Infobox Ethnic group
group = White American
Benjamin Franklin· John F. Kennedy· Romualdo Pacheco· Marilyn Monroe· George Washington· Franklin D. Roosevelt· Abraham Lincoln
pop = White American 223,005,483U.S. Census Bureau; [http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/DTTable?_bm=y&-ds_name=ACS_2007_1YR_G00_&-CONTEXT=dt&-mt_name=ACS_2007_1YR_G2000_B03002&-redoLog=true&-geo_id=01000US&-format=&-_lang=en&-SubjectID=15233308] ; Data Set: 2007 American Community Survey; Survey: 2007 American Community Survey. Retrieved
2008-01-24] 73.94% of the total U.S. population
198,553,437U.S. Census Bureau; [http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/DTTable?_bm=y&-ds_name=ACS_2007_1YR_G00_&-CONTEXT=dt&-mt_name=ACS_2007_1YR_G2000_B03002&-redoLog=true&-geo_id=01000US&-format=&-_lang=en&-SubjectID=15233308] ; Data Set: 2007 American Community Survey; Survey: 2007 American Community Survey. Retrieved
65.83% of the U.S. population
8.11% of the U.S. population
regions = All areas of the United States
languages = Major:
American EnglishMinor: Spanish·German·Italian·Arabic·French·Swedish, Russian, Bosnian, Romanian, Ukrainian, Serbo-Croatian, Polish, Czech, Dutch,Persian, Greek, Kabyle, Hungarian, Bulgarian, Turkish, Armenian, Others.
religions = Predominantly
protestantism. Significant Roman Catholic, atheist, agnosticpercentage. Minorities practicing Judaism, Islam, and other religions
White American (often used interchangeably with "Caucasian American"Lee, Sandra S. Mountain, Joanna. Barbara, Koening A. [http://www.yale.edu/yjhple/volume_1/pdf/033%20(koenig).pdf The Meanings of Race in the New Genomics: Implications for Health Disparities Research] . Yale University. 2001. Accessed October 26, 2006. ] and within the
United Statessimply "white" [The U.S. Census Bureau, for example, uses "white" rather than "white American." cite web|url=http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/race/racefactcb.html|title=Racial and Ethnic Classifications Used in Census 2000 and Beyond|accessdate=2006-10-05] ) is an umbrella termofficially employed by the United States Census Bureau, Office of Management and Budgetand other U.S. government for the classification of American citizens or resident aliens "having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, [ [http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/picrender.fcgi?artid=1509085&blobtype=pdf Definition of a White person in US and UK] ] the Middle East, or North Africa". [ [http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/fedreg/1997standards.html Revisions to the Standards for the Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity ] ] The US Census considers the write-in response of "Caucasian" or "Aryan" to be a synonym for white in their ancestry code listing. [University of Michigan. Census 1990: Ancestry Codes. August 27, 2007. [http://www.lib.umich.edu/govdocs/cicdoc/cen90app/ancestry.htm ] ]
German (23%), Irish (16%) and
English Americans (13%) make-up 52% of the "White" population. Included in the category are White Hispanics representing 8.11%U.S. Census Bureau; [http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/DTTable?_bm=y&-ds_name=ACS_2007_1YR_G00_&-CONTEXT=dt&-mt_name=ACS_2007_1YR_G2000_B03002&-redoLog=true&-geo_id=01000US&-format=&-_lang=en&-SubjectID=15233308] ; Data Set: 2006 American Community Survey; Survey: 2006 American Community Survey. Retrieved 2008-01-24]
Whites are regarded as the socially and demographically dominant racial group. According to sociologist
Steven Seidman, "Whiteness is assumed... it is the default condition." Many early European immigrants, especially Jews, Irish and Italians, were not seen as White upon arrival, as Whiteness describes membership in the societal mainstream.Seidman, S. (2004). Critical Race Theory. In "Contested Knowledge: Social Theory Today" (pp. 231 - 243). Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.] Sociologist Ruth Frankenberg points out that Whiteness, though seemingly raceless for Whites themselves is visible among minorities, stating that "it is safe to suggest that whiteness remains quite visible to men and women of color even when ‘cultural micro-climates’ make it possible for the concept to disappear into false universality from the purview of some white people.”Frankenberg, Ruth.(2001). “Mirage of an Unmarked Whiteness”. In The Making and Unmaking of Whiteness (p. 77). Durham: Duke University Press.] As the cultural boundaries separating white Americans from other racial categories are contested and fluid, this broad official definition includes people who might not be considered white by others and who might not consider themselves white.
Historical and present definitions
Today, the term "white American" can encompass many different ethnic groups. Although the
United States Censuspurports to reflect a social definition of race, the social dimensions of race are more complex than Census criteria.
Current U.S. Census definition
The 2000 U.S. census states that racial categories "generally reflect a social definition of race recognized in this country. They do not conform to any biological, anthropological or genetic criteria." [ [http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/2001/raceqandas.html Questions and Answers for Census 2000 Data on Race] from U.S. Census Bureau, 14 March 2001. Retrieved 15 October 2006.] It defines "white people" as "people having origins in any of the original peoples of
Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.http://www.census.gov/prod/2001pubs/c2kbr01-4.pdf The White Population: 2000, Census 2000 Brief C2KBR/01-4, U.S. Census Bureau, August 2001.] This also includes national and regional ancestries where these peoples contributed to the demographic make-up; Canadian, Latin American, Oceanian, and African ancestries for instance. In U.S. census documents, the designation "white" overlaps, as do all other official racial categories, with the term "Hispanic", which was introduced in the 1980census as a category of ethnicity, separate and independent of race. [http://www.census.gov/prod/2001pubs/cenbr01-1.pdf Overview of Race and Hispanic Origin 2000] U.S. Census Bureau] Hispanicity, which is independent of race, is the only ethnic category, as opposed to racial category, which is officially collated by the U.S. Census Bureau. The distinction made by government agencies for those within the population of any official race category, including "white American", is between those with Hispanicethnic backgrounds and all others of non-Hispanic ethnic backgrounds. In the case of White Americans, these two groups are respectively termed "White Hispanics" and "non-Hispanic Whites"; the former having at least one ancestor from the people of Spainor Spanish-speaking Latin America, and the latter consisting of an ethnically diverse collection of all others who are classified as white American who are of non-Hispanic ethnic backgrounds.
Many Americans who are treated as part of minority groups are included in the census category "white." This is true for many Hispanic Americans, 47.9% of whom identified racially as white. The 2000 Census separated the question on Hispanics from the question on race, the latter being divided into the 5 categories of white, black or African American, American Indian and Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander,
Asian American, plus "other", with the respondent having the ability to mark more than one category. It is also true for many Arab and other Middle Eastern Americans and North African Americans, as well as non-European Jewish Americans, since the 2000 Census conflates race and geographic/national origin: "white" is defined to include people with original origins in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.
In cases where individuals do not self-identify, the U.S. census parameters for race give each national origin a racial value. Additionally, people who reported
Muslim(or a sect of Islam such as Shi'ite or Sunni), Jewish, Zoroastrian, Mexican, or Caucasian as their "race" in the "Some other race" section, without noting a country of origin, are automatically tallied as white. [Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results. Race and Nationality Descriptions from the 2000 US Census and Bureau of Vital Statistics. 2007. May 21, 2007. [http://www.seer.cancer.gov/manuals/2007/SPCSM_2007_AppendixD.pdf] ]
According to race scholars such as Karen Brodkin, in the United States, essentially anyone of European descent is considered white and Jews (presumably those of European origin, that is,
Ashkenazi Jews) are also today considered white. [Karen Brodkin, "How Jews Became White Folks and What That Says About Race in America" (New Brunswick NJ, 1998).] However, while the census asserts that "race" and "ethnicity" are separate, some Hispanics of primarily European descent may not consider themselves white and may not be considered white by others, possibly because of the long-held stereotype of Hispanics being given a non-white racial value. [http://www.utexas.edu/utpress/excerpts/exminbla.html Table of Contents and Excerpt, Mindiola, Niemann, and Rodriguez, Black-Brown Relations and Stereotypes ] ] [ [http://www.davidberreby.com/work14.htm davidberreby.com - Science, Scientists and the Nature of Knowledge ] ] [ [http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/white_house/jan-june00/census_3-23.html Online NewsHour: Completing the Count - March 23, 2000 ] ] Likewise, while people of Middle Eastern and North African descent are included in the white category in the census, studies have found that Arab American teenagers may sometimes construct identities that distinguish themselves from "white society." [http://caliber.ucpress.net/doi/abs/10.1525/sop.2004.47.4.371 Caliber - Sociological Perspectives - 47(4):371 - Abstract ] ] Some American white people, mainly those of distant descent from multiple European countries, tend to see themselves as belonging to no ethnic group at all, but just "American".
The cultural boundaries separating white Americans from other racial or ethnic categories have changed significantly over the course of American history. Even among Europeans, those not considered white at some time in American history are the
Ashkenazi Jews, Italians, Spaniards, Slavs, Greeks, and other European Mediterraneanpeoples. [John Tehranian, "Performing Whiteness: Naturalization Litigation and the Construction of Racial Identity in America," "The Yale Law Journal", Vol. 109, No. 4. (Jan., 2000), pp. 825-827.] David R. Roediger argues that the construction of the white race in the United States was an effort to mentally distance slave owners from slaves. [Roediger, Wages of Whiteness, 186; Tony Horwitz, Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War (New York, 1998). ] The process of officially being defined as "white" by law often came about in court disputes over pursuit of citizenship. [Sweet, Frank W. "Legal History of the Color Line: The Notion of Invisible Blackness." Backintyme Publishers (2005), ISBN 0939479230.]
Position within society
As whites are the dominant racial and cultural group; according to sociologist
Steven Seidmanwriting about the most prominent perspective among researches, "White culture constitutes the general cultural mainstream, causing non-White culture to be seen as deviant, in either a positive or negative manner. Moreover, Whites tend to be disproportionately represented in powerful positions, controlling almost all political, economic and cultural institutions." Yet, according to Seidman, Whites are most commonly unaware of their "privilege" and the manner in which their culture has always been dominant in the US, as they do not identify as members of a specific racial group but rather incorrectly perceive their views and culture as "raceless," when in fact it is ethno-national (ethnic / cultural) specific with a racial base component.
White American is the largest racial group counted in the 2000 Census, comprising 75.1% of the population. This number is sometimes recorded as 77.1% when it includes about 2% of the population who self-identified as "white" in combination with one or more other races; about 6% also identified ethnically as Hispanic. The largest ethnic groups (by descent) among white Americans were Germans, followed by the Irish and the English.In 2005, Whites made up 76% of the American population. [http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0762156.html]
White Americans (non-Hispanic Whites together with
White Hispanics) are projected to remain the majority, though with their percentage decreasing to 73% of the total population by 2050.cite web |url=http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/usinterimproj/natprojtab01a.pdf |title=United States Population Projections By Race and Hispanic Origin: 2000 TO 2050 |accessdate=2008-05-05 |format=Excel |publisher= United States Census Bureau]
According to the Census definition, white Americans are the majority racial group in almost all of the United States. They are not the majority in
Hawaii, many American Indian reservations, parts of the South known as the Black Belt, and in many urban areas throughout the country. In California, Whites slipped from 80% of the state's population in 1970 to 43% in 2006. [ [http://www.poynter.org/column.asp?id=58&aid=111344 The Best Story of Our Lives] ]
Overall the highest concentration of those referred to as "white" alone by the Census Bureau was found in the Midwest,
New England, the Rocky Mountainstates, Kentucky, and West Virginia. The lowest concentration of whites was found in southern and mid-Atlantic states.cite book | last = Brewer | first = Cynthia | authorlink = | coauthors = Trudy Suchan | year = 2001 | title = Census 2000, The Geography of US Diversity | publisher = ESRI Press | location = Redlands, CA | id= ] cite web|url=http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/ThematicMapFramesetServlet?_bm=y&-geo_id=01000US&-tm_name=ACS_2005_EST_G00_M00627&-ds_name=ACS_2005_EST_G00_&-_MapEvent=displayBy&-_dBy=040|title=Distribution of those identifying as White alone, by state, US Census Bureau|accessdate=2006-10-05] cite web|url=http://www.census.gov/prod/2001pubs/c2kbr01-4.pdf|title=US Census Bureau, Whites in the 2000 Census|accessdate=2006-10-05]
Although all large geographical areas are dominated by white Americans, much larger differences can be seen between specific parts of large cities.
Income and educational attainment
Some argue that because white Americans have faced the least discrimination of any racial or ethnic group, they have had time to build up wealth, and that this is a major contributor to economic inequities among races today.cite book | last =Adams | first =J.Q. | authorlink = | coauthors =Pearlie Strother-Adams | year =2001 | title =Dealing with Diversity | publisher =Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company | location =Chicago, IL |id = 0-7872-8145-X] cite book|last=Hine|first=Darlene|authorlink=|coauthors=William C. Hine, Stanley Harrold|year=2006|title=The African American Odyssey|publisher=Pearson|location=Boston, MA|id=0-12-182217-3] White Americans have the second highest median household income and personal income levels in the nation. The median income per household member was also the highest, since white Americans had the smallest households of any racial demographic in the nation. In 2006, the median individual income of a white American age 25 or older was $33,030, with those who were full-time employed between ages 25 and 64 earning $34,432. Since 42% of all households had two income earners, the median household income was considerably higher than the median personal income, which was $48,554 in 2005. Among whites,
Jewish Americansrank first in household income, personal income and educational attainment among white Americans. In 2005, white households had a median household income of $48,977, 10.3% above the national median of $44,389. Cuban Americans with 85% classifying as white, have a higher median income and educational attainment level than most other whites. [ [http://pewhispanic.org/files/factsheets/23.pdf Pew Hispanic center] .]
Poverty rates for white Americans are the lowest of any racial group, with 8.6% of white individuals living below the poverty line (3% below the national average).cite web|url=http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/income_wealth/005647.html|title=US Census Bureau, Household income in 2005 by race|accessdate=2006-12-23] However, due to whites' majority status, 48% of Americans living in poverty are white. [ [http://www.ag.iastate.edu/centers/rdev/newsletter/june97/rural-poverty.html Rural Poverty: Myths and Realities ] ]
Whites' educational attainment are the second-highest in the country, after Asian Americans'. Overall, nearly one-third of white Americans had a
Bachelor degree, with the educational attainment for whites being higher for those born outside the United States. Nearly forty percent, 37.6%, of foreign born and 29.7% of native born whites had a college degree. Both figures are above the national average of 27.2%.cite web|url=http://www.census.gov/prod/2004pubs/p20-550.pdf|title=US Census Bureau report on educational attainment in the United States, 2003|accessdate=2006-12-23]
Gender income inequality was the greatest among whites with white men outearning white women by 48%. Census Bureau data for 2005 reveals that the median income of white females was lower than that of males of all races. In 2005, the median income for white females was only slightly higher than that of African American females, indicating that income inequities seem to run along gender lines more so than along racial lines.cite web|url=http://pubdb3.census.gov/macro/032006/perinc/new03_000.htm|title=US Census Bureau, Personal income forum, Age 25+, 2005|accessdate=2007-01-20]
Race and genetics"According to a recent study, about 30% of all White Americans, approximately 66 million people, have between 2 and 20% of Native American or African admixture with an exact median of 2.3%, which means the median admixture percentage for all White population of the United State is 0.69. [ [http://backintyme.com/essays/?p=5 Afro-European Genetic Admixture in the United States, Frank Sweet] ]
Angry white male
First white child
Immigration to the United States
Race in the United States
Racial demographics of the United States
White Anglo-Saxon Protestant
White Latin American
* [http://www.census.gov/prod/2001pubs/c2kbr01-4.pdf White Population 2000] from the US Census
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