They nearly all used English Common Law as their basic code of law and, except for the French, Dutch and Germans, spoke some dialect of English. They established their own popularly elected governments and courts and were, within a few years, mostly self-governing, self-supporting and self-replicating. Nearly all colonies and, later, states in the United States were settled by migration from another colony or state, as foreign immigration usually only played a minor role after the first initial settlements were started.
The New England colonists included more educated men as well as many skilled farmers, tradesmen and craftsmen. They were mostly farmers and settled in small villages for common religious activity. Shipbuilding, commerce, and fisheries were important in coastal towns. New England's healthy climate the cold winters killed the mosquitoes and other disease-bearing insects , and abundant food supply resulted in the lowest death rate and highest birth rate of any place in the world marriage was expected and birth control was not, and a much higher than average number of children and mothers survived.
The eastern and northern frontier around the initial New England settlements was mainly settled by the Yankee descendants of the original New Englanders. The Dutch-started colony of New York had the most eclectic collection of residents from many different nations and prospered as a major trading and commercial center after about The Pennsylvania colonial center was dominated by the Quakers for decades after they emigrated there, mainly from the North Midlands of England, from about to The main commercial center of Philadelphia was run mostly by prosperous Quakers, supplemented by many small farming and trading communities with strong German contingents located in the Delaware River valley.
Many more settlers arrived in the middle colonies starting in about , when Pennsylvania was founded and many Protestant sects were encouraged to settle there for freedom of religion and good, cheap land.
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Nearly all were at least third-generation natives. The main drive of the economy in Virginia, Maryland and South Carolina was large plantations growing staples for export, especially tobacco and rice.
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Outside the plantations, land was farmed by independent farmers who rented from the proprietors, or most often owned it outright. They emphasized subsistence farming to grow food for their large families. Many of the Irish and Irish immigrants specialized in rye-whiskey making, which they sold to obtain cash. In Maryland, by there were about 25, people and by that had grown more than 5 times to , From to the western frontier was settled primarily by Presbyterian settlers who migrated in large part from Scotland and Ireland. Frontier settlers initially landed in Philadelphia or Baltimore before migrating to the western frontier for the cheaper land.
The last significant colonies to be settled mainly by immigrants were Pennsylvania in the early 18th century and Georgia and the Borderlands in the late 18th century, as migration not immigration continued to provide nearly all the settlers for each new colony or state. This pattern would continue throughout U. The extent of colonial settlements by is shown by this map from the University of Texas map collection.
Series Z U. Census  Note that the U. Census numbers do not include American Indian natives before According to one source  the following were the countries of origin for new arrivals coming to the United States before The ancestry of the 3. The Irish in the census were mostly Scots Irish. The French were mostly Huguenots. The total U. Catholic population in is estimated at 40, or 1. The Native American Indian population inside territorial U.
During the 17th century, approximately , English people migrated to Colonial America. However only half stayed permanently. Only 45, English supposedly immigrated in the period to ,  a figure that has been questioned as too low. Elsewhere  the number given is 51, 80, in total less 29, Welsh. The figure of 45, has been questioned as a "mystery". These numbers do not include the 50,, convicts transported, 33, of whom were English. Another estimate with very similar results to the ICPS study except for the French and Swedish totals gives the number of Americans of English ancestry as 1.
The population already reflected the approximate 50, "Loyalists" who had emigrated to Canada during and at the end of the American Revolution, , who went to the UK and 6, to the Caribbean.
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Already by the ancestry question was starting to become irrelevant to many, as intermarriage from different ethnic groups was becoming common, causing people to form a common American identity. In the early years of the U. The French Revolution , starting in , and the Napoleonic Wars from to severely limited immigration from Europe.
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The War of — with Britain again prevented any significant immigration. By Congress had banned the importation of slaves, slowing that human traffic to a trickle. After immigration gradually increased. For the first time federal records, including ship passenger lists, were kept for immigration. Total immigration for the year was 8,, gradually building to 23, by , with , total immigrating during the decade. From to immigration increased greatly, to , total, as , Irish, even before the famine of , started to emigrate in large numbers as Britain eased travel restrictions.
From to immigration exploded to 1,, total immigrants and at least , Irish, with the famine of driving them, fled their homeland to escape poverty and death. In attempting to divert some of this traffic to help settle Canada, the British offered bargain fares of 15 shillings for transit to Canada, instead of the normal 5 pounds shillings.
Thousands of poor Irish took advantage of this offer and headed to Canada on what came to be called the "coffin ships" because of their high death rates. Nearly three-quarters of the child population in the largest cities belong to a racial or Hispanic minority group. Fifty-five of the largest cities experience an increase in the number of children between and Slower pace of growth for children is likely to reduce the demand for new schools, more teachers, and related infrastructure, but educational systems will likely need to address the needs of English Language Learners.
Much of the decline in the relative size of the population under age 18 occurred during the second half of the last century. It is important to note that the child population is growing rapidly in many states where child outcomes are among the worst in the country.
Demographic history of the United States
Share Via:. In This Report On the U. An examination of changes in the racial composition of the child population. An examination of state-level changes in the size and racial composition of the child population. The core of this sedimentary region—the heartland of the United States—is the great Central Lowland, which stretches for 1, miles 2, kilometres from New York to central Texas and north another 1, miles to the Canadian province of Saskatchewan.
To some, the landscape may seem dull, for heights of more than 2, feet metres are unusual, and truly rough terrain is almost lacking. Landscapes are varied, however, largely as the result of glaciation that directly or indirectly affected most of the subregion.
North of the Missouri — Ohio river line, the advance and readvance of continental ice left an intricate mosaic of boulders, sand, gravel, silt, and clay and a complex pattern of lakes and drainage channels, some abandoned, some still in use. The southern part of the Central Lowland is quite different, covered mostly with loess wind-deposited silt that further subdued the already low relief surface.
Elsewhere, especially near major rivers, postglacial streams carved the loess into rounded hills, and visitors have aptly compared their billowing shapes to the waves of the sea. Above all, the loess produces soil of extraordinary fertility.
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The Central Lowland resembles a vast saucer, rising gradually to higher lands on all sides. Southward and eastward, the land rises gradually to three major plateaus. Beyond the reach of glaciation to the south, the sedimentary rocks have been raised into two broad upwarps, separated from one another by the great valley of the Mississippi River.
The Ozark Plateau lies west of the river and occupies most of southern Missouri and northern Arkansas ; on the east the Interior Low Plateaus dominate central Kentucky and Tennessee. Except for two nearly circular patches of rich limestone country—the Nashville Basin of Tennessee and the Kentucky Bluegrass region —most of both plateau regions consists of sandstone uplands, intricately dissected by streams. Local relief runs to several hundreds of feet in most places, and visitors to the region must travel winding roads along narrow stream valleys. The soils there are poor, and mineral resources are scanty.
Eastward from the Central Lowland the Appalachian Plateau —a narrow band of dissected uplands that strongly resembles the Ozark Plateau and Interior Low Plateaus in steep slopes, wretched soils, and endemic poverty—forms a transition between the interior plains and the Appalachian Mountains. Usually, however, the Appalachian Plateau is considered a subregion of the Appalachian Mountains, partly on grounds of location, partly because of geologic structure. Unlike the other plateaus, where rocks are warped upward, the rocks there form an elongated basin, wherein bituminous coal has been preserved from erosion.
This Appalachian coal , like the Mesabi iron that it complements in U. Extensive, thick, and close to the surface, it has stoked the furnaces of northeastern steel mills for decades and helps explain the huge concentration of heavy industry along the lower Great Lakes. The western flanks of the Interior Lowlands are the Great Plains , a territory of awesome bulk that spans the full distance between Canada and Mexico in a swath nearly miles km wide. The Great Plains were built by successive layers of poorly cemented sand, silt, and gravel—debris laid down by parallel east-flowing streams from the Rocky Mountains.
Seen from the east, the surface of the Great Plains rises inexorably from about 2, feet metres near Omaha , Nebraska , to more than 6, feet 1, metres at Cheyenne , Wyoming , but the climb is so gradual that popular legend holds the Great Plains to be flat. True flatness is rare, although the High Plains of western Texas , Oklahoma , Kansas , and eastern Colorado come close.
More commonly, the land is broadly rolling, and parts of the northern plains are sharply dissected into badlands.
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