Where do the white Americans come from?

American population - multicultural USA

In multicultural countries like the USA, people come from all over the world. The regular census provides an overview.

Table of Contents
US Census | The average American | Social network | National Consciousness | Nesting

American law | Working hours and vacation times | Health system | Halloween | Real estate | Indians | Bankruptcy | Memorial Day | Pension system | Sexuality | language

Much is and has been written about the American way of life - if it exists. We would like to collect a few facets that report on individual aspects of everyday American life and that are not already addressed elsewhere on this website. Torsten Krauel reported on the learning phase in everyday American life on January 28, 2005 in his world article "If you don't move in America, you will be overrun". Thomas Fischermann reported on the advantage of the American economy from the size of the country as a fairly uniform giant market in January 2005 in the article “Das wide Land”.

When the first European settlers came to the United States, they met around one million indigenous people (Indians). Between 1820 and 1975 there were about 45 million immigrants. They came from Germany (around 7 million), Italy and England (around 5 million each), Ireland (4 million), and Canada and Russia (3 million each). About 5 million black people also became more or less voluntarily “at home”. Hundreds of thousands of Chinese came during the great railroad construction. The aim of all immigrants was to work their way up from the bottom up and to become “real Americans” as quickly as possible. The result was the fairy tale of the "melting pot" USA.

In fact, even today, racial affiliations are asked on numerous questionnaires in everyday life:

African AmericanBlack
AsianEast Asian
HispanicCentral or South American
Native AmericanIndians

US Census

After the last US census, the importance of the “whites” is decreasing more and more. In some US states, former ethnic minorities already make up the majority of the population.

Whites of European descent are already the minority in half of the metropolises. In the South and Midwest, the descendants of Central and South American immigrants (Hispanics, Latinos) make up almost 50% of the population. The fastest growing group are the Mexicans, followed by the Salvadorans, Cubans, Colombians, and Puerto Ricans.

In the states of California, New Mexico and Hawaii as well as in Washington D.C. the white part of the population is meanwhile according to the data of the U.S. Census Bureaus as of July 1st, 2004 the minority. That goes for Texas too. Here 11.3 million people or 50.2 percent of the population belong to ethnic minorities; most are Hispanics / Latinos (7.8 million) and Blacks (2.7 million). The next following states with a high proportion of non-whites include Maryland, Mississippi, Georgia, New York and Arizona.

As of July 1st, 2010 the following picture emerges:

Total populationWhite AloneBlack or African-AmericansIndians and Native AmericansAsiansNative of Hawaii or any other Pacific islandDifferent raceTwo or more races

Source: Resident Population by Race and State 2010

The average American

Does it exist? Probably not, as in other countries either. But there are general empirical statements that apply more often to a wide variety of people. And the essence of a population can best be characterized by underlining the differences to one's own known behavior.

In general, Americans are considered uncomplicated, friendly and helpful. It is easy to get in touch with them, addresses are swapped very quickly. It is noteworthy that many Americans have an extremely optimistic mood, they immediately think everything is 'great', 'marvelous' and 'fantastic'. Often the courtesy appears to be a mere empty phrase, for example when the greeting phrase 'How are you?' - 'Thank you, fine' is used. It would be fundamentally wrong to assume a serious personal interest behind such idioms. It is best to always tell the other person that you are doing 'great', even if it is not at all like that. See our information for first-time visitors.

The knowledge of what is happening in the world is mostly limited to the conditions in the USA. Shaped by the news programs, in which the rest of the world rarely appears (except partially on CNN), the knowledge is concentrated on the home USA. You will not find the "average" in world cities such as New York. These are habitats with their own laws. The majority of Americans live in the country or in suburbs that have been specially built for residential purposes, and thus in areas that you will hardly come across on the "classic" sightseeing routes. Quoted to Self-assessment the American traits at this point is the deputy director of the Hudson Institute in Indianapolis and WashingtonGary Geipel, who as a Germany expert publishes regularly in "The Wall Street Journal", "International Herald Tribune" and "Los Angeles Times" (here in an article for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung dated February 6, 2003 on the assessment of the Iraq crisis under the tenor : "Europeans and Americans no longer share the same values").

  • Statistically speaking, the United States is a young country. Americans still have children. We welcome young immigrants with open arms because we believe that they will integrate into our ruling culture and will not destroy it in any way. We willingly work well into the eighth decade of life. We consider the willingness to take risks a virtue and the only way to progress. Most Americans are deeply religious and skillfully master the dangers of fundamentalist beliefs. As a people, we succeed in an almost unbelievable combination of extreme fervor for our own religious beliefs and extreme tolerance for the beliefs of others.

    We are notorious "patriots" and have great confidence in the attraction and stability of our political system. As a nation, we see no contradiction in pursuing a just cause with cruel violence and tender compassion. Some refer to this as "moral confidence". What of all this can be said of France, Germany or other European societies? Is it any wonder that our political leaders have come to different conclusions when it comes to what we can achieve in Iraq, the Middle East and the world - even if we continue to share the same liberal values?

social network

In American there is a term for social climber (social climber), but not for social security. There is a euphemism for descent: downward mobility (downwardly mobile). Even the language characterizes the attitude of the individual towards social security: Those who have to back off because of unemployment etc. see this as a personal hardship, not a social problem.

    Accordingly, the social network is very thin compared to the local security:
  • Social security: Corresponds to the German pension insurance. Contributions are made to the Social Security Trust Fund like a tax. Social security should make up one-third, personal savings and company pension funds the rest of the pension. See also under the keyword pension system.
  • Unemployment Compensation: Unemployment benefit that is financed from employer contributions and paid for a maximum of one year, but is often extended - in the event of recessions, etc.
  • Welfare: Social assistance, particularly for single mothers, ended as a federal program in 1996 under the Clinton administration. Program sovereignty now rests with the states. There are different requirements, maximum duration and support amounts. An obligation to work has been introduced and no one should receive support for more than 5 years.
  • Medicaid: State health insurance for welfare recipients. If an adult finds work, he remains insured for another year. Children remain insured as long as their parents' earnings remain below the poverty line. See also under the keyword expensive US health care system.

National consciousness

The American is proud to belong to the "Nation of the Free", regardless of what origin he is. This pride is unlimited and cannot be shaken. Especially for a German who still sees problems in the National Socialist past and the abuse of national sentiment, difficult to understand. The American - like most of the world's peoples - has no modesty on this point and the national commitment has increased since the terrorist attacks of September 11th.

Outward expression is the waving of the national flag on every occasion and the singing of the national anthem. They embody the ideals of freedom and democracy and the awareness of being “God's own country”. The US flag is called "Star Spangled Banner“Referred to as the Stars and Stripes. It is a symbol of the first hours of the founding of the state. In 1777, the delegates at the second Continental Congress in Philadelphia decided that the flag should have thirteen stripes, alternating red and white, and thirteen white stars on a blue background: one for each state in the Union. In addition to the Declaration of Independence document, the stars and stripes were the first common symbol of the young nation and its multiracial inhabitants. To date, the thirteen stars have become fifty, in 1960 the last was added with the star for Hawaii.

Here is the text of the national hyme

The Star Spangled Banner
O say! can you see,
by the dawn’s early light.
What so proudly we hail’d
at the twilight’s last gloaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars,
thro ‘the perilous fight.
O’er the ramparts we watch’d,
were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare,
the bombs bursting in air.
Gave proof thro ’the night
that our flag was still there.
O say, does that
Star Spangled Banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free
and the home of the brave?

But the “unofficial” national anthem “God Bless America” is preferred, probably because it has so much pathos. The song was composed by Irving Berlin, who came to the USA as an immigrant from Siberia at the age of 5. The original version for a music revue in 1918 was not very successful, but when Kate Smith sang a revised version on the radio on November 11, Armistice Day, in 1938, it was a success.

The text of "God Bless America" ​​reads:

God Bless America,
Land that I love
Stand beside her, and guide her,
through the night, with a light from above.
Form the mountains to the prairies,
to the oceans, white with foam
God Bless America,
my home, sweet home.
God Bless America,
Land that I love.
Stand beside her, and guide her,
through the night, with the light from above.
Form the mountains to the prairies,
to the oceans, white with foam
God Bless America,
my home, sweet home.
God Bless America,
my home, sweet home.

The video "America - Why I love her - recited by John Wayne" gives an impression of this national pride.


Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, many Americans have withdrawn into their own four walls and have placed the family more in the spotlight (so-called nesting or coconing trend - building a nest or spinning a cocoon). Instead of traveling, the home is beautified.

The poor situation on the stock exchanges also reinforces this trend. They do not buy shares and instead invest in their own house. The number of homeowners is increasing. Favorable credit market rates offer incentives to buy at a lower price than it has been for years.

The baby boomer generation (= those born after World War II) travels less and uses home renovation as a kind of self-awareness. The beneficiaries of this trend are home improvement stores and all companies with products for everything to do with home and cookers, such as

  • Williams Sonoma: Furniture and Housewares Chain
  • Michael Stores: arts and crafts chain
  • Home Depot: Hardware store chain
  • Lowe's: Hardware store - chain
  • Black & Decker: manufacturer of interior paints, fabrics and appliances

The electronic entertainment industry also benefits. For example, video games are in high demand again.