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Slovenian Community in the United States

The first Slovenian immigrants began to arrive to the United States in the late 1700s; their heaviest influx is from the period 1880-1914, and 1949-1956. Unfortunately, there is no reliable data on the total number who came to stay. In the early period of emigration to America, up to the American Civil War (1861-65) or so, only a few Slovenians left for America. Slovenians were massively migrating to USA in 19th and in the first decades of 20th Century. The next wave of migrants came after the Second World War. The structure of the Slovene ethnic community has changed during the past century. At the beginning of the 20th century, the majority of national community living in the USA presented Slovenians born in their home country. Nowadays the majority (90%) present the generations already born in USA.

During the census in the year 1990 124.437 persons have declared to be of Slovenian descent. Among them 87.500 (70,3%) declared the Slovene descent as the only origin (census allowed to declare one or more origins).

During the census in 2000 175.099 people declared to be of Slovene descent. Nowadays majority of Slovenian descents live in Ohio (49.598), Pennsylvania (14.584), Illinois (11.743), Minnesota (6.614), Wisconsin (6.478) and California.



When Slovenia's declaration of independence was met with violence, America's Slovenian communities reacted quickly and effectively, uniting as one great voice to demand U.S. recognition. Nine months later, when President Bush recognized the fledging democracy, Slovenian-Americans responded just as rapidly. Brought together as the United Americans for Slovenia, many fraternal societies, parishes and cultural groups had been celebrating this historic event and strengthening ties with the homeland. Organized on July 1, 1991, during the height of the aggression against the Slovenian people, the United Americans for Slovenia (UAS) grew to represent 659 organizations across the country and an estimated one million Slovenian-Americans. After meeting with the UAS, Senator John Glenn and Congressman Dennis Eckart sent a joint statement to President Bush supporting Slovenia. Open letters to the White House appearing in the Washington Post and the Slovenian-American media generated many inquiries internationally.
Joseph Valencic directed the communications efforts of the United Americans for Slovenia.