Finding America

Me and Tarah

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Given its mutual history with Britain, it probably comes as no surprise to anyone that America is home to a high ratio of people who claim English ancestry.

While the vast majority of the country's ancestral make-up includes Germans (49 million), Black or African Americans (41 million), Irish (35 million), and Mexicans (32 million), a 2000 census report found that almost 27 million U.S. citizens claim to have descended from English forebears.

What's more, there is one state that stands alone as having the highest percentage of English ancestry in the entire nation. And if you think, with its plethora of English place names, that the east coast is where the state in question is situated, think again. Instead, you have to look out west to the Beehive State, which - for the uninitiated - is the state of Utah.

"Utah has more British ancestry per capita, I think, than any other state," said Neil Ashdown of the Governor's Office of Planning and Budget. "That is in large part because of missionary work going on in England when the state was founded."

Much of this missionary work was carried out by the newly-formed Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - known informally as the Mormon church - whose headquarters are housed in Utah's capital, Salt Lake City. An unquantifiable number of English people would have left the shores of Blighty to join the Mormon church, several ancestors of this writer being among them.

In total, 29% of Utah's population self-reported English Ancestry, while the state also houses 15 of the top 20 Anglo-American cities in the nation. Indeed, with a percentage of 66.9% Anglo-Americans, the small city of Hildale, UT, is the most ethnically English city in the entire United States.

For more information, and to see how each state stacks up, check out our previous post on the subject: 12 U.S. States With the Highest Concentration of English Ancestry.

Sometimes, it's better hearing me in a British accent. Click the red button below.

Laurence Brown is a British man writing his way through the truly bizarre world of America - a place he sometimes accidentally calls home and a place he still hasn't quite figured out after seven years. Thankfully, his journey is made 12% easier by the fact that his accent makes him sound much smarter than he is. For evidence of this, subscribe to his popular Lost in the Pond web series over on YouTube.

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