English in America

EnglishLike many Americans, I’m a little hazy on my family tree. However, I’ve always thought of myself as predominately British, and assumed that as a former British colony, English descendents would be heavily represented when I mapped them.

This was not the case.

While America has plenty of English-Americans, they’re much more sparse than, say, German-Americans. This also brings up an interesting question – how much of these census results is attributed to actual lineage, and how much is due to variances in self-reporting? In other words, when you can count German, English, Welsh and Scottish relatives as part of your family tree, how do you choose to describe yourself? Perhaps claiming English descent seems too pedestrian, and loses out to the more “exciting” choices of, say, Scottish. To get true data, you would probably have to turn to genetic testing, and data from genetic testers that release demographic information can’t be trusted as being statistically representative of everyone – getting tested costs money, and requires an interest in such things. That’s going to skew results.

For now, the census is as good as it gets, and I was quite surprised by this one. Here’s hoping I’m not alone – expected results can be awfully boring.

Link to my Tableau tool:

https://public.tableausoftware.com/views/supercensus/English?:embed=y&:display_count=no

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