August 8, 2016

What is America Like?

My daughter works for an international company based in Northern Europe with offices around the world.
She works out of their New York City office but travels to Scandinavia and England on a regular basis.
What we have noticed is that many in other countries have questions about life in the United States.
They wonder what  we eat, where do we live , etc.
I thought I would try to answer some of these.

Nothing has changed since the 50's.
Families still cook their meals
 and eat at home.
The majority of Americans eat at home for most meals and carry a lunch to work or school.
Eating out is a special occasion  and not something done all the time.

Breakfast is eggs or cereal for many, toast and coffee for some. It might include orange juice as well but it is usually very simple.

Lunch is a simple salad or a sandwich and some fruit.

Dinner is usually the largest meal of the day and is home cooked. It includes a meat or fish , a vegetable and a starch like potato or rice. And I think I am safe in saying this is what most people eat.
The majority do not have dessert daily.

One of her co-workers thought all Americans have people to clean their homes,etc.    No, the vast majority of us clean our own homes, do our own dishes. laundry, take care of our gardens and etc.

Hollywood movies do not show real American life at all!
All Americans do not own guns and most cities are fairly safe.
There are not shootings all the time.
Most towns in America are small and very safe, very clean.

The average American home seems to be a 3 bedroom , 1 bathroom home with
living room and kitchen and laundry room or basement.
Many live in apartments or condominiums which vary greatly.
The majority of people have 2 to 4 children.
By the way it takes 4 children per family to keep up a population. Only 1 or 2 will decrease population dramatically over time.

Most families own a car and if the wife also works, as most do today, they might own 2 cars.
Most families have 1 or 2 television sets and pay for cable television reception.

Many Americans speak another language besides English,  usually Spanish, French or German.
Most high schools teach Spanish, French and German as 2nd language.
My school offered Russian and Latin as well.

Children begin school with Kindergarten at age 5 or 6 and go through to high school finishing at age 17 or 18.
No, Americans are not stupid as you see in some YouTube videos. Those videos are deliberately made to make fun of people. Most people are fairly intelligent.

The average American is religious with the majority being Protestant.
83% of Americans say they believe strongly in God and pray daily.
The next largest number just call themselves Christian.
The 3rd largest amount are Catholic, then Orthodox Catholic(Greek/Russian/etc).
Judaism and Islam are very small.
Jewish accounts for 2% of Americans,
Islam accounts for 1% or less.

There are 323,730,000 of us.
The majority are of Western European descent including many Hispanic people who descend from the Iberian Peninsula.(As do many Welsh by the way).
This majority also includes Eastern Europeans and people classified as "white" Hispanic.
These people account for over 85% of the population.
African Americans account for 12.3% of the population. Non-white Hispanic: 17 %, Asians 5%, multi racial: 2.4%.

45% of American adults have a university education.
22% have a partial university education.
Harvard University, Massachusetts
Many more have what is known as vocational school higher education where they learn a trade like plumbing, electrician, home heating, hair dressing, barbering, and technology.

Most Americans do not go on "holiday" or vacation. Not nearly to the level that Europeans go on holiday.  And we work longer hours and work weeks.

American health care is very good and people come from all over the world for care and operations.
No one can be refused hospital care because of lack of money. Charity care is always available.
Medicaid helps those with less money and medicare helps older citizens and the handicapped.
Could it be better? Sure, but free health care comes at the cost of extremely high taxes, something most would rather avoid.
Nothing is ever 'free'.

Is America racist?
Well, we elected a black president didn't we?  How racist could we be?
Many of our top leaders are black and black men and women are prominent in Congress in elected positions and are represented far beyond the 12.3% of the population.  This could not happen if America were a racist nation.
Don't believe what you see in movies and television.

Are there racist people? Sure, they are in every nation. All nations and people have their share of idiots and jerks.


 Our national animal is the bison or buffalo.

American Bald Eagle

Our national bird is the American Bald Eagle.

Our national flower is the Rose
The national rose garden is located at the White House in Washington, D.C.

Americans love ice cream and eat more than any other nation. I hope this was of interest to someone!


  1. Now, that is a pretty good description, smiles. Not sure about the family and cook at meals though...I read somewhere that many families eat out. (not us, can't afford it, smiles)

  2. Your post is very informative and thorough.Most developed countries seem to have similar activities of daily living.Our Hollywood would like to cast it differently , but the grass is seldom greener on the other side of the fence!

  3. Fascinating, Annie! We Americans are pretty neat people, aren't we?

    1. Indeed we are! We are the Heinz 57 variety people.


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