American Culture

Communication

Verbal

  • Direct Communication: Americans are very direct communicators. They tend to convey their entire message verbally, paying less attention to body language. People are expected to ‘get to the point’. This does not mean courtesy is disregarded in communication, but it does mean that Americans may sometimes miss nuances (such as understatement) in conversation or some types of humour (for example, subtle sarcasm or ironic statements).
  • Language Styles: Americans are generally quite enthusiastic, assertive and persuasive in their speech.
  • Modesty: Americans are not very modest (by an Australian standard) as boasting is not cut down by tall poppy syndrome in their culture. People are expected to speak on their own behalf instead of waiting for someone to tell of their achievements or success for them.
  • Raised Voices: Americans may speak at higher volumes in public spaces, however they generally do not appreciate loud or emotional outbursts.
  • Silence: Americans sometimes grow uncomfortable when social chat is punctuated with long periods of pause or silence and often try to fill the gap in conversation.


Non-Verbal

  • Eye Contact: Eye contact should be maintained directly. It demonstrates warmth, openness, honesty and approachability. If you make eye contact with a stranger in passing (on the street, at a shop, in a hallway, etc.) give a small smile or nod to acknowledge them. Continuing on your way without doing so means your were simply staring or unfriendly, and is considered slightly rude.
  • Physical Contact: Generally, Americans are not very tactile outside of their families and close relationships. However, cities that are more internationally exposed may adopt more physical contact in their mannerisms. Touching someone of another gender – especially in the workplace – can be misinterpreted as sexual harassment.
  • Personal Space: Americans like to be given a fair amount of personal space, so try not to encroach on it during a conversation. If an American feels you are ‘in their face’ too much, they will probably not mention it and simply step back.
  • Gestures: It is best to nod or show some kind of sign that you are listening throughout a conversation.
  • Smiling: Many Americans smile when passing strangers on the street as a simple gesture of goodwill.
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The United States
  • Population
    323,995,528
    [July 2016 est.]
  • Language
    English (79%)
    Spanish (13%)
    Other Indo-European languages (3.7%)
    Asian and Pacific Island languages (3.4%)
    Other (1%)
    [2015 est.]
    Note: Data represent the language spoken at home.
  • Religion
    Protestant Christianity (46.5%)
    Catholic Christianity (20.8%)
    No Religion (22.8%)
    Mormon (1.6%)
    Judaism (1.9%)
    Christianity [ndf] (1.7%)
    Other (4.7%)
    [2014 est.]
  • Ethnicity
    White (72.4%)
    Black or African American (12.6%)
    Asian (4.8%)
    Native American or Alaskan Native (0.9%)
    Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander (0.2%)
    Latino or Hispanic (16.3%)
    [2010 est.]
    Note: The category of "Hispanic or Latino" is considered by the U.S. Census Bureau to be separate from racial categories as people of this origin may be of any race or ethnic group (white, black, Asian, etc.).
  • Cultural Dimensions
    40
    91
    62
    46
    26
    68
  • Australians with American Ancestry
    66,556 [Census, 2016]
Americans in Australia
  • Population
    86,125
    [Census, 2016]
    This figure refers to the number of Australian residents that were born in the United States.
  • Median Age
    38 [Census, 2016]
  • Gender
    Male (48.9%)
    Female (51.1%)
    [Census, 2016]
  • Religion
    No Religion (40.0%)
    Catholic Christianity (17.0%)
    Anglican Christianity (5.6%)
    Christianity [not defined] (5.6%)
    Baptist Christianity (4.2%)
    Other Religion (21.6%)
    Not Stated (5.2%)
    [Census, 2016]
  • Ancestry
    American (18.3%)
    English (16.9%)
    Irish (10.9%)
    German (9.9%)
    Other Ancestry (44.0%)
    [Census, 2016]
  • Language Spoken at Home
    English (90.0%)
    Spanish (1.7%)
    Mandarin (0.9%)
    Arabic (0.5%)
    Other (6.3%)
    Of those who speak a language other than English at home, 94.0% speak English fluently.
    [Census, 2016]
  • Diaspora
    New South Wales (34.9%)
    Victoria (22.9%)
    Queensland (19.8%)
    Western Australia (10.8%)
    Other (11.6%)
    [Census, 2016]
  • Arrival to Australia
    Prior to 2007 (56.2%)
    2007 - 2011 (16.8%)
    2012 - 2016 (23.7%)
    [Census, 2016]
Country https://dtbhzdanf36fd.cloudfront.net/countries/139/us.svg Flag Country United States of America