Where do most Basque Americans live?

Basque Americans settled mainly in Nevada, Idaho, and Oregon, along with some other parts of the West, including California and Wyoming.

They first came to the United States in the 1800s. Skilled as shepherds, Basque immigrants found work in that business and came to dominate the sheepherding industry of the West.

Most were poor when they came, but as they prospered, their families turned to other, less difficult occupations, such as politics. Senator Paul Laxalt of Nevada is a descendant of Basque immigrants.

Many Basque were shepherds in northeastern Nevada. The Basques, from northern Spain, thrived in sheep ranching in the arid West.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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