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U.S.A: Culture

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The United States is a very racially diverse country. According to the 2000 census, it has 31 ethnic groups with at least one million members each, and numerous others represented in smaller amounts.

The majority of Americans descend from white European immigrants who arrived after the establishment of the first colonies (most after Reconstruction). This majority--69% in 2000--decreases each year, and is expected to become a plurality within a few decades. The most frequently stated European ancestries are German (15.2%), Irish (10.8%), English (8.7%), Italian (5.6%) and Scandinavian (3.7%). Many immigrants also hail from Slavic countries such as Poland and Russia. Other significant immigrant populations came from eastern and southern Europe and French Canada.

Hispanics from Mexico and South and Central America are second only to the German-American population. Hispanics comprise 13% of the population (2000 census). People of Mexican descent made up 7.3% of the population in the 2000 census, and this proportion is expected to increase significantly in the coming decades.

Approximately 12.9% (2000 census) of the American people designated themselves as Black alone or in combination with some other race(African American). African Americans are spread throughout the country, but their proportional population is largest in the South.

Asian Americans, including Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, are a third significant minority (4% of the population in 2000). Most Asian Americans are concentrated on the West Coast and Hawaii. The largest groups are immigrants or descendants of emigrants from the Philippines, China, India, Vietnam, South Korea, and Japan.

Indigenous peoples in the United States, such as American Indians and Inuit, make up 1% of the population (2000 census). About 35% live on Indian reservations.

For the first time ever, American citizens were able to list all of the racial, ethnic, or ancestry groups which they felt was appropriate for them. For example, a dual ancestry person was counted in the Italian and the Irish ancestry group or a biracial person was counted in the White and Black groups.

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