The original population came from Asia, probably over 40,000 years ago. The American Indians (or Amerindians) had a very low density and technologically they were at the Neolithic level when the immigration of Europeans began. The prevalence of English was very clear, with a Dutch presence that led to the foundation of New Amsterdam (later taken by the British and called New York). A little further to the South came the Quakers, who founded Pennsylvania. Immediately further to the South, the Catholics founded Maryland. In all the settlements, religious convictions ended up dominating public life, also determining the attitude towards the Amerindians, considered deprived of divine grace, and towards the slave trade from Africa; the only concern was to impose a conversion to Christianity on them. After the proclamation of independence (when the white population stood at 2 million), the first official census (1790) recorded almost 4 million residents, including about 750,000 slaves of African origin. It can be assumed that more than 6 million people lived in the US at the time.
In the two centuries following independence, the population increased about 50 times, an increase that has never occurred anywhere on the planet. The cause was the further immigration from Europe, with a prevalent contribution of young adults, a very high birth rate and a high increase until after the Second World War.. In the mid-nineteenth century the annexation of part of the Mexican territory brought Catholic and Spanish-speaking residents, while the famine that had devastated Ireland caused a very strong influx from the island. More decisive, however, was the constant arrival of hundreds of thousands of people every year. Indeed, between 1840 and 1880, the Irish made up less than a fifth of the more than 10 million immigrants, including those from Germany. they surpassed those of Great Britain and the Scandinavians were numerous. At the 1860 census, 31.4 million residents were counted, of whom 4.4 were African Americans: in 70 years the white population had increased, by birth rate and immigration, by about 9 times, while the black one, by birth rate and trafficking, by 6 times.
● After the Civil War, settlement was started west of the Mississippi. Immigration was favored, and over 4 million people arrived in a dozen years. The Irish were Catholics and among the Germans there were both Catholics and Jews, but the population of European origin was on the whole homogeneous. From 1880 to the First World War, on the other hand, about 22 million people entered the country, only 5 of them from central-northern Europe: by now Italians, Serbs, Croats and, to a lesser extent, prevailed, Spaniards and Greeks from the Mediterranean; other Slavs (Russians, Poles, Ukrainians) and Hungarians from Eastern Europe. In the US population, clear separations were created, in addition to those already existing. The newcomers, Latins and Slavs, Catholics and Jews, were marginalized by the wealthy society, of ‘white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant’ composition, which led them to maintain community and territorial ties, and a feeling of ethnic identity that only at a distance of a couple of generations has been welcomed as a specific cultural contribution. As California and the Pacific coast became populated, immigration across the Pacific from China and the Philippines also became relevant; later many of these Asians migrated to Atlantic cities, replaced by Japanese.
● In 1921 the annual inflow by ethnicity was fixed at 3% of its residents in 1910; three years later it dropped to 2% of those present in 1890, when, that is, there were very few Latins and Slavs, and in 1928 the overall annual limit was set at 150,000 units for all origins. The brakes were slightly loosened later, but after 1955 the overall limit of 170,000 units per year was set again. In reality it was not possible to maintain this limitation: since immigration from Canada is free, many plan a migration to the USA in two stages, albeit a few years apart. Many events then led to sudden influxes that the government did not want to prevent: boat peoples fleeing Southeast Asia, rafters leaving Cuba, Jews from Eastern Europe. Texas, from Puerto Rico to Florida and New York, from Cuba to Florida; Spanish quickly established itself as the second language spoken in the country. On the other hand, the influx from Europe has practically stopped. At the 2000 census, Europeans were 196 million out of a total of 281 (the estimated total was about 6 million less, which showed the extent of unregistered immigration).
● The population, in the USA as a whole, increases by 10 ‰ per year, but for Europeans the value is about half, while for African Americans (about 35 million) and Asians (11 million) the actual figure exceeds 16 ‰, and it is even higher for Hispanics (31 million) who are responsible for around 40% of the increase, between births and entries.
● Italians and Slavs are increasingly merging into US society, while Amerindians are excluded, African Americans, Asians and Hispanic groups of the latest immigration. The Amerindians, pushed further and further to the West, are over 1,500,000: about half in the reserves, and the rest in the urban suburbs of the Southwestern states and in California. About 23% of African Americans and Hispanics live below the poverty line, while for Asians the percentage drops to around 11%; but for groups of European origin it does not reach 8%. As a result, various quality of life indicators (life expectancy at birth, mortality rate, educational attainment, etc.) are slightly worse than in most developed countries at the average level in the US.