What Are The Whitest States in The US?

By Antonia Čirjak on May 19 2020 in Society

The terminology "white states," "white people," or "white American" generally addresses those people who are of European descent, and make the majority of the people living in the United States.
  • Academics believe that the concept of „whiteness“ was constructed to emphasize the difference between slaves and slave owners.
  • The whitest state in the United States is Maine, according to the United States Census.
  • Hawaii is one of the most racially diverse places in the world.

The terminology "white states," "white people," or "white American" generally addresses those people who are of European descent, and make the majority of the people living in the United States. Specifically, the European Americans (descendant of the first European settlers) make the largest ethnic group of White Americans. This is not surprising considering the European colonization of the Americas. Today, white people constitute circa two thirds (about 61% of people are white) of all races in The Unites States. 

Who Is White?

José Moya, a historian from Barnard College, believes that the concept of "whiteness" originated from Anglo-Saxons during their conquering of the Americas when they divided and characterized those who were different than them as inferior. Throughout the history of the US, there have been many definitions of "Whiteness," and the majority of those definitions reflected a social definition of race. The term "white" was closely tied to the enslavement of African-Americans.

David R. Roediger, professor of American Studies and History at the University of Kansas, believes that the construction of whiteness in America represented a mental distance between slaves and their owners. There was a time when Italians, Irish, and Russians were not considered to be White in United States history. Today, White people are those of European descent, but many of the non-European people like Jewish Americans, Hispanics, Latinos, and others are also classified (by the United States Census) as White even though they might not be perceived as White. 

Geographic Distribution Of White Americans

The United States Census is the primary source for the data determining the whitest states in the US. The northernmost state in the northeastern part of the United States is also the whitest in the United States. That is Maine. How white is Maine, then? It might surprise you, but around 93.6% of people in Maine are white. Brewer and Belfast are the places with most white people in Maine, both having more than 96% of white people.

Vermont, another northern state, caps at about 93%, and Rutland and Barre are the whitest places. The third state with most of the white people in West Virginia (Yes, the same place from the John Denver song) with 92.1%. Next is New Hampshire, where 90.4% of the citizens are white, and the fifth-place belongs to Montana with 86.3%. Iowa, North Dakota, Kentucky, Wyoming, and South Dakota complete the list of the ten whitest states in the United States.

Basically, most of the whitest states are located in the northern parts of the country. The further south you travel, there is more racial diversity. Hawaii, California, and New Mexico are among the most racially diverse states. Hawaii, in particular, is considered to be one of the most racially diverse states in the entire world, with many different ethnic groups and cultures.

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