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I believe it is a shorthand for 'whites who were present before the creation of the USA' which has been conflated with the English speaking lower class immigrants and those from other groups who have been assimilated by marriage, linguistic replacement and cultural identification into that group. The geographical distribution of this 'demographic' is very much what I have seen elsewhere identified as Scots-Irish, redneck, etc. The definitions for the graph are that the color represents the group with the largest number of members per county or parish.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Aug 24th, 2013 at 10:10:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My point was mainly that it's self-identification. In most of those majority "American" counties, there were no whites to speak of present at the time of Independence (unless French or Spanish). So this means these people claim descent from pre-revolutionary stock present in the coastal colonies, having since moved into and over the Southern Appalachians.

There may be some historical backing for it, and it certainly looks like it fits to some extent with the "Scots-Irish" legend. But the self-identification seems to me more a tribal choice than one rooted in genealogy. It so happens, of course, that it fits with the Confederate South.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Aug 24th, 2013 at 10:58:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree that it involves self identification and that there are mythic elements. But there are large numbers of this demographic in southern Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. The thing that struck me most about the map is the number of light blue (German) counties. But I had a significant number of German surnamed classmates in school, so that is consistent. Perhaps I have been thrown off by confusing ancestry with surviving heratige of which there are much fewer isolated pockets.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Aug 24th, 2013 at 11:42:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ARGeezer:
there are large numbers of this demographic in southern Ohio, Indiana and Illinois

Well, that isn't exactly a surprise.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Aug 24th, 2013 at 05:01:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The point was that the demographic is more than just the states of the Confederacy.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Aug 24th, 2013 at 07:37:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've always been aware of German demographics in the US, although I grew up in Minneapolis, so I'm familiar with the northern tier of states. And they're obviously not all progressive by a long shot - there are plenty of old angry white people voting republican in Nebraska, Kansas, and the states bordering the south. I think the German influence is in large part responsible for why I feel at home in the Bay Area after growing up in Minneapolis. Boston I could not handle - it's a blue state in the sense that in believes in funding a public sector, but socially it's (to me shockingly) conservative and steeped in social class as a prime form of identity.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Sat Aug 24th, 2013 at 09:55:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
it's a blue state in the sense that in believes in funding a public sector, but socially it's (to me shockingly) conservative and steeped in social class as a prime form of identity.

And heavily Catholic - some correlation there.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Aug 24th, 2013 at 11:00:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Another interesting feature of the map is that the 'Mexican' demographic only appears in the USA, while the country of Mexico is shown in a different color identified as 'Hispanic/Spanish'. Most curious, but US Census categories have always been politically influenced.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Aug 24th, 2013 at 11:52:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd never seen it as a demographic label until this chart. It reminds me of the childish "real Americans" chant that was commonly spoken during Bush's term in office.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Sat Aug 24th, 2013 at 01:43:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps Drew can enlighten us as he has actually worked at the Census Bureau, but I can just hear lots of my brethren complaining to their congressmen: "Ethnicity? I don't wan'a list any foreign country. I'm American. We've been here since colonial times. We're the ones who founded this country. The ones who came later are the 'ethnics'. Why can't we just have the category 'American'?"  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Aug 24th, 2013 at 04:33:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
These are not the ethnic categories of the US Census itself. So I take it they are on a list offered to poll respondents, ie people check the box they consider corresponds to them.

Drew may know otherwise, or we could take a look at the census site. I'll do that tomorrow, if no one does between time.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Aug 24th, 2013 at 05:09:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is a US census data representation. I tried to find one for the 2010 census without success. I did see one statement to the effect that they were not updating that format.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Aug 24th, 2013 at 07:30:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bear in mind that this map was generated during the Bush 43 administration. Who knows what lame political appointee might have influenced its content.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Aug 24th, 2013 at 07:40:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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