Scandinavian Americans or Nordic Americans are Americans of Scandinavian (in the broad sense), or part-Scandinavian ancestry, defined in this article to include Danish Americans (estimate: 1,453,897), Faroese Americans (no estimates), Finnish Americans (estimate: 677,272), Greenlandic Americans (estimate: 352), Icelandic Americans (estimate: 51,234), Norwegian Americans (estimate: 4,602,337), Sami Americans (estimate: 30,000), Swedish Americans (estimate: 4,293,208). Also included are persons who reported 'Northern European' ancestry (estimate: 230,027) or 'Scandinavian' ancestry (estimate: 582,549). According to 2010 census data, there are approximately 11,890,524 people of Scandinavian ancestry in the United States. [30]

Finns are not linguistically Scandinavian, with the exception of Swedish-speaking Finns. Americans of Sami descent can be classed as either Norwegian, Finnish or Swedish, however, the Sami are not linguistically Scandinavian either. Despite originating outside of Europe, Greenlandic Americans can be classed as Scandinavian American due to close historical ties with Scandinavia, and because Greenland is one of the three constituent countries of the Kingdom of Denmark.

Background

The broad definition of Scandinavia includes Norway, Sweden, Denmark (without Greenland and the Faroese Islands), the semi-independent Finnish territory of Åland and the Swedish-speaking people of Finland (mostly concentrated in Western Finland). The joint ruling of Denmark and Norway from the mid-14th century until 1814, and then the joint rule of Sweden and Norway until 1905, have contributed towards a coherent culture and language. The Scandinavian languages are all descended from old Norse, and unlike Faroese and Icelandic, which have kept more of the old Norse grammar and spelling, the Scandinavian languages have undergone more or less the same simplifications and are mutually intelligible and readable, although the degree of ease with which people understand each other varies depending on country (and region) of origin.

The term Scandinavia is often misused when the term Nordic is meant. The Nordic countries consists of Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Greenland (a semi-independent Danish realm), the Faroese Islands (a semi-independent Danish realm), Åland (a semi-independent Swedish-speaking Finnish realm) and Finland. Sometimes also Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are included, due to the tiny group of Estonian Swedes in the archipelago of Northern Estonia. Unlike the three linguistically Scandinavian countries, the Nordic countries have languages that are not mutually intelligible and English is often used as a common language when Nordic people communicate. The Nordic countries have some common history, as they have all been invaded by Scandinavians at one time, but even if there are close historical ties, these countries are also more culturally diverse than the Scandinavian countries.

Populations

Scandinavian Americans by state

State Rank State Scandinavian Americans

[30]

Percent Scandinavian Americans
- United States 11,269,320 3.8%
1 Minnesota 1,580,776 32.1%
2 California 1,510,541 3.6%
3 Washington 739,043 12.5%
4 Wisconsin 728,248 13.5%
5 Illinois 575,991 4.6%
6 Michigan 403,888 4.0%
7 Texas 359,360 1.4%
8 Florida 355,458 2.1%
9 Oregon 339,031 9.9%
10 Iowa 338,161 11.5%
11 Utah 333,405 14.9%
12 Colorado 291,488 5.9%
13 Arizona 281,388 4.3%
14 New York 254,474 1.3%
15 North Dakota 231,875 36.1%
16 Massachusetts 182,339 2.8%
17 Nebraska 177,522 9.9%
18 South Dakota 172,941 21.5%
19 Pennsylvania 169,294 1.3%
20 Ohio 164,005 1.4%
21 Montana 136,688 14.1%
22 Idaho 136,620 8.9%
23 Missouri 135,340 2.2%
24 Virginia 130,099 1.6%
25 Kansas 124,017 4.4%
26 New Jersey 119,267 1.3%
27 Indiana 118,989 1.8%
28 North Carolina 110,362 1.1%
29 Nevada 102,638 3.9%
30 Connecticut 100,530 2.8%
31 Georgia (U.S. state) 97,209 1.0%
32 Maryland 79,656 1.4%
33 Tennessee 75,615 1.2%
34 Oklahoma 62,145 1.7%
35 Alaska 61,259 8.9%
36 Wyoming 51,755 9.7%
37 New Hampshire 47,955 3.6%
38 Maine 44,955 3.4%
39 Alabama 43,899 0.9%
40 South Carolina 43,306 0.9%
41 New Mexico 41,073 2.0%
42 Arkansas 38,308 1.3%
43 Kentucky 34,592 0.8%
44 Hawaii 30,976 2.4%
45 Louisiana 29,175 0.6%
46 Rhode Island 26,476 2.5%
47 Mississippi 19,501 0.6%
48 Vermont 18,378 2.9%
49 West Virginia 14,519 0.8%
50 Delaware 11,232 1.2%
- District of Columbia 7,523 1.3%
- Puerto Rico 641 0.0%

Scandinavian languages by state

State Rank State Total [3] Percent
- United States 200,630 0.0%
1 California 32,745 0.1%
2 Minnesota 17,998 0.3%
3 Florida 14,628 0.0%
4 New York 13,543 0.0%
5 Washington 12,524 0.2%
6 Michigan 8,825 0.0%
7 Texas 7,849 0.0%
8 Illinois 7,528 0.0%
9 Wisconsin 6,929 0.2%
10 Massachusetts 6,599 0.1%
11 New Jersey 5,518 0.0%
12 Oregon 4,510 0.1%
13 Utah 3,838 0.1%
14 North Dakota 3,364 0.5%
15 Iowa 2,407 0.0%

See also