Is American A Nationality: The Different Types Of US Nationalities

America, the land of opportunity and justice for all, is a country of immigrants. But what does it mean to be an American? The answer is not so simple.

Over the last few years, there have been a lot of debates about whether or not immigrants are taking jobs from Americans. And if they are, should we stop letting them in? Is that fair?

These questions have been around for a long time, but the answers aren’t entirely clear to everyone. Let’s explore the idea of America and its nationality. What makes you an American?

Is American A Nationality?

American is a nationality. Nationalities can be defined by two things: the country you live in or the country your parents are from. These are known as jus soli and jus sanguinis. 

People from the United States of America are considered American nationals.

What Is A Nationality?

A nationality is a set of cultural, ethnic, and political characteristics that may identify someone as part of a particular nation. It is essentially the place of birth or origin that gives a person a feeling of belonging to a group.

Nationality can also be an ethnicity, a group of people with shared cultural and traditional backgrounds or origins.

Different types of nationalities can be stated. Some are based on heritage, others on citizenship, and others on ethnicity. 

These categories are all closely related, but they can help understand the different groups within a more prominent nationality.

One’s nationality can be based on race, religion, language, social standing, or citizenship. The reason why one nationality is different from another is just like why one culture is different from other cultures in the world.

How Is American A Nationality? 

Yes, American is a nationality, but it’s not a nationality in the same sense as German or Spanish are nationalities. 

To properly understand what makes American a nationality, let’s first look at other nationalities and what makes them so.

It’s an adjective that refers to nationality, but it isn’t a noun. When people say “I am an American,” they usually mean that they’re from the USA.

There are other places in the world with American people; for example, about 1.5 million Americans live in Latin America. 

And at least nine million Americans live in Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia, and Oceana (not to be confused with Australia). 

The US has a wide variety of ethnic and cultural groups, many of which can be categorized as “races.” As per the US Census Bureau, race is one or more ancestry or ethnic origin categories.  

In other words, when people speak of race in the US, they generally refer to ethnicity – that is, a shared cultural heritage associated with a specific geographical region.

Examples Of  Nationalities In The US. 

The race is one of the most sensitive issues in the United States. This can make it difficult to talk about race and keep a conversation going without offending someone.

White and European Americans

Of course, the most common ethnic group in the US is white Americans. White Americans make up about 57.8% of the population in the US. You can identify them by their pale skin and white hair.

The most common criticism of “white” or “European American” is that those terms fail to acknowledge that whites are not homogeneous. They include Irish, Polish, Scottish, Italian, French, German, English, etc.

The term “Caucasian” was coined in the mid-1800s by a German scientist named Johann Friedrich Blumenbach to classify races.

 At the founding time of our fathers(i.e., 1776), many European Americans were subsistence farmers who owned a free-market society. 

As American national identity developed, African Americans were enslaved, and European Americans increasingly moved into cities seeking work in newly developing industries. 

In the 19th century, the phrase “American” began to emerge as a term for residents of the United States. 

Hispanic and Latino Americans

The next largest group is Hispanics or Latinos, generally brown-skinned and have dark hair. They’re usually from Mexico or South America, but some are from other countries. Hispanics or Latinos make up around 18.7% of the population in the US.

US Census Bureau statistics indicate that Hispanic – Americans identify as having Spanish-speaking countries in their ancestry. 

These groups are Mexican Americans but many other Hispanic and Latino groups. They trace their roots to Mexico, South, Central America, or other Spanish cultures and typically maintain cultural ties with their heritage countries. 

There are also Hispanic, and Latino Americans whose families were born in Spain, contributing much to American culture.

These immigrant populations from Spain settled within the same geographic areas as earlier European settlers of the same ethnicities and locales, resulting in a significant degree of assimilation into broader American society.

Black or African- Americans

African -Americans represent 12.1% of the United States population.

There isn’t an easy way to pinpoint where it all began for the American black population. It is safe to say that the arrival of the first Africans in America in 1619 at Jamestown, Virginia, undoubtedly had a hand in it.

However, as one can imagine, there was also influence from other countries and cultures that came here during the years.

The majority of Americans believe that African-Americans refer to Black Americans, but the truth is that this is not true. 

For example, when someone says they are African-American, they have African roots, and their heritage comes from Africa. 

However, if someone says that they are Black, it usually refers to mixed-race people with African heritage. Therefore, there is a difference between African-Americans and Black Americans.

African American men are disproportionately affected by violent crime, especially homicide.

Asian Americans

Asian American population in the US is an exceptionally diverse one. People of Asian descent come from dozens of countries with distinct cultural traditions and historical experiences. 

In the United States, they make up 19.6 million people or 5.9% of the total population. They comprise a diverse group of people, with 22% being immigrants and 74% U.S.-born.

Asian Americans have a high educational attainment level: more than half (53%) have a bachelor’s degree, and 26% have a graduate or professional degree. Asian Americans also have a median household income of $94k, above the national average of $67k.

Asian Americans have been in North America for over 170 years now. They were one of the early groups to immigrate to America.

Middle-Easterners and North Africans

Based on US Census Bureau estimates, in 2000, the foreign-born population from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) was 4.3 million or 3% of the total US population. 

The MENA population grew faster than the overall foreign-born population, which grew by 27 percent between 1990 and 2000.

The term covers two significant groups of people: Arabs and North Africans. The Arab community is primarily an ethnic group of Arabic-speaking peoples who trace their origins to the Arabian Peninsula.

Some smaller ethnic groups from the Arab world, such as Lebanese, Syrians, Palestinians, and Iranians, are considered Arabs in the US. However, when these smaller ethnic groups immigrate to the US, they generally consider themselves “white” and not Arabs.

Native-born American and Alaskan Natives

Native-born Americans are the indigenous peoples of the United States. People who identify with this national heritage, including enrolled members of a federally recognized tribe, are Native Americans. They comprise 0.7% of the population and are considered a tiny minority.

National origin also includes persons born in American Samoa and Swains Island or persons born in any territory of the United States.

The largest population concentration is in Alaska, but there are significant numbers in all 50 states. Many live in urban areas; however, more than half live on reservations in rural lands.

Native-born Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders

Native-born Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders are the most diverse people in the United States. 

Most Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders do not live on or near Native Hawaiian homelands but instead live in cities and towns across the United States.

The total population of Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders was estimated to be 622,000  in 2020, a mere 0.2% of the US population.

Multiracial Americans

Mixed-race Americans are people who have ancestors from two or more races. The word may also refer to Americans of mixed heritage who identify culturally and socially with just one group (hypodescent).

The Multiracial American population, including those with partial African ancestry, numbers approximately 13.5 million people and makes up 4.1% of the entire American population.


So the answer is yes, American is a nationality. With the increase in diversity in America, many people wonder whether or not we should still consider ourselves a nation of immigrants. The answer is an absolute yes!

While there will always be change, the United States remains a place where people from all over the world can come to make their dreams come true. One of our values as Americans is that we embrace this diversity and welcome it with open arms.

John Taylor
John Taylor
John Taylor is a seasoned writer with more than 10 years of experience as a professional. He has written professionally for many different organizations, such as The Atlantic and the Boston Globe. John can write on any topic you need him to cover, from business writing to creative nonfiction pieces. His portfolio speaks for his skills; he's not only an experienced writer but also an excellent editor and researcher!


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