, London, and New Delhi: Sage, p. 116. ISBN0-8039-5912-5.
^Jay Tolson (July 28, 2008). "A Growing Trend of Leaving America". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 2012. Estimates made by organizations such as the Association of Americans Resident Overseas put the number of nongovernment-employed Americans living abroad anywhere between 4 million and 7 million, a range whose low end is based loosely on the government's trial count in 1999.
^"The American Diaspora". Esquire. Hurst Communications, Inc. Retrieved 2012. he most frequently cited estimate of nonmilitary U. S. citizens living overseas is between three and six million, based on a very rough State Department calculation in 1999--and never updated.
^ abcdefGrieco, Elizabeth M.; Acosta, Yesenia D.; de la Cruz, G. Patricia; Gamino, Christina; Gryn, Thomas; Larsen, Luke J.; Trevelyan, Edward N.; Walters, Nathan P. (May 2012). "The Foreign Born Population in the United States: 2010"(PDF). American Community Survey Reports. United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original(PDF) on February 9, 2015. Retrieved 2015.
^ abcdLindsay Hixson; Bradford B. Hepler; Myoung Ouk Kim (September 2011). "The White Population: 2010"(PDF). United States Census Bureau. United States Department of Commerce. Retrieved 2012.
^Reynolds Farley, 'The New Census Question about Ancestry: What Did It Tell Us?', Demography, Vol. 28, No. 3 (August 1991), pp. 414, 421.
^Stanley Lieberson and Lawrence Santi, 'The Use of Nativity Data to Estimate Ethnic Characteristics and Patterns', Social Science Research, Vol. 14, No. 1 (1985), pp. 44-6.
^Stanley Lieberson and Mary C. Waters, 'Ethnic Groups in Flux: The Changing Ethnic Responses of American Whites', Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 487, No. 79 (September 1986), pp. 82-86.
^"History Crash Course #55: Jews and the Founding of America" Spiro, Rabbi Ken. Aish.com. Published December 8, 2001. Accessed December 12, 2015. "The first Jews arrived in America with Columbus in 1492, and we also know that Jews newly-converted to Christianity were among the first Spaniards to arrive in Mexico with Conquistador Hernando Cortez in 1519."
^"2015 National Content Test"(PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. pp. 33-34. Retrieved 2015. The Census Bureau is undertaking related mid-decade research for coding and classifying detailed national origins and ethnic groups, and our consultations with external experts on the Asian community have also suggested Sikh receive a unique code classified under Asian. The Census Bureau does not currently tabulate on religious responses to the race or ethnic questions (e.g., Sikh, Jewish, Catholic, Muslim, Lutheran, etc.).
^Ira Sheskin; Arnold Dashefsky (2010). "Jewish Population in the United States, 2010"(PDF). Mandell L. Berman Institute North American Jewish Data Bank, Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life, University of Connecticut. Brandeis University. Retrieved 2015.
^Humes, Karen R.; Jones, Nicholas A.; Ramirez, Roberto R. "Overview of Race and Hispanic Origin: 2010"(PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011. "Hispanic or Latino" refers to a person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race.
^ abcSonya Tastogi; Tallese D. Johnson; Elizabeth M. Hoeffel; Malcolm P. Drewery, Jr. (September 2011). "The Black Population: 2010"(PDF). United States Census Bureau. United States Department of Commerce. Retrieved 2012.
^Lien, Pei-te; Mary Margaret Conway; Janelle Wong (2004). The politics of Asian Americans: diversity and community. Psychology Press. p. 7. ISBN978-0-415-93465-7. Retrieved 2012. In addition, because of their perceived racial difference, rapid and continuous immigration from Asia, and on going detente with communist regimes in Asia, Asian Americans are construed as "perpetual foreigners" who cannot or will not adapt to the language, customs, religions, and politics of the American mainstream.
^Bianchine, Peter J.; Russo, Thomas A. (1992). "The Role of Epidemic Infectious Diseases in the Discovery of America". Allergy and Asthma Proceedings. OceanSide Publications, Inc. 13 (5): 225-232. doi:10.2500/108854192778817040. PMID1483570.
^Thornton, Russell (1987). American Indian Holocaust and Survival: A Population History Since 1492. Volume 186 of Civilization of the American Indian Series. University of Oklahoma Press. p. 132. ISBN9780806122205. Retrieved 2012. From whatever cause wars may be brought on, either between different Indian tribes or between indians and whites, they are very destructive, not only of the lives of the warriors engaged in it, but of the women and children also, often becoming a war of extermination.