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American ancestry in the United States, mapped

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Americans come from all sorts of backgrounds, and sometimes that identity lies close to home.

The Census Bureau’s American Community Survey asks several questions about residents’ economic, social, and demographic characteristics and situations. One of the questions on the survey asks respondents to report their families’ ancestries.

Using individual-level data from the Minnesota Population Center’s Integrated Public Use Microdata Series for the 2016 American Community Survey, we found the total number of respondents in each state reporting various ancestries as either their first or second response to that question. Significant answers ranged from Mexican to Italian to Irish and more.

One answer of particular note comes from respondents who said their ancestry is just American or from the United States. That answer was most common in southern states, like Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama.

Here’s the share of the roughly 84% of respondents who gave at least one ancestry in the survey who said their background is from the United States:

Business Insider/Andy Kiersz, data from IPUMS

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