Dutch settlers established their roots more than 400 years ago on an island we know today as Manhattan. Those roots have since spread far beyond the shores of the Hudson River, and have sprouted millions of Americans of Dutch ancestry.
In fact, American history is peppered with notable people who have Dutch ancestry, including 19th century industrialist Cornelius Vanderbilt, the patriarch of one of America’s richest families, and his descendant CNN newsman Anderson Cooper; presidents Martin Van Buren, Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt; and inventor Thomas Edison.
Iowa farmer and Dutch descendant Gary Vermeer founded Vermeer Manufacturing in 1948 when he was looking for a better way to unload farm wagons. His family still owns the company, which today manufactures heavy equipment found on farms and city streets throughout America.
More than 4.95 million Americans identified themselves as having Dutch ancestry in the 2010 census, or about 1.5 percent of the nation’s population.
The top five states in which Americans of Dutch ancestry live are:
- Michigan: 515,130
- California: 421,974
- New York: 277,728
- Pennsylvania: 268,365
- Texas: 242,507