German-Americans are nation’s dominant ethnic group


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More Americans trace their family roots to Germany than to any other country.

There are 45.7 million persons of German descent in the nation’s 942 metropolitan and micropolitan areas, according to an On Numbers analysis of the latest federal data.

No other ethnicity comes within 12 million of the current population of German-Americans. Here are the nation’s top five ancestral groups:

German, 45.7 million
Irish, 33.4 million
English, 25.3 million
Italian, 17.1 million
American, 16.9 million
The U.S. Census Bureau’s 2010 American Community Survey asked participants to identify their one or two dominant ancestries. Respondents chose from a list of 70 ethnic groups — ranging from Afghan and Albanian to West Indian, Yugoslavian or even American.

The following database breaks down the resulting German-American populations for all metros and micros as of 2010, the most recent figures available. Use the tab to isolate a single state, or hit the Search button to see everything at once.

Click here for a similar breakdown for 2009.

Thirty-eight U.S. markets are so strongly German in character that more than 40 percent of their residents claim ties to Germany.

At the top of the list are two micropolitan areas — New Ulm, Minn., and Celina, Ohio — at 55.2 percent. The major market with the biggest proportion of German-Americans is Milwaukee at 29.8 percent. (Major markets are the 50 metros with the largest populations.)

On Numbers will provide similar breakdowns for the Irish, English and Italian ancestral groups over the next three days.


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