Rural Sociology Department
rural sociology, population shifts, population changes, census
A general question on ancestry (ethnicity) was asked for the first time in a decennial census in 1980. Persons were asked to self-identify themselves as to which nationality group or country in which they or their parents or ancestors were born before their arrival in the United States. A large number (52% nationally) reported one ancestral tie, whereas the remaining persons identified multiple ancestral ties. Of the 392,401 South Dakotans who identified with one ancestral group, one in four (25.9%) identified themselves as of German decent, followed by Norwegian (6.8%), English (4.3%) and (Irish 3.2%). The other ten major groups cited by residents of the state and each county can be seen in Table I. In many cases "other groups" were a substantial portion of some of the counties. Table 2 reflects the total response for all ancestral groups for the state in 1980
Agricultural Experiment Station, South Dakota State University
Satterlee, J., "Population Update, Report Number 8" (1984). Agricultural Experiment Station Circulars. 236.