This map of U.S. counties represents three centuries of
settlements and the subsequent small pockets and wide swaths of America dominated by
one ethnic group.
The intricate map was compiled by the Census Bureau and it was expounded upon — with population figures and brief histories of each U.S. ethnicity — by one of the UK’s premier newspaper, The
Daily Mail. The color-coding indicates the largest ancestral group associated
with the population in each county.
For a larger, clearer version of the map, click here.
The map shows the surprising dominance of
German-Americans in hundreds of counties over a vast area of the Upper Midwest
and, in fact, stretching from the eastern edge of Pennsylvania to the
California coast.
The large population of Italians and Poles in Macomb
County and across southeast Michigan may be stunned to learn these two
realities: The only counties* in the nation where Italians are the most prominent
ethnic group are in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut; and, if you read the fine print, the only county
in America with a Polish population at No. 1 is located in Pennsylvania.
As for Michigan, the map shows four Dutch-dominated
counties, while the entire U.S. has only seven. And it appears that Michigan’s
U.P. is the only area of the nation that has a significant Finnish population.
Certainly the strangest aspect of this map is the
extensive area of the South where the populace refers to themselves as “Americans.”
According to The Daily Mail, many of these people are making a political
statement by shunning an ethnic label, while others simply do not know anything
about their ancestry.
Notice that nearly all of Tennessee, Kentucky and West
Virginia fall into this category.
In addition, a massive expanse of the old South, the land
of Dixie, is dominated by African-Americans, the descendants of slaves. 
Overall, the area below the Mason-Dixon line is a very different place from the rest of
America, with the obvious exception of Florida, which appears to be America’s
biggest melting pot.
* It appears that there is one county in south Florida,
just north of Miami-Dade (is that Broward?), that is presented on the map as
Italian. Anyone know what the story is behind that?