People think that Americans of English descent have done the most for the country: The General Social Survey asked close to 1,000 Americans how much different ethnic groups have positively contributed to our society. The lists of countries the interviewers chose to include (shown below) is strange and was designed, I'm sure, to study prejudice and not achievement. But here are the results anyway:
Percent of Americans who say the ethnic group has made the biggest positive contribution (own group's view in parentheses):
English 31.0 (50.0)
Jews 12.1 (26.5)
Blacks 9.5 (29.7)
Irish 9.0 (15.7)
Italians 8.1 (14.0)
Mexicans 4.3 (4.5)
Puerto Ricans 2.9
The poor Germans who are only the largest ethnic group and have been here forever don't even make the list. I honestly don't know where many of these people are getting their answers from: you might think people say their own group is the best, but most of the time this is not the case. The percent saying their own group has done the most is in parentheses, and while the numbers are a larger than what all Americans together think, they're not not that much bigger.
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