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German Americans (German: Deutschamerikaner{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}) are Americans who are of German descent. It is the largest ethnic group comprising about 50 million people,<ref name="Census 2008 ACS Ancestry estimates"/> making them the largest self-reported ancestry group in the United States, ahead of Irish Americans, African Americans, English Americans, Mexican Americans and Italian Americans.<ref>Sharing the Dream: White Males in a Multicultural America By Dominic J. Pulera.</ref><ref>Reynolds Farley, 'The New Census Question about Ancestry: What Did It Tell Us?', Demography, Vol. 28, No. 3 (August 1991), pp. 414, 421.</ref><ref>Stanley Lieberson and Lawrence Santi, 'The Use of Nativity Data to Estimate Ethnic Characteristics and Patterns', Social Science Research, Vol. 14, No. 1 (1985), pp. 44-6.</ref><ref>Stanley Lieberson and Mary C. Waters, 'Ethnic Groups in Flux: The Changing Ethnic Responses of American Whites', Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 487, No. 79 (September 1986), pp. 82-86.</ref><ref>Mary C. Waters, Ethnic Options: Choosing Identities in America (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990), p. 36.</ref><ref>From Census Bureau, "S0201. Selected Population Profile in the United States" 2006-2008 data</ref> They comprise about 13 of the German diaspora in the world.<ref>Germans and foreigners with an immigrant background. 156 is the estimate which counts all people claiming ethnic German ancestry in the U.S., Brazil, Argentina, and elsewhere.</ref><ref>"Ethnic Groups of Europe: An Encyclopedia" by Jeffrey Cole (2011), page 171.</ref><ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

None of the German states had American colonies. In the 1670s the first significant groups of German immigrants arrived in the British colonies, settling primarily in New York and Pennsylvania. Immigration continued in very large numbers during the 19th century, with eight million arrivals from Germany. In the middle half of the nineteenth century (between 1820 to 1870) over seven and a half million immigrants came to the United States — more than doubling the entire population of the country. By 2010, their population grew to 49.8 million citizens, reflecting a jump of 6 million people since 2000.

There is a "German belt" that extends all across the United States, from eastern Pennsylvania to the Oregon coast. Pennsylvania has the largest population of German-Americans in the US and is home to one of the group's original settlements, Germantown in 1683. The state has 3.5 million people of German heritage, a figure that outpaces the population of Berlin.

They were pulled by the attractions of land and religious freedom, and pushed out of Europe by shortages of land and religious or political oppression.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> Many arrived seeking religious or political freedom, others for economic opportunities greater than those in Europe, and others for the chance to start fresh in the New World. The arrivals before 1850 were mostly farmers who sought out the most productive land, where their intensive farming techniques would pay off. After 1840, many came to cities, where "Germania"—German-speaking districts—soon emerged.<ref>Zane L. Miller, "Cincinnati Germans and the Invention of an Ethnic Group", Queen City Heritage: The Journal of the Cincinnati Historical Society 42 (Fall 1984): 13-22</ref><ref>Bayrd Still, Milwaukee, the History of a City (1948) pp. 260–63, 299</ref><ref>On Illinois see, Raymond Lohne, "Team of Friends: A New Lincoln Theory and Legacy", Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society Fall/Winter2008, Vol. 101 Issue 3/4, pp 285–314</ref>

German Americans established the first kindergartens in the United States,<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> introduced the Christmas tree tradition,<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=citation }}</ref><ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> and originated popular American foods such as hot dogs and hamburgers.<ref>See newspaper accounts</ref>

The great majority of people with some German ancestry have become Americanized and hardly can be distinguished; fewer than 5% speak German. German-American societies abound as so celebrations that are held throughout the country to celebrate German heritage. One of the most well-known being the German-American Steuben Parade in New York City, held every third Saturday in September. Traditional Oktoberfest celebrations and the German-American Day are popular festivities. There are major annual events in cities with a strong German heritage including Chicago, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis.

German-Americans are somewhat better educated and more white collar than the general population, with one-third having at least a bachelor's degree and about 40 percent are employed in management, business, science or the arts. They tend to be more settled in their communities and are happy exactly where they are.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

A chart of the top ancestries in the US, as provided by the 2000 census.

German American sections
Intro  History  Demographics  Culture  Assimilation  German American influence  Education  Notable German Americans  See also  References  Bibliography  External links  

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