According to the last census
(2000) [E1] [F1],
total population [E1] [F1]in
today is approximately of 300.000.000 inhabitants. Today Hispanics
the new largest minority group.
- 75% of the population is of European origin
- 60% are of Mexican origin
- 12% are Afro-American
- 4% are Asian-American
- only 1% are native Americans
is the first language; Spanish is the second.
inhabitants of America
they are less than 2 million. Most of them live in
the west of the country; very few have become fully
its discovery, the U.S.
have hosted British on a large scale, who came for profit and also for
religious freedom. The first successful English colony was made of
who settled in a place they called Jamestown, Virginia.
These early immigrants were soon joined by
people of other nationalities throughout the 1600s and 1700s: German
settled in Pennsylvania, Swedes
colony of Delaware and the Dutch
settled in New York.
also came from France,
Spain and Switzerland.
When they settled, many tried to preserve the
traditions, religion and language of their particular culture. However
society was predominantly English – white Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP)
[F1] [I1] and
their culture had the overriding influence. So those immigrants who did
want to feel separate from the dominant WASP culture learned English
During the 1840 and 1860, the United States received the greatest
immigrants ever: 10 million people came to America:
thousands of Chinese emigrated to California
and worked on the railroad. But the overwhelming majority
of immigrants came from northern or western
Europe to escape poor harvests,
famines or political
unrest: Irish people, Germans and southern European began to arrive in
1800s: among them there were Latin, Slavic, Jewish, Italians, Poles,
Hungarians, Russians, Greeks,…
was the formation of ethnic neighbourhoods in big cities, where the
went to live in.
After an early resentment towards immigrants –
many Americans treated them with prejudice and hostility, claiming
superiority of the Nordic people of the old immigration – , they
to assimilate them into the American society. First generations
obstacles to assimilation on both sides: society’s discrimination and
reluctance to give up their language and culture.
succeeding generations, these families were able to identify themselves
Americans, spoke English and practised fewer ethnic traditions. By the
and fifth generation, intermarriage between ethnic groups usually
The majority of the newest immigrants come from
America or Asia. American
continue to debate the issue
immigration [E1] [E2] [ES1]
[I1]. Some groups in favour of tightening
that overpopulation is a threat. On the other hand, many Americans
the cultural wealth and diversity which immigrants have been bringing
nation since its conception.
Americans are aware that the national ethnic,
religious identity wasp has disappeared. The well-known picture of America
as a melting pot [E1]
[F1] of people,
where all groups come
together, creating a new distinct American type is not an adequate
more accurate picture of American society today, one that conveys a
cultures, each preserving its own distinctiveness, is a vegetable soup.
How to become
American citizen [E1][ES1]