Soon I’ll wrap this series up – but first, we need to take a look at Swiss-Americans, and their reverence for the Mason-Dixon line.
The Swiss aren’t particularly common in America, but they’re notably sparse in the South. Apparently, whatever brought those with Swiss ancestry to the United States didn’t involve a love of sweet tea and kudzu.
Today we look past the general term Hispanic to see where America’s Hispanics truly come from. Calling someone “Hispanic” is like calling them “European.” It speaks somewhat to their ancestral heritage, but encompasses a *very* broad swath of very different folks.
Yet as we see when we map the United States by most populous Hispanic sub-type for each zip code, we find the Hispanic population of America is, overwhelmingly, Mexican.
To arrive at this took a very tedious formula. I’m sure there’s some better way to do it, but the only way I knew was with an IF, AND, THEN, ELSE statement. Basically, for each sub-type, I made a formula that said, “If there are more of this group than that group, and that group, and that group, and that group (etc.) then this group is the biggest group in the zip code.” If the group wasn’t the largest, the code looked at the next one. And so forth, and so on. Here is the code for just one of the ethnic groups I looked at:
if [Guatemalan]>[- Cuban] and [Guatemalan]>[- Dominican (Dominican Republic)] and [Guatemalan]>[- Mexican] and [Guatemalan]>[- Other Hispanic or Latino: – Spaniard] and [Guatemalan]>[- Other Hispanic or Latino: – Spanish] and [Guatemalan]>[- Other Hispanic or Latino: – Spanish American] and [Guatemalan]>[- Puerto Rican] and [Guatemalan]>[Argentinean] and [Guatemalan]>[Bolivian] and [Guatemalan]>[Chilean] and [Guatemalan]>[Colombian] and [Guatemalan]>[Costa Rican] and [Guatemalan]>[Ecuadorian] and [Guatemalan]>[Honduran] and [Guatemalan]>[Nicaraguan] and [Guatemalan]>[Other Central American] and [Guatemalan]>[Other South American] and [Guatemalan]>[Panamanian] and [Guatemalan]>[Paraguayan] and [Guatemalan]>[Peruvian] and [Guatemalan]>[Salvadoran] and [Guatemalan]>[Uruguayan] and [Guatemalan]>[Venezuelan] then “Guatemalan”
I started this series, in part, because of the fact that immigration and citizenship have been in the news lately. While my maps have focused on every aspect of the American ancestral makeup, the portion of our tapestry which is currently under debate is the one I look at today – Hispanic-Americans. Hispanic is a broad category, and I plan to publish a more detailed map of Hispanic America which will show not only where Hispanics live, but where Hispanics from various nations live. After all, Hispanic is just a category – it encompasses a lot of nationalities, and lumping them together ignores this varied heritage. Keep checking my site – at the moment, I intend to have that new, more detailed map ready tomorrow.
Hispanic settlement isn’t particularly surprising, although I do find it odd how quickly numbers drop off when you cross the Louisiana-Texas border.
Slovaks can be found, for the most part, in a band which stretches from the Ohio Great Lakes east through Pennsylvania and parts of New York State.
Not particularly plentiful, and largely absent from much of the country, I decided to break with tradition and crop the Slovak map just a bit to make it easier to see the spots where they settled. The map isn’t perfect – one flaw is that I would need to make the coloration layer transparent if I wanted to allow city names and so forth to come through – but doing so makes it more difficult to spot the ethnic density coloration, so I’ve resisted the temptation up to this point. Try the Tableau tool so you can mouse over spots and get geographic information.
I expected to see a strong concentration of Russians on the East Coast near New York City, for whatever reason. I was wrong. The region of the United States with the highest percentage of Russian ancestry is actually off in the Dakotas – perhaps testimony to the Russian ability to live through blistering summers and polar winters… Or perhaps not. Either way, I was surprised by the results – and that’s always a good thing.
The Portuguese favor two locations in the United States – Massachusetts, and Southern California. Outside of those small enclaves, they’re nearly nonexistent, creating a vast empty expanse when mapped.
I would imagine someone with some knowledge of Portuguese history could shed some light on why their descendents are found in those areas – the map, as it stands, is just a tantalizing clue in need of further explanation.
If you’re a Lithuanian in America, you are not alone. But you’re close. Lithuanians are few and far between, representing one of the smaller demographic segments of the population.
In fact, out of fifty ethnic and racial ancestral demographics, Lithuanians came in tied for #36 in my list of ethnicities with the greatest number of zip codes where they’re the largest ethnic component. There was one zip code in the United States where there were more Lithuanians than any other ethnicity – zip code 17974, in Schuylkill, Pennsylvania. In that single zip code, Lithuanians make up 29.6% of the population. Go Schuylkill! Of course, that isn’t even a proper zip code – it’s a p.o. box zip code, which means it doesn’t show up as an area on my map – it shows up as a little circle that’s difficult to spot. Think of hunting for it as a Lithuanian version of “Where’s Waldo?”
Some ethnic groups spread out to fill every nook and cranny in the United States – Germans, I’m looking at you! Others, like the Norwegians, stick to one region and don’t stray far. For the Norwegians, the northern stretches of the Great Plains clearly holds a special attraction.
Today, we look at Italian-Americans – a demographic strongly concentrated in the New York / New Jersey area. While that’s certainly the largest Italian enclave in the United States, the smaller New Orleans Italian community also shows up – giving insight into one of the many populations which make up Louisiana’s unique (and delicious) ancestral blend.