Danish Immigration to The United States

Are you a Dane? In the Census 2000, approximately 1.5 million Americans listed themselves as having Danish ancestry. In this article, you can read more about how the ‘Danish-Americans’ came to be.

Having Danish roots is much more unusual than having German, Irish or Italian roots. The total number of immigrants is low compared to many other ethnic groups, and the Danes often settled quickly into the American melting pot society. But Danish immigration to America is an important chapter of US and Danish history as well as of many people’s personal history. 

How many Danes immigrated to America and when?

Since 1820, 400,000-450,000 Danish people has immigrated to the US, most of them between 1880 and 1920. During this time, about 10% of the entire Danish population immigrated. The immigration started as a trickle. The first real increase came in the late 1860’s. Immigration reached it highest peak in 1881-90 when 88,000 Danes entered the US.
The United States was the largest recipient of Danish emigrants during this period. Compared to the total number of immigrants from Europe – 35 million came to the US from 1840 to 1914 – the Danes make up a small, but important, percentage.

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