Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: June 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963978 | Print ISBN: 9781412909280 | Online ISBN: 9781412963978| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
The identity of White Americans can be described along a number of dimensions. Perhaps the most basic is the statistical portrait derived from numerical data as compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau; however, a more nuanced understanding of this group emerges from consideration of their history, culture, and social location. White Americans are one of the five racial designations defined by the U.S. government, the others being Black/African American, Asian, Native American/Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (and Other). Whites are defined by the U.S. government as comprising people of European, Middle Eastern, or North African descent. The U.S. Census conducted in 2000 found that 77.1% of the American population indicated that they were White, alone or in combination with another race, with 75.1 % reporting that they were White only. Whites also had the opportunity to indicate their family ancestry, the most commonly reported being German (with 15.2% of the ...