The DNA results are in and surprisingly, North Dakota has the largest average percentage of Scandinavian ethnicity across the entire United States. Among North Dakotans, the average amount of ancestry that can be traced back to the Nordic countries of Sweden, Norway, Finland or the Netherlands is almost 30%.

Definitely a surprise as the early money was on Minnesota…which has the Vikings NFL team. But North Dakota edged them out, having about 17% more Scandinavian ancestry on average than Vikings fans.

Scandinavian Ethnicity in the United States

So, how does this work? AncestryDNA estimated the genetic ethnicities of over 250,000 U.S. customers* as percentages in 26 regions across the world. These percentages show where a person’s ancestors may have lived hundreds to thousands of years ago. People of the United States, a nation settled by immigrants, often have a surprising diversity of ethnic backgrounds and collectively have ancestors who lived nearly all over the globe.

We then explored the spatial distribution of customers’ ethnicities across the 50 states – using maps to visualize where in the U.S. we often find people of different ethnicities.

For every state, a map shows the average percentage of a particular ethnicity among all customers born there. If a state is dark green, it means that people there often have more of that ethnicity than in other states.