Ethnic Atlas of the United States

Ethnic Atlas of the United States
by Albert J. Fritsch, SJ

ISBN: 978-0-9846448-4-1

Review

[Click here for entire publication, Brassica Books]

 

     The Ethnic Atlas of the United States is a three-decade project of Al Fritsch, SJ along with graphics by Janet Powell and Mark Spencer.  The materials consist of 204 maps showing ethnic pluralities of every county of the United States using data culled from four Federal Censuses (1980, 1990, 2000, and 2010).  Textual highlights are included about each state and major ethnic groups represented.  Since raw data was gathered at public expense and  information is critical to encouragement and growth of ethnic groups (many threatened by mobility and other factors), our environmental organization offers these maps and associated data in the public domain for general educational and non-commercial use.  Each map is meant to be seen free of charge by interested parties.

     Why is the Ethnic Atlas environmental?  Due to pressures to homogenize, many cultural groups are threatened and endangered as are native species of plants and animals.  Continued diversity in human practices and traits is crucial to retaining America's rich cultural treasures.  We strive to highlight these treasures through a sampling of 250 ethnic groups, centers, and festivities (on the 2010 maps), along with contacts for further information.

     Is America becoming a melting pot?  When comparing the entire map series one discovers the distinct flavor of America's major ethnic groups, though behind the scenes a wide variety of minor groups exist.  Many citizens are unaware of a Germanic belt stretching from Pennsylvania across the northern half of the U.S. to the West Coast, an African American belt in the Southeast, or growing Hispanic regions of the southwest.  This map series shows a time-lapse change that is occurring before our eyes, a time when some states like Texas are becoming MORE distinctly ethnic.  The puzzling category "American," as highly reported in Appalachian and Ozark regions, shows mixing of ethnic groups or difficulty for multi-generational residents to specify major ethnic roots.  However, scattered Native American areas remain more stable.

     Is this becoming a Hispanic or Asian American nation?  One can conclude much by observing the four decades of data that "Hispanic" (Mexicans, Cubans, Puerto Ricans, and other Spanish-speaking Latin Americans) are transforming counties from German, English, and American to Hispanic.  Other groupings remain healthy.  The term "French" includes French Canadians and Cajuns, and "Scandinavians" consist of all Nordic sub-groupings.  One special note is that the 1980 census showed many English pluralities, partly due to confused interpretation of census forms.

     Viewers are encouraged to visit and enjoy the enticing beauty of these multicolored maps, for they indicate the richness of our ethnic diversity.  This Ethnic Project is still a work-in-progress.  In fact, we collected and analyzed 1980 ancestry and racial data for 25 major American urban areas.  To complete a comparative set of city maps Earth Healing Inc. welcomes donations (click here to donate).

 

[Click here for entire publication, Brassica Books]