Anglo is a prefix indicating a relation to, or descent from England, English culture, the English people or the English language, such as in the term Anglosphere. It is often used alone, somewhat loosely, to refer to people of British descent in Anglo-America, the Anglophone Caribbean, South Africa, Namibia, Australia, and New Zealand. It is used in Canada to differentiate between French speaking Canadians (Francophones), located mainly in Quebec but found across Canada, and English speaking Canadians (Anglophones), also located across Canada, including in Quebec. It is also used in the United States to distinguish the Latino population from the non-Latino white majority.

Anglo is a Late Latin prefix used to denote English- in conjunction with another toponym or demonym. The word is derived from Anglia, the Latin name for England and still used in the modern name for its eastern region, East Anglia. Anglia and England both mean land of the English. According to some hypothesis it also refer to the Angles, a Germanic people originating in the north German peninsula of Angeln, that is, the region of today's Lower Saxony that joins the Jutland Peninsula. (There are also various hypotheses for the origin of the name 'Angeln'.)

It is also often used to refer to British in historical and other contexts after the Acts of Union 1707, for example such as in the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824, where in later years agreement was between the British government and the Dutch, not an English government. Typical examples of this use are also shown below, where non-English people from the British Isles are described as being Anglo.

Anglo is not an easily defined term. For traditionalists, there are linguistic problems with using the word as an adjective or noun on its own. For example, the purpose of the -o ending is to enable the formation of a compound term (for example Anglo-Saxon meaning of English and Saxon origin), so there is only an apparent parallelism between, for example, Latino and Anglo. However, a semantic change has taken place in many English-speaking regions so that in informal usage the meanings listed below are common. The definition is changed in each region which defines how it is identified.

Specialized usage


See also: British diaspora in Africa

The term Anglo-African has been used historically to self-identify by people of mixed British and African ancestry born in the United States and in Africa.[1][2][3][4] The Anglo-African and The Weekly Anglo-African were the names of newspapers published by African American abolitionist Robert Hamilton (1819–1870) in New York during the American Civil War era.[5][6][7] The Anglo-African was also the name of a newspaper published in Lagos (now part of Nigeria) from 1863 to 1865. It was founded and edited by Robert Campbell (1829–1884), a Jamaican born son of a Scottish father and Mulatto mother.[8][9] The term has also been used historically to describe people living in the British Empire in Africa.[10][11] The Anglo-African Who's Who and Biographical Sketch-Book published in London in 1905 includes details of prominent British and Afrikaner people in Africa at that time.[12]


Main article: Anglo-Celtic Australian

In Australia, Anglo is used as part of the terms Anglo-Australian and Anglo-Celtic, which refer to the majority of Australians, who are of English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish descent.[13]


In Canada, and especially in Canadian French, Anglophone is widely used to designate someone whose mother tongue is English, as opposed to Francophone, which describes someone whose mother tongue is French, and to Allophone, which describes someone whose mother tongue is a language other than English or French. Anglo-Métis is also sometimes used to refer to an ethnic group.


Jewish immigrants making Aliyah to the State of Israel are sometimes referred to as Anglos.[14]


In Scotland, and in related cultures, the term Anglo-Scot, sometimes shortened to Anglo or Anglos, is used to refer to people with some permutation of mixed Scottish-English ancestry, association and/or birth; such as English people of Scottish descent, Scottish people of English descent, or heavily Anglicised members of the Scottish nobility who are indistinguishable from English members of the British upper class and speak with a Received Pronunciation, or other elite Southron accent.

A great number of Anglo-Scots have made their mark in the fields of sport, politics, law, diplomacy, the Military history of the United Kingdom, medicine, engineering, technical invention, maritime history, geographical exploration, journalism and on the stage and screen. The London-born writer Ian Fleming being one such example of this mixed ancestry and his James Bond character being the preeminent fictional example of the Anglo-Scot.

At the same time, however, John Lorne Campbell, whose decades long work as a collector alongside his wife, American ethnomusicologist Margaret Fay Shaw, preserved countless works of Canadian Gaelic and Scottish Gaelic literature, Hebridean mythology and folklore, and Scottish traditional music that would otherwise have been lost, was also an Anglo-Scot. Campbell was raised to speak only Received Pronunciation English as an Argyllshire landlord at the height of the British Empire, but his decision as a young adult to reject the traditionally pro-English and pro-Empire politics of his family in favor of Scottish nationalism, decolonisation, and fighting for the survival of his threatened ancestral heritage language of Scottish Gaelic, may well be said to have changed the course of modern Scottish history.[15] The modern Gaelic literary and language revivals, as well as the growing use of immersion schools in both Scotland and Nova Scotia are his legacy.

The term Anglo-Scot is often used to describe Scottish sports players who are based in England or playing for English teams, or vice versa. This is especially so in football, and notably so in Rugby union, where the Anglo Scots were a Scottish non-native select provincial District side that competed in the Scottish Inter-District Championship.

United States

In many parts of the United States, especially those with high Latino populations, the term "Anglo" is applied to white Americans who are not of Latino origin.[16] In the Southwest United States, "Anglo", short for "Anglo American",[citation needed][dubious ] is used as a synonym for non-Latino whites; that is European Americans, most of whom speak the English language, even those who are not necessarily of English or British descent.[17] Some non-Latino whites in the United States who speak English but are not of English or British ancestry do not identify with the term "Anglo" and find the term offensive.[citation needed] For instance, some Cajuns in southern Louisiana use the term to refer to white people who do not have Francophone backgrounds. Irish Americans, the second largest self-identified ethnic group in the United States following German-Americans, also sometimes take umbrage at being called "Anglo".[citation needed]

Countries with significant populations

Although conceptions of "Anglo" identity vary from country to country, the below table provides estimates of native English-speaking "white" populations by country.

Country Population estimate Percent of total Data year
 United States 189,243,127 [18][a] 58% 2019
 United Kingdom 52,231,377 [19][20][21][22][b] 83% 2011
 Canada 18,361,495 [23][c] 53% 2016
 Australia 17,407,420 [24][25][d] 74% 2016/2020
 Ireland 3,561,533 [26][27][28][29][e] 76% 2016
 New Zealand 3,261,930 [30][31][f] 69% 2018
 South Africa 1,651,262 [32][g] 3% 2011
 Spain 268,957 [33][h] 1% 2020
 Israel 227,000 [34][i] 4% 2015
 France 145,900 [35][j] >0% 2017
Total 286,360,001

See also


  1. ^ "Non-Hispanic White alone" Americans born in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, or Ireland.
  2. ^ White: British and White:Irish population.
  3. ^ European Canadians excluding Quebec.
  4. ^ "White" Australians excluding immigrants from Italy, Germany, and Greece.
  5. ^ "White" Irish less Irish speakers and immigrants from non-native-English-speaking European countries.
  6. ^ "European" New Zealanders less immigrants from the Netherlands and Germany.
  7. ^ "White" native English speakers.
  8. ^ British immigrants to Spain.
  9. ^ Israelis of U.S., U.K., Canadian, Australian, or New Zealand origins.
  10. ^ British immigrants to France.


  1. ^ Moses, Wilson Jeremiah (1988). The Golden Age of Black Nationalism, 1850–1925. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 32. ISBN 0-19-520639-8. A startling feature in the rhetoric of black institutional leadership on the eve of the Civil War was the popularity of the term, 'Anglo-African.' ... By 1900, 'Anglo-African' had been replaced by 'Afro-American' and such variants as 'Euro-African', and 'Negro-Saxon'.
  2. ^ Rogers, Joel Augustus (1996). World's Great Men of Color. Vol. 2. New York: Touchstone. p. 148. ISBN 9780684815824. The festival was to be given at Gloucester with Coleridge-Taylor himself conducting the three choirs. As it was advertised that the conductor was an Anglo-African, the audience expected a white man. What was its surprise to see instead a dark-skinned Negro, quick-moving, slight of build, with an enormous head of high, thick, frizzly hair, broad nostrils, flashing white teeth, and a winning smile.
  3. ^ Lee, Christopher J (2009). "'A generous dream, but difficult to realize': the making of the Anglo-African community of Nyasaland, 1929–1940". In Mohamed Adhikari (ed.). Burdened by race : Coloured identities in southern Africa. Cape Town: UCT Press. p. 209. ISBN 978-1-91989-514-7. Because the area had only been colonised in the 1890s, the Anglo-African community of Nyasaland during the 1930s, for the most part, consisted of first-generation persons of 'mixed' racial descent. This is reflected in their preference of the term 'Anglo-African' over 'coloured' and 'half-caste'. Although all three were used, 'Anglo-African' had the advantage of emphasising their partial descent from colonists.
  4. ^ Milner-Thornton, Juliette Bridgette (2012). The Long Shadow of the British Empire: The Ongoing Legacies of Race and Class in Zambia. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan. p. 11. ISBN 978-0230340183. At different historical junctures in Northern Rhodesia's racialized landscape, persons of mixed descent were categorized accordingly: 'half-caste,' 'Anglo-African,' 'Indo-African,' 'Euro-African, 'Eurafrican,' and 'Coloured.'
  5. ^ "About The Anglo-African". Library of Congress. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
  6. ^ Coddington, Ronald S. (2012). African American Faces of the Civil War: An Album. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 274. ISBN 9781421406251.
  7. ^ Jackson, Debra (2008). "A Black Journalist in Civil War Virginia: Robert Hamilton and the Anglo-African". Virginia Magazine of History and Biography. 116 (1): 42–72. Archived from the original on 1 May 2013. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
  8. ^ Echeruo, Michael J. C. (2001). "The Anglo-African, the 'Woman Question', and Imperial Discourse". In Dubem Okafor (ed.). Meditations on African Literature. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood. pp. 119–132. ISBN 0313298661.
  9. ^ James, Winston (2004). "The Wings of Ethiopia: The Caribbean Diaspora and Pan-African Projects from John Brown Russwurm to George Padmore". In Geneviève Fabre; Klaus Benesch (eds.). African Diasporas in the New and Old Worlds: Consciousness and Imagination. Amsterdam: Rodopi. pp. 135–148. ISBN 90-420-0870-9.
  10. ^ "United Australia: Public opinion in England as expressed in the leading journals of the United Kingdom". Sydney: Charles Potter, Government Printer. 1890. Retrieved 16 July 2013. 'I do see a time when the South African colonies may be brought together into one great Anglo-African people.'
  11. ^ Africanus (December 1918). The adjustment of the German colonial claims – Dedicated to the American and British delegates of the peace conference. Bern. p. 7. Retrieved 15 July 2013. Sir Harry Johnston, the former Governor General of Central British Africa said after the conquest of German East Africa in the 'Daily News': ... Another well known Anglo-African and Colonial politician E. D. Morel in an article in the 'Labour Leader' entitled 'The Way Out' writes as follows: ...'((cite book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link) Harry Johnston (1858–1927) and E. D. Morel (1873–1924) are referred to as Anglo-Africans in this publication.
  12. ^ Wills, Walter H.; Barrett, R. J., eds. (1905). The Anglo-African Who's Who and Biographical Sketch-Book. London: George Routledge & Sons, Ltd. Retrieved 26 June 2013. But we may perhaps claim that, incomplete as it is, it contains many records of Anglo-Africans which are not readily available in any similar work of reference, and it is only necessary to add that we hope to remedy its sins of omission and commission in future editions.
  13. ^ "Ethnic and Cultural Diversity in Australia". 1301.0 – Year Book Australia, 1995. Australian Bureau of Statistics. January 1995.
  14. ^ "Anglo File -- Israel News". Haaretz Daily Newspaper. Archived from the original on 26 October 2011.
  15. ^ Ray Perman (2013), The Man Who Gave Away His Island: A Life of John Lorne Campbell, Birlinn Limited. Pages 1-140.
  16. ^ "Anglo – Definitions from; American Heritage Dictionary". Lexico Publishing Group, LLC. Archived from the original on 15 March 2008. Retrieved 29 March 2008.
  17. ^ Barber, Marian Jean (2010). How the Irish, Germans, and Czechs Became Anglo: Race and Identity in the Texas-Mexico Borderlands PhD dissertation. Austin: University of Texas. OCLC 876627130.
  18. ^ "IPUMS USA". Retrieved 20 June 2022.
  19. ^ "Office of National Statistics; 2011 Census Key Statistics". Retrieved 7 September 2021.
  20. ^ "2011 Census: Ethnic Group, local authorities in England and Wales". Retrieved 15 December 2021.
  21. ^ "2011 Census: Key Results from Releases 2A to 2D". Scotland's Census. Retrieved 15 December 2021.
  22. ^ "Table DC2206NI – National Identity (Classification 1) by Ethnic Group". Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency.
  23. ^ Government of Canada, Statistics Canada (8 February 2017). "Census Profile, 2016 Census - Canada: "Ethnic Origin Population — European origins"". Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  24. ^ "Australian Human Rights commission 2018" (PDF).
  25. ^ "Table 5.1 Estimated resident population, by country of birth(a), Australia, as at 30 June, 1996 to 2020(b)(c)". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 24 April 2021.
  26. ^ "Chapter 6: Ethnicity and Irish Travellers" (PDF). 2017. Archived (PDF) from the original on 14 April 2017.
  27. ^ "Ethnicity – CSO – Central Statistics Office". Retrieved 25 August 2021.
  28. ^ Eurobarometer - Europeans and their languages
  29. ^ "Population Usually Resident and Present in the State and Actual and Percentage Change 2011 to 2016 by Sex, Nationality, Age Group, CensusYear and Statistic - StatBank - data and statistics". Archived from the original on 20 October 2019.
  30. ^ "2018 Census population and dwelling counts | Stats NZ". Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  31. ^ "2018 Census totals by topic – national highlights | Stats NZ". Archived from the original on 23 September 2019.
  32. ^ "Census 2011: Census in brief (PDF). Pretoria: Statistics South Africa. 2012. p. 21" (PDF).
  33. ^ "Población (españoles/extranjeros) por País de Nacimiento, sexo y año". Instituto NAcional de Estadística. Retrieved 28 April 2021.
  34. ^ "Table 2.8 – Jews, by country of origin and age" (PDF). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  35. ^ "Immigrés par pays de naissance détaillé". (in French). 28 November 2014. Retrieved 1 September 2017.