This ethnic/ancestral type reflects, presumably, Americans who no longer know, or no longer care, about the various derivations which contribute to their family trees. They’ve become a modern, generic homogenized ethnicity – the American-American.
I suspect I’m close to joining the American-Americans. I’m a little hazy on my family tree, beyond the knowledge that I’ve got some German, some Welsh, some Scottish and English progenitors. With such vague, and diverse, roots, simply calling myself “American” makes more and more sense to me.
Link to the full map & tool: https://public.tableausoftware.com/views/supercensus/AmericanAmericans?:embed=y&:display_count=no
Today I take a brief break from ethnicity to look at the percentage of residents in American zip codes who were born outside of the United States. This isn’t the same as the percentage of non-citizens, mind you, which I looked at separately, and which I’ve turned in to the Reveille. One of the major themes of my series on ethnic/racial heritage is that the United States is an immigrant nation – the primary difference between each immigrant group is order of arrival.
The map of foreign-born residents is the simplest way to see where the newest immigrants have settled – where the newest addition to our mixing bowl can be found. Some may not be citizens, and there is no way at the moment to tell whether they’ll be able to become legal citizens of the United States. That debate is a big part of why I became interested in this data. However, legal or not, they’re here – and now we can see visually *where* they are. Originally, ancestry and ethnic mix seemed like a good, quick way to show that the United States is a hodge-podge of post-Revolution immigrants. Instead, I found the dispersal of different ancestries compelling. Many maps later, here we are.
Share with anyone you know living in the United States, but born outside her borders. They can see how many of their neighbors share their non-native born status.
A link to my Tableau visualization, which allows for more exploration of the data and the map: https://public.tableausoftware.com/profile/jared5561#!/vizhome/supercensus/ForeignBorn
Aside from their fairly specific geographic distribution, the Polish-American population doesn’t hold many surprises. I had thought there’d be more Poles, but one problem with preconceptions about ancestry is that there are so many different ancestries which make up the American landscape that it’s difficult to get a handle on all of them at once, as well as their relative prevalence. When I approach the end of this project, I do hope to put together a single map showing multiple ancestral/ethnic groupings at once — but I’m running into technical difficulties, and it remains a challenging work in progress. Cross your fingers for me!
Here’s a link to my Tableau on Polish-Americans, so you can drill down, zoom in, etc:
Seriously, I had always thought Chicago was supposed to have an enormous Irish population – yet you just don’t see it on this zip-code level census data. Even poking around and mousing over individual zip codes in the area, I didn’t see much to explain the lack — no concentrated, 100% Irish neighborhoods, say.
But, again, that’s why you do these sorts of projects. Surprise results are a good thing, as they help dispel illusions you previously labored under. The Irish are a wonderful group to study when discussing immigration, because they’re one of the more famous groups of immigrants to arrive in America and face opposition from those who were already here. The map is set so the darkest green (please forgive the stereotype I indulged in, using green to represent the Irish) represents zip codes with 25% or more Irish descent.
There are many more ancestral groups to cover, and I will keep putting together new maps for as long as I can find the time — keep watching jaredwkendall.com to see more of what makes up those who make up America.
Link to my Tableau tool, so you can get individual zip code data for all ancestral breakdowns:
Looking at their distribution, you can see Native American concentrations in modern tribal areas — Oklahoma, in particular, is easy to pick out. Other reservations and concentrations of Native Americans can be seen in the southwest, and parts of the northern Great Plains.
Native American demographics weren’t included in the census dataset I used as my primary source. They’re included in files that look at race, rather than ancestry, and it’s a little weird to me that the two aren’t kept together. Race is about more than just race – it’s also about where we came from, and how we got where we are today. These maps help show both where we are now, and to some extent, I think they speak to how we got here, as well.
Link to map in Tableau: https://public.tableausoftware.com/views/supercensus/NativeAmericans?:embed=y&:display_count=no
Like 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:
German-Americans are extremely prevalent across large portions of the nation. Unlike some of the other maps I’ve done in this series, Germans don’t show up in narrow patches or bands – they fill the map in massive numbers across large swaths of territory.
As you can see from the map, a lot of us list German ancestry. The mid-west, in particular, seems to have held a special attraction for German immigrants.
Here’s a link to my Tableau tool, so you can zoom in, explore, and play:
Today I turn my census-driven attention to the French – a population of particular importance in Louisiana.
Louisiana owes much of her culture, her food, and her style to the French blood which runs through the byways and bayous of the state. While it’s no secret that Louisiana has a large number of French-descended residents, seeing the distribution mapped out (and seeing it nationally) is fascinating.
I’ll continue this series, looking at more of the heritage of American immigration.
The dataset I’m working with, the 2013 census estimations, has some glaring oversights, however: It doesn’t include data on native Americans, african-Americans (except for sub-saharan Africans), or Hispanics. I’ll need to get data for those groups elsewhere, so that I can include them in the project. For whatever reason, this particular dataset seems to have a strong focus on European immigration. Still, given that many of the folks voicing strong opinions during the current immigration debate are of European descent, perhaps this oversight isn’t a lethal one. Aside from native Americans, we all came from somewhere else. These maps and this data helps to show precisely where we came from, and where we ended up.
Here’s a link to the Tableau tool so you can see things in greater detail, as well as zoom in, get county info, etc:
Enjoy and share! 😀
Continuing my look at American immigration, today I’ve put together a map showing the distribution of zip codes with concentrations of residents of Danish descent. I’ve also made changes to the Tableau tool so that you can now mouse over zip codes and get information on the nearest city, the county, and the state where that zip code is located (the graphic overlay makes it impossible to read state borders and such in Tableau).
Calling America a melting pot is a cliche – but looking at the ingredients is fascinating. I’m currently working on getting racial data pulled in, because the ancestry data in these tables is curiously lacking of such obvious and necessary things as native Americans, Mexican-Americans and African-Americans. The census can be maddening to work with.
Here’s a link to the Tableau, so you can zoom in, get county info, etc: