Why does it seem like certain parts of the US have a higher influx of certain ethnicities than others?

Like Italian Americans more in the Northeast (PA, NY, NJ)
Scandinavian Americans in Minnesota and Wisconsin
German Americans in the Midwest
Scottish/Irish Americans in the Southern States
Hispanic Americans in Texas Arizona and Cali
Is it politics? Is it they feel more comfortable?


Most Helpful Guy

  • Geographical proximity... a group of that origin already being there: immigration rules favor people with family members in the US.

    • So Italian Americans would feel more at home in a place like NY over say North Carolina or Georgia?

    • In NYC you have "Little Italy" . This could attract other Italians, like Chinatown in SF could attract a number of Chinese.

    • And the Carolinas, Virginia, Tennessee have mountains and lots of greens. Along with folk music which attracts a lot of Scottish/ Irish. I get the idea now

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  • Well, the Hispanics are probably the easiest to explain. Obviously, states like Arizona, New Mexico etc. are very close to the Mexican border. This means that you can live in the US but home is never too far away at the same time. As for the European settlers, I think that has a lot to do with mass psychology. People generally like sticking together with other people from the same "group". This group can be the same race (say in American prisons for example), same sex, or well, same nationality. The European settlers who came to the US in the 19th and early 20th century wanted to have a new life, more freedom and more opportunities. But at the same time - understandably - they missed their culture and their language. So it's not very surprising that for example German settlers decided to move to a part of the US where already a lot of other Germans lived, who they could talk German to, eat German food with, celebrate German customs etc.. The foreigners in those days were much more like the many now living in western European countries. Most of them were first-generation foreigners. The country was very much divided into groups of settlers from different European countries. There was no strong indivisibility, as is the case now. When you meet an "Italian" and a "Swedish" American nowadays, you will not notice a difference anymore because of them completely lost cultural and linguistic lies with their original country. They are now both American. This development usually only starts in the third (sometimes second) generation. It's something you can observe in the Hispanic community right now. Until a few years ago, Hispanics were simply foreigners in the US. Now, there are some families who've been here long enough that there children or even grand children are slowly being integrated so well that they are no different from other Americans. At this point, people also tend to spread more equally across the country. But of course there will always remain certain hotspots for certain groups of settlers.

    • There are also some states that really have a varying mixture. Tennessee is a good example

  • Yes, because it's true.

  • Sure. I lived in NYC most of my life. Now I am in Ohio. Such a difference