The Most Unusual Ancestry in Every State

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New Mexico
> Most unusual ancestry: Celtic
> Concentration in New Mexico of residents with Celtic ancestry: 3.0 times higher than share of U.S. population
> Share of New Mexico residents identifying as having Celtic ancestry: 0.05% (Total: 1,008)
> Share of US pop. identifying as having Celtic ancestry: 0.02% (total: 52,344)
> Share of all US residents identifying as having Celtic ancestry living in New Mexico: 1.93%

The share of those in New Mexico who claim Celtic ancestry is 0.05%, or 1,008 people, which is more than twice the share of the U.S. population identifying as having Celtic ancestry.

Although we associate the Celts with parts of Ireland, Scotland and Wales, Celtic tribes migrated to Spain and lived on the Iberian Peninsula during the Roman Empire. Some of the Spanish explorers who came to what is now New Mexico might have had Celtic ancestors.

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New York
> Most unusual ancestry: Guyanese
> Concentration in New York of residents with Guyanese ancestry: 9.7 times higher than share of U.S. population
> Share of New York residents identifying as having Guyanese ancestry: 0.75% (Total: 147,522)
> Share of US pop. identifying as having Guyanese ancestry: 0.08% (total: 249,460)
> Share of all US residents identifying as having Guyanese ancestry living in New York: 59.14%

Nearly 60% of all American residents who claim to have Guyanese ancestry, or 147,522 people, live in New York. The share of those in New York identifying as having Guyanese ancestry is well above the national share.

The Richmond Hill section of Queens is also known as Little Guyana and is home to a large portion of Americans who identify as Guyanese. Guyanese began to come to New York City in the 1960s to escape repression in the Caribbean nation as well as to take advantage of a change in U.S. immigration laws that lifted immigration levels from those immigrating from the Southern Hemisphere.

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North Carolina
> Most unusual ancestry: Scotch-Irish
> Concentration in North Carolina of residents with Scotch-Irish ancestry: 2.6 times higher than share of U.S. population
> Share of North Carolina residents identifying as having Scotch-Irish ancestry: 2.47% (Total: 251,319)
> Share of US pop. identifying as having Scotch-Irish ancestry: 0.94% (total: 3,021,077)
> Share of all US residents identifying as having Scotch-Irish ancestry living in North Carolina: 8.32%

The share of North Carolina residents identifying as having Scotch-Irish ancestry is 2.47%, or 251,319 people, almost three times the national share of 0.94%.

Scotch-Irish Americans are descendants of mostly Protestant immigrants who came to America primarily from the Ulster province of Ireland in the 18th century seeking religious freedom and economic opportunities. About 3 million Americans identify as Scotch-Irish, or 1% of the population. Other states with relatively large Scotch-Irish populations are Tennessee, West Virginia, and South Carolina. About one-third of U.S. presidents claim Scotch-Irish heritage.

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North Dakota
> Most unusual ancestry: German Russian
> Concentration in North Dakota of residents with German Russian ancestry: 40.9 times higher than share of U.S. population
> Share of North Dakota residents identifying as having German Russian ancestry: 0.31% (Total: 2,344)
> Share of US pop. identifying as having German Russian ancestry: 0.01% (total: 24,617)
> Share of all US residents identifying as having German Russian ancestry living in North Dakota: 9.52%

In the 18th century, Catherine the Great of Russia encouraged Germans to settle in Russian territories on the Volga River and on the Black Sea, luring them with free land and religious freedom. A century later, these German Russians started moving to the United States, and about 70,000 of them made North Dakota their new home.

Today, nearly 25,000 Americans identify as German Russian, and about 9.52% of them live in North Dakota. German is even still spoken in some villages in the state. Other states that have a relatively high concentration of German Russian Americans include Kansas and Colorado.

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Ohio
> Most unusual ancestry: Slovene
> Concentration in Ohio of residents with Slovene ancestry: 8.1 times higher than share of U.S. population
> Share of Ohio residents identifying as having Slovene ancestry: 0.44% (Total: 51,568)
> Share of US pop. identifying as having Slovene ancestry: 0.05% (total: 176,442)
> Share of all US residents identifying as having Slovene ancestry living in Ohio: 29.23%

Following the Civil War, there was a shift in the broader immigration patterns to the United States. If immigrants until then mostly came from England, Germany, and Ireland, after the war they came from Eastern European countries, including Slovenia. In 1900, fewer than 10,000 American Slovenes lived in Ohio. By 1910, over 14,000 American Slovenes lived in Cleveland alone. Slovenes were attracted to Cleveland by factory jobs and due to previous Slovene migration, which meant they could live around people with shared culture and beliefs.

Currently, close to one-third of the nearly 177,000 Americans with Slovene ancestry live in Ohio.

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