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Total population
c. 309 million (2008)
Regions with significant populations
 United States        308,891,000[1]
 Mexico 1,200,000 [2]
 Canada 688,000 [3]
 United Kingdom 224,000 [3]
 Liberia 159,697 [4]
 Brazil 155,000 - 420,000 [5]
 Australia 56,276 [6]
 Japan 52,683 [7]
 Philippines 250,000[8]
 Costa Rica 40,000 [9]
 Lebanon 25,000 [10]
 Israel 100,000? [11]
 New Zealand 17,751 [12]

Primarily American English, but also Spanish and others


Mostly Protestantism, Catholicism, and Judaism

The people of the United States, U.S. Americans, or simply Americans or American people, are citizens of the United States. The United States is a multi-ethnic nation, home to people of different ethnic and national backgrounds. As a result, some Americans don't take their nationality as an ethnicity, but identify themselves with both their nationality and their ancestral origins. Aside from the indigenous American Indian population, nearly all Americans or their ancestors immigrated within the past five centuries.[13]

Due to the multi-ethnic composition, the United States is a multicultural nation, home to a wide variety of traditions and values.[14][15] The culture held in common by most Americans is referred to as mainstream American culture, a Western culture largely derived from the traditions of Western European migrants, beginning with the early English and Dutch settlers. German, Irish, and Scottish cultures have also been very influential.[14] Certain cultural attributes of Mandé and Wolof slaves from West Africa were adopted by the American mainstream; based more on the traditions of Central African Bantu slaves, a distinct African American culture developed that would also deeply affect the mainstream.[16] Westward expansion integrated the Creoles and Cajuns of Louisiana and the Hispanos of the Southwest and brought close contact with the culture of Mexico. Large-scale immigration in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries from Southern and Eastern Europe introduced many new cultural elements. More recent immigration from Asia, Africa, and especially Latin America has had broad impact. The resulting cultural mix may be described as a homogeneous melting pot, or as a pluralistic salad bowl in which immigrants and their descendants retain distinctive cultural characteristics.[14]

In addition to the United States, Americans and people of American descent can be found internationally such as in Mexico, Canada, Australia, and throughout Europe, South America, and the Caribbean. As many as 4 million Americans are estimated to be living abroad.[3]


  1. ^ "U.S. POPClock Projection". U.S. Census Bureau.  Figure updated automatically.
  3. ^ a b c "Record Numbers of Americans Living Abroad". Shelter Offshore. Retrieved 2008-09-30. 
  4. ^ "Liberia: History, Geography, Government, and Culture". Infoplease. Retrieved 2008-09-30. 
  5. ^ Brazil Country Profile U.S. Department of State. Retrieved on January 19, 2009.
  6. ^ ibid, Ancestry (full classification list) by Sex - Australia
  7. ^ 平成20年末現在における外国人登録者統計について
  8. ^ - U.S. Dept. of State - Background Note: Philippines
  9. ^ "Americans living in Costa Rica". Retrieved 2008-09-30. 
  10. ^ List of countries with foreign nationals in Lebanon
  11. ^
  12. ^ "North Americans: Facts and figures". Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand. 
  13. ^ Fiorina, Morris P., and Paul E. Peterson (2000). The New American Democracy. London: Longman, p. 97. ISBN 0321070585.
  14. ^ a b c Adams, J.Q., and Pearlie Strother-Adams (2001). Dealing with Diversity. Chicago: Kendall/Hunt. ISBN 078728145X.
  15. ^ Thompson, William, and Joseph Hickey (2005). Society in Focus. Boston: Pearson. ISBN 020541365X.
  16. ^ Holloway, Joseph E. (2005). Africanisms in American Culture, 2d ed. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, pp. 18–38. ISBN 0253344794. Johnson, Fern L. (1999). Speaking Culturally: Language Diversity in the United States. Thousand Oaks, Calif., London, and New Delhi: Sage, p. 116. ISBN 0803959125.

See also

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