German Americans (German: Deutschamerikaner, pronounced [ˈdɔʏtʃʔameʁiˌkaːnɐ]) are Americans who have full or partial German ancestry. With an estimated size of approximately 43 million in 2019, German Americans are the largest of the self-reported ancestry groups by the United States Census Bureau in its American Community Survey. German Americans account for about one third of the total population of people of German ancestry in the world.
U.S. Estimate, 2019, self-reported
Around 13.3% of the US population
|Regions with significant populations|
| Nationwide, most notably in the Midwest, though less common in New England, California, New Mexico and the Deep South.|
Plurality in Pennsylvania, Colorado and the Midwest.
|Related ethnic groups|
Very few of the German states had colonies in the new world. In the 1670s, the first significant groups of German immigrants arrived in the British colonies, settling primarily in Pennsylvania, New York and Virginia.
The Mississippi Company of France moved thousands of Germans from Europe to Louisiana and to the German Coast, Orleans Territory between 1718 and 1750.
Immigration ramped up sharply, with eight million Germans arriving during the 19th century, seven and a half million just between 1820 and 1870.
There is a "German belt" that extends all the way across the United States, from eastern Pennsylvania to the Oregon coast. Pennsylvania, with 3.5 million people of German ancestry, has the largest population of German-Americans in the U.S. and is home to one of the group's original settlements, Germantown (Philadelphia), founded in 1683 and the birthplace of the American antislavery movement in 1688, as well as the revolutionary Battle of Germantown.
They were pulled by the attractions of land and religious freedom, and pushed out of Germany by shortages of land and religious or political oppression. 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.
The great majority of people with some German ancestry have become Americanized; fewer than 5% speak German. German-American societies abound, as do celebrations that are held throughout the country to celebrate German heritage of which the German-American Steuben Parade in New York City is one of the most well-known and is held every third Saturday in September. Oktoberfest celebrations and the German-American Day are popular festivities. There are major annual events in cities with German heritage including Chicago, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, San Antonio and St. Louis.