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Most Common U.S. Ancestries

Name the most common self-reported U.S. ancestries, as of the 2000 census.
For example: Swiss
Guessing the name for the ancestries is part of what makes this quiz hard
Sorry if you disagree with the categories - blame the Census Bureau!
Last updated: August 12, 2013
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Percentage
Ancestry
15.2%
German
10.8%
Irish
8.8%
African-American
8.7%
English
7.2%
American
6.5%
Mexican
5.6%
Italian
3.2%
Polish
3.0%
French
Percentage
Ancestry
2.8%
American Indian
1.7%
Scottish
1.6%
Dutch
1.6%
Norwegian
1.5%
Scotch-Irish
1.4%
Swedish
0.9%
Hispanic
0.9%
Puerto Rican
0.9%
Russian
Percentage
Ancestry
0.8%
Chinese
0.8%
Filipino
0.8%
Spanish
0.8%
French Canadian
0.7%
European
0.6%
Welsh
0.5%
Danish
0.5%
Indian
+7
level 70
Aug 15, 2013
I don't CARE if the census uses the terms "American" and "Puerto Rican" giving them as categories for ancestry is flat out stupid (not YOUR fault - no blame to you) as Puerto Rico is part of the US and American is anyone who lives here now, but does not establish the "formerly from WHERE" part. Ah, government intelligence bureaucracy at work!
+4
level 81
Sep 1, 2013
These are self reported stats, obviously even you can understand that Puerto Rican culture and history is far different from the rest of the US. American is reported as an ancestry generally by white southerners whose families have been here for hundreds of years and have lost connection with a European ancestry, although their line usually comes from Great Britain.
+3
level 67
Nov 13, 2014
0.9% Hispanic ................. yeah right!
+3
level 72
Feb 21, 2016
Thank you, Donald
+4
level 58
Jul 27, 2017
Considering this was from before Donald, he had nothing to do with the number.
+4
level 75
Oct 8, 2013
It's not the government. It's SELF REPORTED. So, American actually makes sense. If you ask someone what their ancestry, many will say "American"- meaning either a) they don't really know, beyond a generation or two, b) they identify first and foremost as Americans, regardless of where their ancestors came from, c) they have either Native or European roots extending back very far, as I do, d) they are using "American" as code to mean "'White' European-American". I imagine the first and last reasons are actually very common in the US.

I missed that one, Dutch, Puerto Rican, Scotch-Irish, and French Canadian. I was actually going to make this quiz myself and several others related to the census... lots of interesting information there. Never got around to it apart from doing an updated and expanded version of the immigrants quiz. Good quiz!
+1
level 63
Jun 4, 2014
Or they are using it to mean their parents or other ancestors were born in America.
+1
level 75
Jul 10, 2015
Which falls into category a, b, or c...
+2
level 55
Oct 9, 2013
You're better at ranting than you are at reading, aren't you?
+2
level 51
Nov 28, 2013
A lot of Americans are of mixed ethnicity and were born and raised in American culture, so "American" makes more sense as a way to identify oneself.
+1
level 38
Aug 3, 2018
100% agree
+1
level 21
May 15, 2019
I agree with the "Puerto Rican" and "American" part. Only reason I got "American" right is because I just thought I should type it in anyway just because and I wasn't expecting to get it right. Also "European"? Why? There are so many European ethnicities on the quiz given already so I don't see why you would put "European" as one of them. African American is also too general. Accept "British" for "English". But I guess "British" could mean "Scottish" or "Irish" or "Welsh" because they all belong to the UK so maybe never mind. I don't think you should do "Hispanic" if you are adding hispanic countries to the list anyway. For "French Canadian" I honestly think you should accept "Canadian", just I think it will be easier since only 3% get it and I'm sure we all wrote "Canadian" instead and got it wrong. I like this quiz tho and keep it up with the nice ones Quizmaster! I'm a 13 from Hawaii so idk if what I'm saying makes any sense but thanks anyway lol
+5
level 57
Oct 8, 2013
Always amusing when U.S. citizens call themselves American.
+5
level 75
Oct 8, 2013
Why? Is it amusing when citizens of Germany call themselves German? Do you believe that at the dawn of homo sapiens sapiens there were already Germans? ALL of the groups in this quiz are designations that have been around fewer than 2,000 years or so. In many cases fewer than the few hundred years that the USA has existed. Identifying with any one of them is every bit as silly (or not) as identifying with the label of "American," if you think about it.
+3
level 72
Oct 8, 2013
My guess is that pensta was referring to the fact that American can be taken to mean anyone from North or South America, so basically the entire western hemisphere. Of course, probably most people think USA when someone says "I'm American."
+2
level 59
Oct 8, 2013
The Chinese, Indians, and Native Americans have existed as ethnic groups much longer than 2,000 years. Germans are at least 2,000 years old, and you could make a pretty reasonable argument that Italians have been around since the days of the Roman Republic.
+4
level 75
Oct 9, 2013
American is never used to mean someone from the Americas. It is always used to mean someone from the United States of America.
+2
level 75
Oct 9, 2013
Jenkins, you serious? You think that 2,000 years ago there were "Native Americans?" There were people back that that we would today describe as Olmec. We really don't know much about what people were living in most of North America at the time as they had no written language and left little archaeological evidence. There were thousands of different wildly disparate tribes of people all over North America by the time Europeans showed up and started documenting them. They didn't become "Native Americans"- crudely lumped together in a giant all-encompassing group that really just meant people indigenous to North America and had nothing to do with their ethnicity, until after the arrival of Europeans on the continent which made being indigenous something meaningful. Germans are an ethnic group that first arose in the Middle Ages, much less than 2000 years ago. Like many of these European ethnicities they include disparate peoples, united by labels applied by outsiders (Romans in this case).
+2
level 75
Oct 9, 2013
Qin Shi Huang was the first emperor to unite China. That was little more than 2000 years ago. Today, China is *still* facing the problem of trying to convince all Chinese people that they are actually Chinese. There are tens if not hundreds of millions of people identified as Chinese who don't speak the official language of China, and 56 ethnic groups formally recognized by the government of China even though all of these people are Chinese by nationality, and their descendants in America would likely self-identify as Chinese-American. They get lumped together into the ethnicity of "Chinese" because of contemporary political realities. Chinese did not exist as a meaningful ethnicity for all time, either. and certainly not more than about 2200 years ago. Much longer than being German has meant something, but still not really that much longer than being American has meant something, in the grand scheme. That's all the time for history lessons I've got for today.
+1
level 59
Oct 9, 2013
"That's all the time for history lessons I've got for today." Kalbahamut, I give history lessons for a living- five of them of a day, five days a week to honors and AP high school students. We can disagree, but unless you're a PhD with a position at a university, a little humility would be appreciated.
+1
level 75
Oct 12, 2013
Don't need a PhD to know that "Native American" has not been an ethnic group for 2000 years. No offense or anything but that's simply very wrong.
+2
level 75
Oct 12, 2013
I apologize if I was coming across as condescending.
+1
level 75
Sep 10, 2014
gandalf, and we're laughing at you behind yours, or in plain sight as the case may be. I could list all the reasons why but there's a character limit. so, enjoy.
+2
level 75
Dec 8, 2016
Dunkingandalf, calling ourselves Americans doesn't negate people from two continents. We are all either North Americans or South Americans continentally. The problem is when people are taught that there is only one continent here and it is called America. That is what negates all of our identities.
+1
level 52
Apr 16, 2017
Native American hasn't been an ethnic group since the first century? I...just...I can't. Also, most South American countries consider using 'American' as 'Usonian' rude.
+3
level 52
Apr 16, 2017
Kalbahamut, do you really need to have 24 comments on this quiz?
+2
level 75
Sep 22, 2017
Aesthus, do you really need to have 3? You never seem to add anything relevant or sensical.
+1
level 54
Nov 27, 2017
In defense of Khalbahamut in regards to the JenkinsEar many professors and educational institutions in North America have a liberal slant and scew in the way they teach their material to students.
+1
level 75
Aug 7, 2018
I've been a university professor myself. I don't look at things in terms of what's liberal or conservative, but rather what can be demonstrated to be true through evidence and what cannot.
+2
level 59
Oct 8, 2013
I understand that there are other countries in the large landmass called America, but what would we Americans call ourselves otherwise? "North Americans" doesn't work because that included Canada. "United States of Americans" just sounds ridiculous.
+1
level 67
Feb 5, 2016
The term "Usonian" exists, although it is rarely used. I think Usamerican has bee suggested too.
+2
level 75
May 9, 2016
Why would anyone feel the need for a change? It's not like people from Canada, Mexico, or South America call themselves American, do they? Or have they started, just in order to invent a new reason to be mad at the USA?


Just had another conversation today with the taxi driver here in Skopje. He asked where I was from. I said "the US." He said what? I said "USA." He's like huh? I said "the states. The United States." He's all "come again?" I said "I'm American. From America." Him finally: "oooooh! America!"
+3
level 52
Apr 16, 2017
South Americans have been calling themselves Americans for quite a long time. It's considered rude there to use American as a term for U.S. residents, and why shouldn't it be? The Federated States of Micronesia are known as the Federated States because Micronesia means all of the Oceanic island countries, not just them.
+1
level 49
Jul 10, 2017
i call myself a new englander
+1
level 75
Sep 22, 2017
Aesthus: yeah, that's total baloney. Source? This is completely fabricated outrage and has only been around for a few decades at best. It's also only become a popular meme in a handful of countries, notably the ones that are most hateful toward the USA in their popular current politics, like Colombia.
+1
level 75
May 9, 2016
I've been hanging around the Balkans lately- Greece, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Albania.... this point has really been driven home by my experience here. It's funny how every nationalist movement must invent some sort of creation myth, tracing the roots of the nation, and by nation I mean people, to some ancient BS starting point. I visited the "Museum of the Macedonian Struggle" in both Thessaloniki and Skopje... not surprisingly they tell *very* different stories.

If you take it for granted that any "people" around today have always been around, or their ancestors always thought of themselves in the same way, or that some ancient term designating a group of people, co-opted by a modern nation-state, has always meant the same thing and referred to the same group of people, or that nationalism or race are anything other than a lie... you're ignorant of history. Full stop.
Americans are as much a people as any other, with their own creation myths.
+1
level 21
May 16, 2019
Ikr totally agree with pensta
+1
level 21
May 16, 2019
Think about it guys (and this is coming from a person who lives in Hawaii, a part of the US)... South America and North America. Technically Argentinians are American. So are Hondurans. So are Mexicans. We all live in America, and just because we as the US are part of North America doesn't mean we get to call ourselves American, because there are countless other countries in South and North and Central America that are technically that as well. In Spanish we're even called "USAians". Think about it. Estadounidense. The Spanish don't believe we're the only Americans and why should they? They're right. I sound stupid.
+1
level 58
Oct 8, 2013
This was a great quiz but the only niggling problem I found was that it didn't include dual national identities in the description. I would recommend including this in the description as I would have guessed scotch Irish but when I found out Scot and Irish were separate answers I did not bother to include them. Great quiz though!
+1
level 75
Oct 8, 2013
that only applies to a single answer though. and the "self-reported" clue could be enough to tip you off, since those that identify as "Scotch-Irish" are either too mixed up to identify as either Scottish or Irish, or ignorant of whether they are more one than the other. Like pretty much all people on Earth today, most Americans don't know much about their family history beyond maybe their great grandparents' generation, if that.
+1
level 59
Oct 8, 2013
Yep, the Scots-Irish are more akin to the Northern Irish/ Ulstermen than either mainland Scots or southern Irish. They were "imported" by the English from Scotland in the 1600s to "colonize" Ireland. When absentee English landlords began raising rents and Anglican clergymen began restricting their Presbyterian faith, the Scots-Irish began to emigrate to the American colonies, particularly the southern Appalachians. There, they began making bourbon and bluegrass.
+1
level 75
Jun 28, 2015
cool. Thank you for the history lesson. ;-)
+1
level 43
Oct 8, 2013
Interesting quiz. I learned a lot. I was VERY surprised that Czech was not one of the options. I even put in czechoslovakian - because I thought it HAD to be there. I'm not Czech myself - but I live in Nebraska, where there are a lot of Czech immigrants. I also messed up by putting in Welch instead of Welsh - so I missed that one,.
+1
level 69
Oct 10, 2013
I was also surprised not to see Czech. A lot of them made it down into Kansas too.
+1
level 64
Mar 5, 2014
Yay, the Wilber Czech Fest!!!! Mmmmm kolaches.
+1
level 48
Jan 5, 2018
Yep, my mom is from there! She's as Czech as you can get. But I think that the population of the Czech Republic (or Czechoslovakia), especially back when loads of people were coming to Ellis Island, is/was very small, so that's why it isn't on here. In New York where we are, you really have to look hard for other Czech people. However, they are VERY proud of their country.
+1
level 69
Oct 10, 2013
Kind of amusing to see the JetPunk approximation of a flame war. Lots more educational and still pretty civilized. I remember hearing somewhere that one year the census asked people if they were "Central American" or "South American." Enough Midwesterners and Southerners misinterpreted the question that they completely skewed the data.
+1
level 75
Oct 12, 2013
The less civilized ones usually get deleted by Quizmaster who likes everyone to play nice.
+1
level 75
Oct 18, 2013
Took this quiz again... got almost all of them this time but still missed Puerto Rican.
+1
level 75
Jun 28, 2015
and.. took it again. Got everything this time though took me a while to remember French Canadian was on here. I think that's another interesting quirk of using self-identified labels as answers... there are no doubt more non-French Canadians in the US than there are French Canadians, but I bet the ones with non-French-Canadian ancestry identify as "European" or "English" etc... or maybe even "American." To those with French Canadian ancestry the label is more important to them, so that's the answer they give.
+1
level 42
Mar 26, 2014
Spanish threw me off, so I didn't guess Hispanic. This happen to anyone else?
+1
level 75
Sep 10, 2014
I was wondering if some people tried Latino, which isn't on here. Hispanic literally means "of or relating to the country of Spain or Spanish language or culture"... and it includes people from Spain. Spanish usually only means people from Spain, but I've seen plenty of Latinos (people from Latin America) refer to themselves as Spanish before.
+4
level 81
May 17, 2014
Missed: Filipino, American, Hispanic, Scotch-Irish, French Canadian and European. Pure silliness to have separate categories and then a hold-all catergory at the bottom of it, I don't think any census gets any usable results this way. What anyway are Scotch-Irish? There was Scottish and Irish already, a common mix? We could have any number of categories that way...

*shakes head* --- anyway, it was a fun quiz
+1
level 38
May 17, 2014
There are no separate categories for these... you fill in the blank. So, if enough people fill in "American," it makes the list.
+1
level 21
May 16, 2019
Wow people look like they spend their whole life on jetpunk.com... dude, level 80? What have you been doing this whole time my guy ??? 😂
+2
level 57
Jul 11, 2014
Why the hell is European on here?! The census is seriously trying to categorise such a hugely diverse continent as Europe? Wow...
+1
level 75
Mar 16, 2015
No.
+1
level 46
Dec 31, 2015
The census was not trying to identify who was what, what people call themselves. It was not meant to be an accurate measurement of the different heritages. Most likely, those that identified as 'European' know they came from somewhere in Europe, but not the exact location. Many Americans I know simply don't know their heritage, or it's so ridiculously confused and complicated, they just call themselves 'European,' 'African,' or 'Asian.'
+1
level 46
Dec 31, 2015
*BUT what people call themselves* sorry! Hope this helped, FowlChr!
+1
level 23
Jul 31, 2014
I'm suprised that only 16% of people got American, despite the quiz being on U.S Ancestry.
+1
level 48
Mar 21, 2015
Well what in the world defines American? The original inhabitants of the United States were the Native American tribes. Aren't "Americans" immigrants from other countries?
+1
level 37
Jun 19, 2015
if you want to be pedantic then all "americans" are immigrants since the "native" americans crossed the bering in around 10,000bc. In fact outside of some parts of Africa all humans in any place are immigrants.
+1
level 22
Oct 19, 2014
Europe is a conteniant, not a country.
+2
level 75
Oct 28, 2014
I'm pretty sure it's neither a country nor a conteniant. But so far you're the only one to make either of those assertions.
+1
level 36
Dec 18, 2014
LOL nice Kalbahamut
+1
level 21
May 19, 2019
Hrmmmm.... contenient you say? Con·ti·nent /ˈkänt(ə)nənt/ noun any of the world's main continuous expanses of land (Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, South America).
+1
level 44
Mar 20, 2015
Expected to see Serbs...
+1
level 48
Mar 21, 2015
What defines European? More than half of these nationalities are from countries located in Europe.
+1
level 64
Apr 16, 2015
Canadian doesn't work? Really surprised by that.
+1
level 33
Jun 17, 2015
Ok, not your fault, but some of these are weird categories. For example, I guessed both French and Canadian (French was on there), but you can also designate French Canadian (if your French Canadian, really you ancestors are from France). I also got both Scottish and Irish, but I guess you can select Scotch-Irish as well...we're all mixed, so why allow this one. Someone writing "American" is kind of a wise guy and it means nothing ethnically. European is again extremely vague, but I guess someone might select it if they were a mixture of a couple of European countries.
+1
level 46
Aug 25, 2015
Oh my God, I got nearly everything but missed American
+1
level 58
Aug 25, 2015
I missed American, too. I tried Filippino, Philippino, but not the spelling given. Was surprised by the absence of Japanese, Korean and other Asian origins. But then again, I live on the west coast, so my views are skewed.
+1
level 58
Oct 15, 2015
African American?! Seriously? You need to list specific countries.
+2
level 75
Nov 8, 2015
Most African-Americans have no idea where there ancestors in Africa came from, nor did the majority of them come when the nation states of today existed.
+1
level 67
Jun 14, 2016
Many of the so-called African-American people have other ancestors included in their genetic makeup, even the great Muhammad Ali was part Irish. So it is very difficult to itemise their ancestors, although many fully African people (emigrated to USA from Africa) call themselves African-American but are not really so.
+1
level 75
Aug 15, 2016
If they become American citizens, then they can be African-American whether you think they are or not.
+1
level 49
Feb 8, 2016
Somehow managed to get French Canadian but missed Mexican...
+1
level 7
Apr 29, 2016
AMERICAN???
+1
level 27
May 5, 2016
Why don't you accept Acadian for French-Canadian? All those french people in Louisiana came from the Acadia region of Québec
+1
level 67
Jun 14, 2016
The people you refer to in Louisiana are USA Americans not French people.
+1
level 45
Aug 16, 2017
Acadians migrants to Louisiana can also include Cajuns and Louisiana Creoles, who mostly identify as African-American.
+1
level 69
Aug 10, 2016
Missed American, European, Scotch-Irish and French Canadian.
+1
level 48
Oct 3, 2016
you should accept scotish because I tried that first
+1
level 48
Dec 6, 2016
american? youre retarded donald trump
+1
level 75
Dec 8, 2016
I typed Norse. Didn't even think about Norwegian even though my son-in-law is Norwegian and Swedish.
+1
level 38
Feb 13, 2017
Okay, enough of this nonsense. We ALL came from Adam & Eve, made different by the climates we migrated to especially after the great flood. So, ethnically we are all HUMAN! - Just as our languages were created as a result of constructing the Tower of Babel, so our hues adapted to the countries/weather we migrated to.
+1
level 23
Feb 28, 2017
Er, I disagree. I'm Pagan, we didnt come from adam and eve.
+1
level 38
Dec 9, 2017
In that case, you must come from Lilith.
+1
level 21
May 19, 2019
I donʻt know about you but I came from my mom and her name wasnʻt Adam or Eve
+1
level 75
Aug 7, 2018
This is demonstrably false.
+1
level 56
Dec 25, 2018
OK, enough of this nonsense. We ALL came from pirates, who came from a midgit, who was made by the Flying Spaghetti Monster may parmesan be upon him R'Amen. We were made different by the climates we migrated to especially after the FSM accidentally put his colander over the earth and drained his pasta onto it, causing a great flood. So ethnically we are all PIRATES!
+1
level 21
May 19, 2019
No way TWM03 I CANʻT BELIEVE SOMEONE ELSE KNOWS WHERE WE ACTUALLY CAME FROM OTHER THAN ME
+1
level 40
Mar 20, 2017
Is there really such thing as "American" ancestry?
+1
level 45
Aug 16, 2017
Most people who identify as such generally inhabit the Deep South regions, and generally cannot trace their ancestry back 500+ years, although it is likely that they have ancestry within the British Isles.
+1
level 58
Jul 10, 2017
I'm surprised not to see Vietnamese, considering the war that happened there. I was under the impression that the U.S. let in an influx of refugees. Did they just go back to Vietnam, or what?
+1
level 75
Sep 22, 2017
There are over a million people of Vietnamese descent living in the United States and the USA is a lovelier and tastier place for it... but over a million divided into 320 million is less than half a percent.
+1
level 77
Jul 10, 2017
For everyone that is one their high horse calm down. It was a self reported answer in which people were given the ability to fill in a blank. I know my heritage quite well but to be quite honest I have no idea how I would answer if only given one blank. I have ancestors that came from Ireland but were mostly Welsh, from Northumberland but were Scottish, French from Alsace Lorraine when it was a part of the German Empire, Prussians from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Ashkenazi Jews from Prague. When people ask me what I am I say "just about every major European ancestry excluding Polish, Italian and Scandinavian." If I was asked to give a one word response I probably would have just filled in European.
+1
level 43
Jul 30, 2017
It should accept Acadian, Quebecker, or Canadien for "French Canadian." I poked for it but couldn't find it.
+1
level 53
Dec 19, 2017
Crazy - why have separate countries and then entire groups. This should be scrapped, totally out of order.
+1
level 24
Mar 24, 2018
I'm Neanderthalian
+1
level 38
Apr 10, 2018
You should accept Canadian
+1
level 59
Aug 11, 2018
Why?
+1
level 63
Apr 13, 2018
I tried Northern Irish but no luck. However, Scotch Irish hops up instead. These are the same.
+1
level 54
May 26, 2018
Tried Ulster Scot and it didn’t work. Didn’t think of typing it as Scotch Irish
+1
level 59
Aug 11, 2018
Ah... no, they're not.
+1
level 38
Jun 12, 2018
Sadly for me, Finnish nor Slovak were on this
+1
level 38
Aug 30, 2018
I would bet that no Haitian, Jamaican or Dominican self-identified as African-American.
+1
level 75
Dec 25, 2018
I personally know Jamaicans living in America who do.
+1
level 21
May 19, 2019
Um... why would they? Are Haitians now Africans? Omg wait is Haiti now part of Africa... OML WAITWAITWAITWAITWAIT CONSPIRACY THEORIES AHHHHHHHH
+1
level 24
Dec 25, 2018
Tip: Try to name European countries.
+1
level 56
Feb 5, 2019
Please let’s stop using the term American Indian unless it applies to USers of Gujarati, Punjabi, Tamil, etc origin. As applied to Native Americans it is super confusing and factually incorrect.
+1
level ∞
Feb 5, 2019
Tell the U.S. Census Bureau. Or better yet don't. While all racial groups are opposed to political correctness, American Indians are the group that are most opposed to its imposition, with 88% saying that "political correctness is a problem in our country".
+1
level 53
Apr 27, 2019
Political correctness is an intentionally vague term which basically means "whatever I don't like". I doubt Native Americans think calling Native Americans "Native Americans" is a problem. It seems like right-wing loons are the ones most triggered by accurate terms.
+1
level 21
May 16, 2019
Hate to say is sir but Mr. Sir Almighty You Honor Quizmaster, American Indian is indeedly the wrong way to call Native Americans. And you don't need a percentage to know that political correctness is a problem in the US. It's pretty darn obvious and people have gone way too far with it
+1
level 21
May 16, 2019
*** it *** Your
+1
level 42
Feb 16, 2019
How are Scottish, Irish and scotch Irish all different categories
+1
level 53
Apr 27, 2019
I'm American-American
+1
level 21
May 16, 2019
Rly? Cuz I'm Americanese
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