One of the impres­sions I get about the United States as an outside observer is that there’s an awful lot of cultural appro­pri­ation going on. People seem to like to be from some­where else, origin­ally, and to be very proud of that herit­age. Not being American, or ever having visited America, I can’t lay any claim to the truth of that. But this data visu­al­isa­tion of self-described origin in the USA is abso­lutely fascinating.

Soda bread vs. pizza?

For example, one of the most over­whelm­ing impres­sions I get, albeit almost entirely from films and tele­vi­sion and mostly gang­ster movies at that, is that Irish and Italian herit­age are partic­u­larly common in the USA. Am I right? No. But see for yourself:

Irish and Italian origin in the USA — from

Does this visu­al­isa­tion bear out any of your precon­cep­tions about American heritage?

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Corinne Pritchard

Information Designer at Simply Understand
I believe design and design­ers can and should make the world a better place. I love design­ing things that help people under­stand complex ideas.

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2 thoughts on “Stereotypes

  1. The Norwegians bunched together mostly in the Mid-West, so yes… and in south­ern California and, for some reason, south­ern Arizona. Checking a bit more it seems that _everyone_ has gone to south­ern California and Arizona in large numbers. What’s in south­ern Arizona? Cotton, citrus and cattle, accord­ing to Wikipedia?
    Also, tried for quite a while to find those two counties where there were no English. 

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