English Americans

English Americans
Total population
25,926,451Increase [1]
2010 American Community Survey
7.6% of the total U.S. population [2]
Regions with significant populations
Throughout the entire United States
Predominantly in New England, the Delaware Valley, the Mormon Corridor and the South
Plurality in Utah and Maine
California 4,946,554 [3]
Texas 3,083,323 [3]
Ohio 2,371,236 [3]
New York 2,320,503 [3]
Florida 2,232,514 [3]
Michigan 2,036,021 [3]
Illinois 1,808,333 [3]
North Carolina 1,778,008 [3]
Georgia 1,584,303 [3]
Tennessee 1,435,147 [3]
Pennsylvania 1,058,737 [4]

English Americans, also referred to as Anglo-Americans, are Americans whose ancestry originates wholly or partly in England, a country that is part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. In the 2014 American Community Survey, English Americans are (7.6%) of the total population. [5]

However, demographers regard this as a serious undercount, as the index of inconsistency is high, and many, if not most, people from English stock have a tendency (since the introduction of a new "American" category (See Old Stock Americans) in the 2000 census) to identify as simply Americans [6] [7] [8] [9] or if of mixed European ancestry, identify with a more recent and differentiated ethnic group. [10] In the 1980 United States Census, over 49 million (49,598,035) Americans claimed English ancestry, at the time around 26.34% of the total population and largest reported group which, even today, would make them the largest ethnic group in the United States. [11] [12] Eight out of the ten most common surnames in the United States are of English origin or having possible mixed British Isles heritage, the other two being of Spanish origin. [13] Scotch-Irish Americans are for the most part descendants of Lowland Scots and Northern English (specifically: County Durham, Cumberland, Northumberland and Westmorland) settlers who colonized Ireland during the Plantation of Ulster in the 17th century.

In 1982, an opinion poll showed respondents a card listing a number of ethnic groups and asked, "Thinking both of what they have contributed to this country and have gotten from this country, for each one tell me whether you think, on balance, they've been a good or a bad thing for this country." The English were the top ethnic group, with 66% saying they were a good thing for the United States, followed by the Irish at 62%. Ben J. Wattenberg argues that this poll demonstrates a general American bias against Hispanics and other recent immigrant populations. [14]

The overwhelming majority of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America were of English extraction, including Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, John Adams, James Madison [15] and Thomas Jefferson (however Jefferson's father was of immigrant parents said to have come from the Snowdonia district of northern Wales [16]). Jefferson Davis, President of The Confederate States of America was also of English descent.

English immigrants in the 19th century, as with other groups, sought economic prosperity. They began migrating in large numbers without state support. [17]

Sense of identity

Americans of English heritage are often seen, and identify, as simply "American" due to the many historic cultural ties between England and the U.S. and their influence on the country's population. Relative to ethnic groups of other European origins, this may be due to the early establishment of English settlements; as well as to non-English groups having emigrated in order to establish significant communities. [18]

In the succeeding years since the founding of the United States of America, English-Americans have been less likely to proclaim their heritage in the face of the upsurge of cultural and ethnic pride by African Americans, Irish Americans, Scottish Americans, Italian Americans or other ethnic groups. While there may be many reasons for this, after centuries of intermarriage and internal geographic mobility, many are unable to determine a specific English origin. For these reasons, no other part of the pluralist American society is so difficult to describe as a separate entity as the English. English immigrants were and are often seen as an invisible ethnic group, due to the length of time their ancestors may have been in the United States, as the majority of the founding colonists were English people.

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