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About Ancestry

Currently, when someone reports more than two groups for their ancestry in the American Community Survey, only the first two ancestries are tabulated.

Some people identify their ancestry as American. This could be because their ancestors have been in United States for so long or they have such mixed backgrounds that they do not identify with any particular group. Some foreign born or children of the foreign born may report American to show that they are part of American society. There are many reasons people may report their ancestors as American, and the growth in this response has been substantial.

The ancestry question was added to the census form in 1980, so the earliest information available from this question is from 1980. Several publications listed in the “Publications” section of this ancestry website contain 1980 and 1990 data.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Ancestry |  Last Revised: 2012-08-02T11:59:38.939-04:00