American Community Survey
The American Community Survey is an ongoing survey by the U. S. Census Bureau, it gathers information contained only in the long form of the decennial census, such as ancestry, educational attainment, language proficiency, disability and housing characteristics. These data are used by many public-sector, private-sector, not-for-profit stakeholders to allocate funding, track shifting demographics, plan for emergencies, learn about local communities. Sent to 295,000 addresses monthly, it is the largest household survey that the Census Bureau administers; the United States Constitution requires an enumeration of the population every ten years and “in such Manner as they shall by Law direct.” From the first census in 1790, legislators understood that the census should collect basic demographic information beyond the number of people in the household. James Madison first proposed including questions in the census to “enable them to adapt the public measures to the particular circumstances of the community.”
Such knowledge collected with each census, he said, “would give them an opportunity of marking the progress of the society." The number and type of questions included in censuses since 1790 have reflected current American societal trends and the growing nation’s expanded data needs. By 1940, advancements in statistical methods enabled the Census Bureau to start asking a sample of the population a subset of additional detailed questions without unduly increasing cost or respondent burden. In subsequent decades, questions, asked of all respondents, as well as new questions, moved to the subsample questionnaire form; as that form grew longer than the census form sent to most households, it became known as the census “long form.” Following the 1960 Census, federal and local government officials, as well as those working in the private sector, began demanding more timely long-form-type data. Lawmakers representing rural districts claimed they were at a data disadvantage, unable to self-fund additional surveys of their populations.
Congress explored the creation of a mid-decade census, holding hearings and authorizing a mid-decade census in 1976, but not funding it. Efforts to obtain data on a more frequent basis began again after the 1990 Census, when it became clear that the more burdensome long form was depressing overall census response rates and jeopardizing the accuracy of the count. At Congress's request, the Census Bureau tested a new design to obtain long-form data. U. S. statistician Leslie Kish had introduced the concept of a rolling sample design in 1981. This design featured ongoing, monthly data collection aggregated on a yearly basis, enabling annual data releases. By combining multiple years of this data, the Census Bureau could release "period" estimates to produce estimates for smaller areas. After a decade of testing, it launched as the American Community Survey in 2005, replacing the once-a-decade census long form; the ACS has an initial sample of 3.5 million housing unit addresses and group quarters in the United States.
The Census Bureau selects a random sample of addresses to be included in the ACS. Each address has about a 1-in-480 chance of being selected in a given month, no address should be selected more than once every five years. Data is collected by internet, telephone interviews and in-person interviews. One third of those who do not respond to the survey by mail or telephone are randomly selected for in-person interviews. About 95 percent of households across all response modes respond. Like the decennial census, ACS responses are confidential; every employee at the Census Bureau takes an oath of nondisclosure and is sworn for life to not disclose identifying information. Violations can result in a 5-year prison sentence and/or $250,000 fine. Under 13 U. S. C. § 9, census responses are "immune from legal process" and may not "be admitted as evidence or used for any purpose in any action, suit, or other judicial or administrative proceeding." The Census Bureau aggregates individual ACS responses into estimates at many geographic summary levels.
Among these summary levels are legal and administrative entities such as states, counties and congressional districts, as well as statistical entities such as metropolitan statistical areas, block groups, census designated places. Estimates for census blocks are not available from ACS. In order to balance geographic resolution, temporal frequency, statistical significance, respondent privacy, ACS estimates released each year are aggregated from responses received in the previous calendar year or previous five calendar years; the Census Bureau provides guidance for data users about which data set to use when analyzing different population and geography sizes. From 2007 to 2013, 3-year estimates were available for areas with 20,000 people or more; this data product was discontinued in 2015 due to budget cuts. The last 3-year release was the 2011-2013 ACS 3-year estimates. Current data releases include: 1-year estimates are available for areas with a population of at least 65,000 people; the 2015 ACS 1-year estimates were released in 2016 and summarize responses received in 2015 for all states but only 26% of counties due to the 65,000 minimum population threshold.
This is most suitable for data users interested in shorter-term changes at medium to large geographic scales. Supplemental estimates are shown in annual tables summarizing populations for geographies with populations of 20,000 or more. 5-year estimates are available for areas down to the block group scale, on the order of 600 to 3000 people. The 2015 ACS 5-yea
Illinois is a state in the Midwestern and Great Lakes region of the United States. It has the fifth largest gross domestic product, the sixth largest population, the 25th largest land area of all U. S. states. Illinois is noted as a microcosm of the entire United States. With Chicago in northeastern Illinois, small industrial cities and immense agricultural productivity in the north and center of the state, natural resources such as coal and petroleum in the south, Illinois has a diverse economic base, is a major transportation hub. Chicagoland, Chicago's metropolitan area, encompasses over 65% of the state's population; the Port of Chicago connects the state to international ports via two main routes: from the Great Lakes, via the Saint Lawrence Seaway, to the Atlantic Ocean and from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River, via the Illinois Waterway to the Illinois River. The Mississippi River, the Ohio River, the Wabash River form parts of the boundaries of Illinois. For decades, Chicago's O'Hare International Airport has been ranked as one of the world's busiest airports.
Illinois has long had a reputation as a bellwether both in social and cultural terms and, through the 1980s, in politics. The capital of Illinois is Springfield, located in the central part of the state. Although today's Illinois' largest population center is in its northeast, the state's European population grew first in the west as the French settled the vast Mississippi of the Illinois Country of New France. Following the American Revolutionary War, American settlers began arriving from Kentucky in the 1780s via the Ohio River, the population grew from south to north. In 1818, Illinois achieved statehood. Following increased commercial activity in the Great Lakes after the construction of the Erie Canal, Chicago was founded in the 1830s on the banks of the Chicago River at one of the few natural harbors on the southern section of Lake Michigan. John Deere's invention of the self-scouring steel plow turned Illinois's rich prairie into some of the world's most productive and valuable farmland, attracting immigrant farmers from Germany and Sweden.
The Illinois and Michigan Canal made transportation between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River valley faster and cheaper, new railroads carried immigrants to new homes in the country's west and shipped commodity crops to the nation's east. The state became a transportation hub for the nation. By 1900, the growth of industrial jobs in the northern cities and coal mining in the central and southern areas attracted immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe. Illinois was an important manufacturing center during both world wars; the Great Migration from the South established a large community of African Americans in the state, including Chicago, who founded the city's famous jazz and blues cultures. Chicago, the center of the Chicago Metropolitan Area, is now recognized as a global alpha-level city. Three U. S. presidents have been elected while living in Illinois: Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Barack Obama. Additionally, Ronald Reagan, whose political career was based in California, was born and raised in the state.
Today, Illinois honors Lincoln with its official state slogan Land of Lincoln, displayed on its license plates since 1954. The state is the site of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield and the future home of the Barack Obama Presidential Center in Chicago. "Illinois" is the modern spelling for the early French Catholic missionaries and explorers' name for the Illinois Native Americans, a name, spelled in many different ways in the early records. American scholars thought the name "Illinois" meant "man" or "men" in the Miami-Illinois language, with the original iliniwek transformed via French into Illinois; this etymology is not supported by the Illinois language, as the word for "man" is ireniwa, plural of "man" is ireniwaki. The name Illiniwek has been said to mean "tribe of superior men", a false etymology; the name "Illinois" derives from the Miami-Illinois verb irenwe·wa - "he speaks the regular way". This was taken into the Ojibwe language in the Ottawa dialect, modified into ilinwe·.
The French borrowed these forms, changing the /we/ ending to spell it as -ois, a transliteration for its pronunciation in French of that time. The current spelling form, began to appear in the early 1670s, when French colonists had settled in the western area; the Illinois's name for themselves, as attested in all three of the French missionary-period dictionaries of Illinois, was Inoka, of unknown meaning and unrelated to the other terms. American Indians of successive cultures lived along the waterways of the Illinois area for thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans; the Koster Site demonstrates 7,000 years of continuous habitation. Cahokia, the largest regional chiefdom and urban center of the Pre-Columbian Mississippian culture, was located near present-day Collinsville, Illinois, they built an urban complex of more than 100 platform and burial mounds, a 50-acre plaza larger than 35 football fields, a woodhenge of sacred cedar, all in a planned design expressing the culture's cosmology.
Monks Mound, the center of the site, is the largest Pre-Columbian structure north of the Valley of Mexico. It is 100 feet high, 951 feet long, 836 feet wide, covers 13.8 acres. It contains about 814,000 cubic yards of earth, it was topped by a structure thought to have measured about 105 feet in length and 48 feet in width, covered an area 5,000 square feet, been as much as 50 feet high, making its peak 150 feet above the level of the pl
A ZIP Code is a postal code used by the United States Postal Service in a system it introduced in 1963. The term ZIP is an acronym for Zone Improvement Plan; the basic format consists of five digits. An extended ZIP+4 code was introduced in 1983 which includes the five digits of the ZIP Code, followed by a hyphen and four additional digits that reference a more specific location; the term ZIP Code was registered as a servicemark by the U. S. Postal Service, but its registration has since expired; the early history and context of postal codes began with postal district/zone numbers. The United States Post Office Department implemented postal zones for numerous large cities in 1943. For example: The "16" was the number of the postal zone in the specific city. By the early 1960s, a more organized system was needed, non-mandatory five-digit ZIP Codes were introduced nationwide on July 1, 1963; the USPOD issued its Publication 59: Abbreviations for Use with ZIP Code on October 1, 1963, with the list of two-letter state abbreviations which are written with both letters capitalized.
An earlier list in June had proposed capitalized abbreviations ranging from two to five letters. According to Publication 59, the two-letter standard was "based on a maximum 23-position line, because this has been found to be the most universally acceptable line capacity basis for major addressing systems", which would be exceeded by a long city name combined with a multi-letter state abbreviation, such as "Sacramento, Calif." along with the ZIP Code. The abbreviations have remained unchanged, with the exception of Nebraska, changed from NB to NE in 1969 at the request of the Canadian postal administration, to avoid confusion with the Canadian province of New Brunswick. Robert Moon is considered the father of the ZIP Code; the post office only credits Moon with the first three digits of the ZIP Code, which describe the sectional center facility or "sec center." An SCF is a central mail processing facility with those three digits. The fourth and fifth digits, which give a more precise locale within the SCF, were proposed by Henry Bentley Hahn Sr.
The SCF sorts mail to all post offices with those first three digits in their ZIP Codes. The mail is sorted according to the final two digits of the ZIP Code and sent to the corresponding post offices in the early morning. Sectional centers do not deliver mail and are not open to the public, most of their employees work the night shift. Mail picked up at post offices is sent to their own SCF in the afternoon, where the mail is sorted overnight. In the case of large cities, the last two digits coincide with the older postal zone number thus: In 1967, these became mandatory for second- and third-class bulk mailers, the system was soon adopted generally; the United States Post Office used a cartoon character, which it called Mr. ZIP, to promote the use of the ZIP Code, he was depicted with a legend such as "USE ZIP CODE" in the selvage of panes of postage stamps or on the covers of booklet panes of stamps. In 1971 Elmira Star-Gazette reporter Dick Baumbach found out the White House was not using a ZIP Code on its envelopes.
Herb Klein, special assistant to President Nixon, responded by saying the next printing of envelopes would include the ZIP Code. In 1983, the U. S. Postal Service introduced an expanded ZIP Code system that it called ZIP+4 called "plus-four codes", "add-on codes", or "add-ons". A ZIP+4 Code uses the basic five-digit code plus four additional digits to identify a geographic segment within the five-digit delivery area, such as a city block, a group of apartments, an individual high-volume receiver of mail, a post office box, or any other unit that could use an extra identifier to aid in efficient mail sorting and delivery. However, initial attempts to promote universal use of the new format met with public resistance and today the plus-four code is not required. In general, mail is read by a multiline optical character reader that instantly determines the correct ZIP+4 Code from the address—along with the more specific delivery point—and sprays an Intelligent Mail barcode on the face of the mail piece that corresponds to 11 digits—nine for the ZIP+4 Code and two for the delivery point.
For Post Office Boxes, the general rule is. The add-on code is one of the following: the last four digits of the box number, zero plus the last three digits of the box number, or, if the box number consists of fewer than four digits, enough zeros are attached to the front of the box number to produce a four-digit number. However, there is no uniform rule, so the ZIP+4 Code must be looked up individually for each box; the ZIP Code is translated into an Intelligent Mail barcode, printed on the mailpiece to make it easier for automated machines to sort. A barcode can be printed by the sender, it is better to let the post office put one on. In general, the post office uses OCR technology, though in some cases a human might have to read and enter the address. Customers who send bulk mail can get a discount on postage if they have printed the barcode themselves and have presorted the mai
Pacific Islanders or Pasifikas, are the peoples of the Pacific Islands. It is a geographic and ethnic/racial term to describe the inhabitants of any of the three major sub-regions of Oceania: Micronesia and Polynesia; these people speak various Austronesian languages. New Zealand has the largest concentration of Pacific Islanders in the world. However, the majority of its people are not identified as Pacific Islanders—instead during the 20th century and into the 21st century the country saw a steady stream of immigration from Polynesian countries such as Samoa, the Cook Islands and French Polynesia; the Pacific islands consist of three main regions: The islands are scattered across a triangle covering the east-central region of the Pacific Ocean. The triangle is bound by the Hawaiian Islands in the north, New Zealand in the west, Easter Island in the east; the rest of Polynesia includes the Samoan islands, the Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Niue Island and Tuvalu, Tonga and Futuna, Rotuma Island and Pitcairn Island.
The island of New Guinea, the Bismarck and Louisiade archipelagos, the Admiralty Islands, Bougainville Island, Papua New Guinea, Western New Guinea, Aru Islands, the Solomon Islands, the Santa Cruz Islands, New Caledonia and Loyalty Islands, Fiji, Norfolk Island and various smaller islands. The islands of Kiribati, the Marianas, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia. Ethnolinguistically, those Pacific islanders who reside in Oceania are divided into two different ethnic classifications. Austronesian language peoplesAustronesian peoples who speak the Oceanian languages, numbering about 2.3 million, who occupy Polynesia and most of the smaller islands of Melanesia. Papuan language peoplesPapuan peoples, those who speak the Papuan languages, who number about 7 million, reside on the island of New Guinea and a few of the smaller islands of Melanesia located off the northeast coast of New Guinea; the umbrella term Pacific Islands may take on several meanings.
Sometimes it refers to only those islands covered by the continent of Oceania. In some common uses, the term "Pacific Islands" refers to the islands of the Pacific Ocean once colonized by the Portuguese, Dutch, French, United States, Japanese, such as the Pitcairn Islands and Borneo. In other uses it may refer to islands with Austronesian linguistic heritage like Taiwan, Micronesia, Myanmar islands, which found their genesis in the Neolithic cultures of the island of Taiwan. In Australia the term South Sea Islander was used to describe Australian descendants of people from the more than 80 islands in the western Pacific, brought to Australia to work on the sugar fields of Queensland, in the 19th century called Kanakas; the Pacific Island Labourers Act 1901 was enacted to restrict entry of Pacific Islanders to Australia and to authorise their deportation. In the legislation Pacific Islanders were defined as: "Pacific Island Labourer" includes all natives not of European extraction of any island except the islands of New Zealand situated in the Pacific Ocean beyond the Commonwealth as constituted at the commencement of this Act.
In 2008 a Pacific Seasonal Worker Pilot Scheme was announced as a three-year pilot scheme. The scheme provides visas for workers from Kiribati, Tonga and Papua New Guinea to work in Australia; the pilot scheme includes one country each from Melanesia and Micronesia, countries which send workers to New Zealand under its seasonal labour scheme. Australia's pilot scheme includes Papua New Guinea. Local usage in New Zealand uses "Pacific islander" to distinguish those who have emigrated from one of these areas in modern times from the indigenous New Zealand Māori, who are Polynesian but arrived in New Zealand centuries earlier. In the 2013 New Zealand census, 7.4 percent of the New Zealand population identified with one or more Pacific ethnic groups, although 62.3 percent of these were born in New Zealand. Those with a Samoan background make up the largest proportion, followed by Cook Islands Maori and Niuean; some smaller island populations such as Niue and Tokelau have the majority of their nationals living in New Zealand.
To celebrate the diverse Pacific island cultures, the Auckland region hosts several Pacific island festivals. Two of the major ones are Polyfest, which showcases performances of the secondary school cultural groups in the Auckland region, Pasifika, a festival that celebrates Pacific island heritage through traditional food, music and entertainment. According to the U. S. Bureau of the Census, Population Estimates Program, a "Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander" is "A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Samoa, or other Pacific islands, it includes people who indicate their race as'Native Hawaiian','Guamanian or "Chamorro','Samoan', and'Other Pacific Islander' or provide other detailed Pacific Islander responses."According to the Office of Management and Budget, "Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander" refers to a person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands. The term Pacific Islands American is used for ethnic Pacific islander residents in U.
S. states, in the territories of the United States in the region. Austronesian-speaking peoples Polynesi
Indiana is a U. S. state located in the Midwestern and Great Lakes regions of North America. Indiana is the 17th most populous of the 50 United States, its capital and largest city is Indianapolis. Indiana was admitted to the United States as the 19th U. S. state on December 11, 1816. Indiana borders Lake Michigan to the northwest, Michigan to the north, Ohio to the east, Kentucky to the south and southeast, Illinois to the west. Before becoming a territory, various indigenous peoples and Native Americans inhabited Indiana for thousands of years. Since its founding as a territory, settlement patterns in Indiana have reflected regional cultural segmentation present in the Eastern United States. Indiana has a diverse economy with a gross state product of $359.12 billion in 2017. Indiana has several metropolitan areas with populations greater than 100,000 and a number of smaller industrial cities and towns. Indiana is home to professional sports teams, including the NFL's Indianapolis Colts and the NBA's Indiana Pacers, hosts several notable athletic events, such as the Indianapolis 500 and Brickyard 400 motorsports races.
The state's name means "Land of the Indians", or "Indian Land". It stems from Indiana's territorial history. On May 7, 1800, the United States Congress passed legislation to divide the Northwest Territory into two areas and named the western section the Indiana Territory. In 1816, when Congress passed an Enabling Act to begin the process of establishing statehood for Indiana, a part of this territorial land became the geographic area for the new state. A resident of Indiana is known as a Hoosier; the etymology of this word is disputed, but the leading theory, as advanced by the Indiana Historical Bureau and the Indiana Historical Society, has "Hoosier" originating from Virginia, the Carolinas, Tennessee as a term for a backwoodsman, a rough countryman, or a country bumpkin. The first inhabitants in what is now Indiana were the Paleo-Indians, who arrived about 8000 BC after the melting of the glaciers at the end of the Ice Age. Divided into small groups, the Paleo-Indians were nomads, they created stone tools made out of chert by chipping and flaking.
The Archaic period, which began between 5000 and 4000 BC, covered the next phase of indigenous culture. The people developed new tools as well as techniques to cook food, an important step in civilization; such new tools included different types of spear knives, with various forms of notches. They made ground-stone tools such as woodworking tools and grinding stones. During the latter part of the period, they built earthwork mounds and middens, which showed that settlements were becoming more permanent; the Archaic period ended at about 1500 BC, although some Archaic people lived until 700 BC. The Woodland period commenced around 1500 BC. During this period, the people created ceramics and pottery, extended their cultivation of plants. An early Woodland period group named the Adena people had elegant burial rituals, featuring log tombs beneath earth mounds. In the middle portion of the Woodland period, the Hopewell people began developing long-range trade of goods. Nearing the end of the stage, the people developed productive cultivation and adaptation of agriculture, growing such crops as corn and squash.
The Woodland period ended around 1000 AD. The Mississippian culture emerged, lasting from 1000 AD until the 15th century, shortly before the arrival of Europeans. During this stage, the people created large urban settlements designed according to their cosmology, with large mounds and plazas defining ceremonial and public spaces; the concentrated settlements depended on the agricultural surpluses. One such complex was the Angel Mounds, they had large public areas such as plazas and platform mounds, where leaders lived or conducted rituals. Mississippian civilization collapsed in Indiana during the mid-15th century for reasons that remain unclear; the historic Native American tribes in the area at the time of European encounter spoke different languages of the Algonquian family. They included the Shawnee and Illini, they were joined by refugee tribes from eastern regions including the Delaware who settled in the White and Whitewater River Valleys. In 1679, French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle was the first European to cross into Indiana after reaching present-day South Bend at the Saint Joseph River.
He returned the following year to learn about the region. French-Canadian fur traders soon arrived, bringing blankets, tools and weapons to trade for skins with the Native Americans. By 1702, Sieur Juchereau established the first trading post near Vincennes. In 1715, Sieur de Vincennes built Fort Miami at Kekionga, now Fort Wayne. In 1717, another Canadian, Picote de Beletre, built Fort Ouiatenon on the Wabash River, to try to control Native American trade routes from Lake Erie to the Mississippi River. In 1732, Sieur de Vincennes built a second fur trading post at Vincennes. French Canadian settlers, who had left the earlier post because of hostilities, returned in larger numbers. In a period of a few years, British colonists arrived from the East and contended against the Canadians for control of the lucrative fur trade. Fighting between the French and British colonists occurred throughout the 1750s as a result; the Native American tribes of Indiana sided with th
Virginia Brooks was a suffragette and political reformer who worked in the Chicago region and throughout Indiana in the early 1900s. She was born to parents. Brooks penned Little Lost Sister and My Battles with Vice. Brooks was born on January 11, 1886, in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, IL, to Oliver H. Brooks and Flora P. Brooks, her parents owned boarding houses in the neighborhood. She married Charles Shephard Washburne on April 3, 1913; the couple had a son named Walter Washburne. Brooks spent time in Chicago throughout the 1910s working with different groups and political reformers. Brooks had a close relationship with Ida B. Wells, a suffragette, journalist and prominent leader in Civil Rights Movement. Wells met Virginia Brooks in Chicago. In 1913 Brooks, with the help of Belle Squire, worked with Wells to create the Alpha Suffrage Club, a group that worked to get African-American women involved in the suffrage movement; the first goal of the ASC was to raise enough money to send Wells to Washington, D.
C. to participate in a suffrage march on behalf of the club. The leader of the delegation from Illinois, Grace Trout, told Wells that she was not allowed to march with the white women of the state but could form a delegation of black women if she wanted. Brooks stood by her side by saying "...to exclude Ms. Wells on the basis of race of would be undemocratic." Brooks and Squire volunteered to walk with their friend Wells in the black section of the march but on the day of the march, she was no where to be found. Brooks and Squire returned to the Illinois women's section worried about Wells' whereabouts; as the march began, Wells came out of the crowd to stand beside Brooks and Squire in her rightful place with the suffragettes of Illinois. Brooks moved to West Hammond, with her mother after inheriting land valued at about $39,000 from her father. West Hammond was a village on the border of Indiana, just south of Chicago, she noticed that the village was filled with an heavy immigrant population, being taken advantage of by the village government.
She worked to improve the living conditions of the village by working on behalf of those that could not work for themselves. She campaigned against the vice culture of West Hammond and attacked tavern owners, who ruled the village. Brooks was famously known as the "Joan of Arc" of West Hammond for her efforts. One of her first moves in political activism was the campaign she held against the transition of the status of West Hammond from a village to a city in 1911. Brooks believed that the village needed to be clean of vice and corruption before it should be upgraded to a new style of government, she single-handedly tracked down the corrupt tavern-owners that were running the town and began her reform. Her slogan for reform was: "Vote for a village. You can't make an honest city out a dishonest village. Clean up first." The campaign was unsuccessful but the village became a shrine to her reform work as she worked day after day to make positive change. She ran for her first public office position in 1912 as president of the West Hammond Board of Education district 156 (otherwise known as the Sobieski district.
She won the election on April 22, 1912. Brooks spoke across Indiana at different functions. In 1912, she was a principal speaker at the Equal Suffrage League in Indianapolis. In 1912, she spoke about her crusade for reform in Richmond, Indiana In her late life, Brooks traveled west towards Portland, Oregon with her son, Walter, she died on June 15, 1929, in Portland under her married name of Virginia Washburne and her remains lie at Wilhelm’s Portland Memorial cemetery
White Americans are Americans who are descendants from any of the white racial groups of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa or in census statistics, those who self-report as white based on having majority-white ancestry. White Americans constitute the historical and current majority of the people living in the United States, with 72% of the population in the 2010 United States Census. Non-Hispanic whites totaled about 197,285,202 or 60.7% of the U. S. population. European Americans are the largest ethnic group of White Americans and constitute the historical population of the United States since the nation's founding; the United States Census Bureau defines white people as those "having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East or North Africa." Like all official U. S. racial categories, "White" has a "not Hispanic or Latino" and a "Hispanic or Latino" component, the latter consisting of White Mexican Americans and White Cuban Americans. The term "Caucasian" is synonymous with "white", although the latter is sometimes used to denote skin tone instead of race.
Some of the non-European ethnic groups classified as white by the U. S. Census, such as Arab Americans, Jewish Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, may not identify as or may not be perceived to be, white; the largest ancestries of American whites are: German Americans, Irish Americans, English Americans, Italian Americans, French Americans, Polish Americans, Scottish Americans, Scotch-Irish Americans, Dutch Americans, Norwegian Americans and Swedish Americans. However, the English Americans and British Americans demography is considered a serious under-count as the stock tend to self-report and identify as "Americans", due to the length of time they have inhabited the United States if their family arrived prior to the American Revolution; the vast majority of white Americans have ancestry from multiple countries. Definitions of, "White" have changed throughout the history of the United States; the term "White American" can encompass many different ethnic groups. Although the United States Census purports to reflect a social definition of race, the social dimensions of race are more complex than Census criteria.
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."The Census question on race lists the categories White or European American, Black or African American, American Indian and Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, plus "Some other race", with the respondent having the ability to mark more than one racial and or ethnic category. The Census Bureau defines White people as follows: "White" refers to a person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East or North Africa, it includes people who indicated their race as "White" or reported entries such as German, Lebanese, Moroccan, or Caucasian. In U. S. census documents, the designation White overlaps, as do all other official racial categories, with the term Hispanic or Latino, introduced in the 1980 census as a category of ethnicity and independent of race.
Hispanic and Latino Americans as a whole make up a racially diverse group and as a whole are the largest minority in the country. The characterization of Middle Eastern and North African Americans as white has been a matter of controversy. In the early 20th century, peoples of Arab descent were sometimes denied entry into the United States because they were characterized as nonwhite. In 1944, the law changed, Middle Eastern and North African peoples were granted white status; the U. S. Census is revisiting the issue, considering creating a separate racial category for Middle Eastern and North African Americans in the 2020 Census. 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, Zoroastrian, or Caucasian as their "race" in the "Some other race" section, without noting a country of origin, are automatically tallied as White; the US Census considers the write-in response of "Caucasian" or "Aryan" to be a synonym for White in their ancestry code listing.
In the contemporary United States anyone of European descent is considered White. However, many of the non-European ethnic groups classified as White by the U. S. Census, such as Arab Americans, Jewish Americans, Hispanics or Latinos may not identify as, may not be perceived to be, White; the definition of White has changed over the course of American history. Among Europeans, those not considered White at some point in American history include Italians, Spaniards, Swedes and Russians. Early on in the United States, membership in the white race was limited to those of British, Germanic, or Nordic ancestry. 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; the process of being defined as white by law came about in court disputes over pursuit of citizenship. Critical race theory developed in the 1970s and 1980s, influenced by the language of critical legal studies, which challenged concepts such as objective truth and judicial neutrality, by critical theory.
Academics and activists disillusioned with the outcomes of the Civil Rights Movement pointed out that though African Americans enjoyed legal equality, white Americans continued to hold disproportionate power and still had superior living standards