Americans

Article

August 19, 2022

Americans, more often, though improperly, called North Americans or Americans, are a heterogeneous group of people defined primarily by being nationals or citizens of the United States of America. Although most Americans are both "nationals" and "citizens," some dual nationals, expatriates, and permanent resident aliens may also be considered American nationals. The United States is home to people of very diverse ethnic backgrounds. Therefore, neither from a cultural perspective, nor in the eyes of the law, is American nationality considered to correspond to a race or ethnicity, but to citizenship and permanent loyalty to the country. English speakers, and often also speakers of other languages, usually call the people of the United States "Americans". This derives from the original use of this word in English, namely the "English of the Thirteen American Colonies" as opposed to the "English of England". However, the word "Americans" can also refer to natives of the entire American continent.

Formation of the American "nation"

Most Americans or their ancestors have immigrated to the territory that is now the United States of America or are descendants of slaves brought from Africa. The only exceptions are the Eskimos, the Native Americans and the aboriginal populations of Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines, who became American due to the expansion of the country during the nineteenth century, and also the natives of North American Samoa, of the North American Virgin Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands, all incorporated during the 20th century. Despite this multi-ethnic composition, the culture of the United States, shared by the majority of Americans, is formed by a base of Western culture brought by the first immigrants, mostly from Northern Europe and Western Europe. This also includes influences from African culture. The westward expansion integrated the Creole and Cajun minorities of the state of Louisiana, and the Hispanics of the Southwest, and involved close contact with Mexican culture. Large-scale immigration, at the end of the 19th and 20th centuries, from Southern and Eastern Europe, introduced a diversity of new human elements. More recent immigration from Asia, Africa and Latin America has also had a major impact. That is to say that interculturality, not without conflicts, dominates the entire American society. Apart from the United States, we can find Americans and their descendants all over the world. More than seven million Americans are estimated to live abroad, not including military or diplomatic personnel.

Racial and ethnic groups

The United States of America is a multinational state, and the Census follows racial and cultural criteria. The United States Census Bureau has traditionally officially recognized six races for statistical counts: White (72.4%), Native American and Alaska Native (0.9%), Asian (4.8%), African American, and other black (12.6%), Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander (0.2%), and people of two or more races (2.9%). The Census also admits to defining themselves as of "other races" (6.2%), although the majority of citizens who claim to be of other races are actually mestizos originally from Latin America. The State Census Office United also classifies all Americans as "Hispanic or Latino" or as "Non-Hispanic or Latino", so that Hispanics or Latinos are identified as people belonging to several races or ethnicities at the same time, but who together constitute the the country's largest minority (16.3% of the total population is Hispanic or Latino of any race). Another distorting detail is the "American" category, introduced in the census since 1990, since many citizens generally sign up of British origin, and are the majority in the northern part of the