There are four main ethnic minority groups in the United States: African Americans
The distribution of African Americans in the US was traditionally concentrated in the southern states. However, for a number of years in the latter part of the 20th century, large African American populations have developed in northern cities such as Chicago and New York. The capital, Washington DC, also has a particularly large African American community. In recent years many African Americans have returned to the southern states in a process known as reverse migration. This has been due to increasing unemployment in traditional industries in the north such as steel and car manufacturing and also to economic regeneration in the south. Around 60% of African Americans live in inner-city ghettos. However, more recently, financially successful African Americans have started to buy properties in up-market 'gilded ghettos'. Hispanics
Spanish speaking immigrants are the most numerous and rapidly increasing non-white group in the US. They include many illegal immigrants who are easily exploited as they do not have the same rights as US citizens. Hispanics are mainly concentrated in the south and south western states, due to their proximity to Central America. The Cuban community is heavily concentrated in Florida, especially in Miami, as this is where most first arrive in the US. 93% of the Hispanic population in the United States live in urban areas though some find agricultural work on farms in states like California. Puerto Rico, in Central America, has a special status as a territory of the US and traditionally immigrants have moved from there to New York and New Jersey, attracted by job opportunities in these cities. Native Americans
The original Americans are now a tiny minority within their own country. Small numbers of Native Americans have moved into cities such as New York to escape the limited opportunities in their traditional homelands. However many live in, or near, reservations in the western states of Oklahoma, Arizona, California and Alaska. Asians and Pacific Islanders
The main factors that attract most Asians to the US are refuge from persecution at home and an opportunity to succeed economically. Nearly half of Asians and Pacific Islanders live in California, the nearest entry point in the US. California has a wide range of job opportunities. Some groups such as the Chinese and Koreans concentrate in the major cities. They have been successful in providing retail services and supplies. Japanese Americans have been the most economically successful group in the US and have the highest average incomes in the country. Many other Asians have also succeeded. For example, there are many middle class Asians from the Indian sub-continent working in the medical profession. Political progress
The US prides itself on being a democracy in which every citizen is equal. that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The Declaration of Independence
However, not all groups within the USA participate equally in politics. All ethnic minorities are less likely to be involved in politics whether as voters, campaigners or as candidates, than white Americans. In the USA you need to actively register before you can vote. As a result voter turnout is lower than in the UK. Just under 70% of African Americans are registered compared to just under 60% of Hispanic Americans. African Americans used to be discouraged from voting by white extremists in the South. Laws passed in the 1960s changed this. Nowadays more Hispanics and African Americans turn out to vote. However, many African Americans still feel politics is irrelevant to their lives. Political participation tends to be higher in areas where African American candidates have a chance of winning - this has happened in a number of cities with large...