Assorted links

by on August 31, 2011 at 12:24 pm in Uncategorized | Permalink

1 dufu August 31, 2011 at 12:43 pm

The dominant ethnicity in the upland South is “American.” lol

I wonder if Jim Webb’s Scotch-Irish consciousness raising has changed the answers in the 2010 census.

2 Andrew' August 31, 2011 at 2:38 pm

No true Scotsmen?

3 Hasdrubal August 31, 2011 at 3:37 pm

The first thing I thought was “The Pennsylvania Dutch aren’t.”

4 bbartlog September 1, 2011 at 1:30 pm

Well, that’s actually well known. Bavarian or even Tyrolean looking lot, for the most part.

5 Jonathan Ghant August 31, 2011 at 12:43 pm

re: #3
For the most part, Americans=Scots Irish on this map.

6 Todd August 31, 2011 at 12:50 pm

And all these politicians waste so much time butchering Spanish. Who knew?

“Bürgerinnen und Bürger, Ich bin so froh, hier zu sein”

7 bbartlog September 1, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Well, German *speaking* is not near so well represented as the ancestry. Most of the German-descended have had longer to forget the language, the language is arguably harder to learn, and there was also a period around WWI where it was actively suppressed.

8 Ed August 31, 2011 at 1:03 pm

The ancestery map is interesting, but somewhat misleading because its by plurality, not majority, and second its by county, but no distinction is made between metropolitan counties with millions of people and very complex demographics, and sparsely populated counties (there are some counties in the US with only a few hundred or so inhabitants). This subject really calls for a series of maps.

The areas on the map where “Americans” appear numerous coincide where McCain’s performance in 2008 was stronger than Bush’s in 2004.

9 rfigueira August 31, 2011 at 1:22 pm

Also to note: that ancestry is self-reported. “German” seems well over-represented.

10 Pub Editor August 31, 2011 at 1:53 pm

“German” seems well over-represented.

Not necessarily. Germans made up a sizable chunck of the pre-Civil War immigration to the Free Soil territories north of 20 degrees latitude. Many were attracted to western areas where you could own your own farm, something that was comparatively rarer in the former Holy Roman Empire. Naturalized German immigrants and their children made up a big part of Abraham Lincoln’s base (at one point, I think he even owned a partnership share in a German-language newspaper).

Also, bear in mind that a lot of those German counties between Chicago and the Rockies are sparsely populated.

The self-reporting does have the potential to skew the results.

Consider: Most of our national beer brands come from areas that are labeled “German” on that map.

11 Dan Dostal August 31, 2011 at 3:26 pm

Germans probably out-bred others as well. The established British, French, and Spanish cultures more than likely followed their homelands into declined birthrates. German birthrates were through the roof for Europe and I can only imagine the ones that moved here to own land had even greater need and desire. I also look to the birthrates of minorities today, as well as the Anabaptists. I would also consider that most soldiers in the ACW were from the established cultures rather than the newer immigrants (note the draft riots in NYC).

I completely concur that Americans have more German blood than any other emigration point. The Irish and Italians were never as prolific and the black population has never been allowed to flourish, otherwise this statement would be incorrect. Eventually the Mexican population will most assuredly become a plurality. I’d imagine a new emergence of “American” heredity at that point.

12 bbartlog September 1, 2011 at 1:41 pm

The black population has been allowed to flourish (numerically anyway) since the 1950s. As regards self-reporting bias, however, I wonder how it plays out for those with mixed Irish and German ancestry, since (as I recall) the percentage of Americans claiming *some* ancestry for either of these groups is equal at ~48%. The total number of mixed Irish-German descended must be quite large.

13 rfigueira September 1, 2011 at 11:31 am

“The self-reporting does have the potential to skew the results.”

Exactly. Immigration, birthrates, Midwest concentration, etc are all good points, but I wonder if the response “German” is often a token for “white of unknown heritage”. Certainly German blood is diluted in the mix, to the point that for any given white american there is a good chance she had a German ancestor; but there is also a good chance she had other English or Scottish ancestors. Look just three generations back and you would have 8 ancestors to choose, yet people were asked for one ancestry. It seems people choose to pick German out of the ancestry pool, discarding the more mundane English ancestry.

A surname map:

14 Pub Editor August 31, 2011 at 1:55 pm

The “German” areas are also where, I think, you would find the greatest concentrations of Lutherans.

15 Mrs. Davis August 31, 2011 at 2:03 pm

German blood flows in the veins of more Americans than that of any other ethnic group. The (Prussian?) blue on the map is not misleading. But it, like all other ethnicity, is diluted in the American blender. More so as a result of domestic ethnic repression resulting from two ill conceived wars from the Fatherland. And driving so many bruders to the US, while delaying entry of the US into those wars, may have resulted in its defeat in what could be considered civil wars.

16 dasan August 31, 2011 at 1:03 pm

The definitions used in creating this map (incl. American, Hispanic) are highly problematic if you look at the guidelines.

17 EB Hansen August 31, 2011 at 1:04 pm

I find the “other” county groups intriguing – what drew those groups there?

Poles in Luzerne County Pa – mining?

Portuguese in two counties in New England – ?

Filipino’s in Hawaii – plantation workers? military?

18 Finch August 31, 2011 at 1:16 pm

> Portuguese in two counties in New England – ?

Old fishing communities. Source of great food.

19 Seth C September 1, 2011 at 3:31 am

The Portuguese presence in Connecticut comes up in ‘Mystic Pizza’.

20 Bjorn August 31, 2011 at 1:22 pm

Could aliens buy the earth? Tyler seems to like Sci-fi and there is an old book called “They Walked like Men”, its an alien invasion book with a twist. Instead of fighting us they just start buying up everything. Could this happen? 🙂

21 Paavo Ojala August 31, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Finns and Norwegians dominate counties. What happened to swedes?

22 Dan Dostal August 31, 2011 at 3:34 pm

Swedes had this thing called dominance back home. My Norwegian grandparents didn’t care to talk of them much. I have always assumed they didn’t migrate in quite the same numbers as the dominated cultures. My quick fact-check backs this up for the Norwegians, but not the Finns. They came later anyway. They seemed to have picked one of the few places where the other Nordic people didn’t.

23 Pub Editor August 31, 2011 at 3:43 pm
24 Alleged Wisdom August 31, 2011 at 2:22 pm

The Lucas Critique applies to Asimov’s proposal. If people knew that signaling an interest in science fiction was a ticket to a superior education, then such signals of interest would rapidly cease to be a useful measure of creativity.

However, making people write a science fiction story might be a good test of creativity. It would be far more useful than the current writing prompts on standardized tests.

25 Andrew' August 31, 2011 at 3:16 pm

If public schools manage to make it as exciting as everything else they do, it will remain a true signal.

26 Michael Caton August 31, 2011 at 2:40 pm

RE “Where the Germans Are”, there’s a joke that development indicators improve with proximity to the Canadian border. I think it’s now clear to all of us that this is just a proxy for German-ness.

27 The Engineer September 1, 2011 at 9:39 am

Uh…. not really. Look for purple. Purpleness and the Canadian border are correlated in the opposite direction.

28 bbartlog September 1, 2011 at 1:43 pm

You’re looking for something else, actually. Paging Steve Sailer…

29 gwern August 31, 2011 at 3:25 pm

I always find Google Books terribly hard to read in, and a double-column format doesn’t help… I’ve typed up the essay since it was just two pages:

(If anyone wants the Markdown source, append a “.page”: )

30 Will August 31, 2011 at 10:01 pm

@Michael Caton: Not many Germans here in rich, close-to-Canada Connecticut, though we do have some. What sorts of development indicators do we fail at?

31 jmumich September 1, 2011 at 12:01 am

Interesting to see the surprise that “American” was self reported, but no surprise that all of Puerto Rico self-reported as, well, “Puerto Rican”

32 londenio September 1, 2011 at 12:49 am

#3 This is merely just one more evidence that the US is Deutschland 2.0. The US is the country Germany always wanted to be.

I have seen this map for before 2000 and Texas also looks predominantly of German ancestry.


33 8 September 1, 2011 at 1:50 am

America is always looking for lebensraum. It’s just letting in illegals to later justify the total conquest of North and South America.

34 Staufer September 2, 2011 at 3:21 am

Why the surprise? Germans did emigrate in extremely high numbers in the period 1870-1900, interestingly at a time when Germany itself was booming; but then, so was the birthrate. My great-grandfather was one of 14 children in the Black Forest, and 7 emigrated to the US. Looking at the history of immigration into the US, Germans were the single largest group, outnumbering people from England and Scotland. Only when you add the Irish do immigrants from the British isles outnumber German immigrants.

35 rfigueira September 2, 2011 at 11:13 am

1. Since your great-grandfather came from the Black Forest, would you answer “German” to that poll?
2. What about your other 3 great-grandfathers and 4 great-grandmothers, where did they come from and how do they affect your ancestry answer?

There is no denial German blood is a big fraction of the pool; the question is Why would someone pick “German” as ancestry, given that there are 2^n ancestors per generation?

Also, immigration is a good point but *time* is of essence. A smaller immigrant group arriving three or four generations earlier will have a larger impact on ancestry, even with smaller birth rates. When those 7 Germans emigrated to US, one couple coming from England 100 years earlier would have produced 70-80 Americans; so the effect of a massive immigration rate (7 vs 2) is dwarfed by time difference (just four generations).

36 gamesliga September 6, 2011 at 7:38 am

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37 gamesliga September 26, 2011 at 2:36 am

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