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Sports

International Pinellas has closest ties to World Cup nations


Published:   |   Updated: June 16, 2014 at 10:33 PM

You can see why the loyalties of local soccer fans might be divided in this year’s World Cup by looking at the latest census count of ancestry claimed by people in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties.

The U.S. Census, in its 2012 American Community Survey, lists 27 nations or groups of nations under its heading “Ancestry” — eight of them nations with teams in this year’s World Cup.

Pinellas is the most international of the three counties, with more people claiming ancestry from each of the eight nations counted than even the more populous Hillsborough County. The eight nations are England, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Russia and Switzerland.

This is especially true among people reporting Greek ancestry. Pinellas, with historic ties to the Mediterranean nation through communities such as Tarpon Springs, has about 13,300 people claiming Greek ancestry compared to 5,400 in Hillsborough and 4,000 in Pasco.

The one exception is the large group of nations listed in the American Community Survey as “Subsaharan Africa.” Hillsborough has 9,480 people with ancestry in these nations compared to 4,440 in Pinellas and 1,890 in Pasco.

Four Subsaharan Africa nations have teams in the World Cup — Cameroon, Ghana, the Ivory Coast and Nigeria.

Also noteworthy is that Portuguese ancestry was claimed by nearly as many people in Pasco as in the much more populous Hillsborough – 3,658 compared to 3,771.

The total populations of the three counties, according to the American Community Survey, was 1.28 million for Hillsborough, 921,319 for Pinellas and 470,391 for Pasco.

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