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St. Patrick’s Day by the Numbers

Find fun facts about the holiday that originally celebrated St. Patrick for introducing Christianity to Ireland, but now celebrates all things Irish.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

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Population Distribution

33.3 million

Number of U.S. residents who claimed Irish ancestry in 2013. This number was more than seven times the population of Ireland itself (4.6 million). Irish was the nation's second-most frequently reported European ancestry, trailing German.


Percentage of the population in Massachusetts that claimed Irish ancestry, which is among the highest in the nation. California has 2.5 million people claiming Irish ancestry, which is the highest of any state.


Number of foreign-born U.S. residents with Irish ancestry in 2013. Of these, 150,256 had become naturalized citizens.

39.7 years old

Median age of those who claimed Irish ancestry, which is higher than U.S. residents as a whole at 37.5 years.

Irish-Americans Today


Percentage of people of Irish ancestry, 25 or older, who had a bachelor's degree or higher. In addition, 93.6 percent of Irish-Americans in this age group had at least a high school diploma. For the nation as a whole, the corresponding rates were 29.6 percent and 86.6 percent, respectively.


Median income for households headed by an Irish-American, higher than the median household income of $52,250 for all households. In addition, 7.3 percent of family households of Irish ancestry were in poverty, lower than the rate of 11.6 percent for all Americans.


Percentage of employed civilian Irish-Americans 16 or older who worked in management, business, science and arts occupations. Additionally, 25.5 percent worked in sales and office occupations; 15.6 percent in service occupations; 9.4 percent in production, transportation and material moving occupations; and 7.6 percent in natural resources, construction and maintenance occupations.


Percentage of householders of Irish ancestry who owned the home in which they live, with the remainder renting. For the nation as a whole, the homeownership rate was 63.5 percent.

Sports Celebration of Irish Heritage


Population of South Bend, Ind., home to the Fighting Irish of the University of Notre Dame. About 11.0 percent of South Bend's population claims Irish ancestry.


Percentage of the Boston metropolitan area population that claims Irish ancestry, one of the highest percentages for the top 50 metro areas by population. Boston is home to the Celtics of the National Basketball Association.

79,446 and 16,771

Population of New Rochelle, N.Y., and Moraga, Calif., home to the Gaels of Iona University and St. Mary's College of California, respectively. About 9.5 percent of the New Rochelle population and 13.3 percent of the Moraga population claim Irish ancestry.

Places to Spend the Day


Number of places (incorporated places and census designated places) or county subdivisions in the United States that share the name of Ireland's capital, Dublin. The most populous of the places named Dublin in 2013 was Dublin, Calif., at 52,105.

If you're still not into the spirit of St. Paddy's Day, then you might consider paying a visit to Emerald Isle, N.C., with 3,714 residents.

Other appropriate places in which to spend the day: the township of Irishtown, Ill., several places or county subdivisions named Clover (in South Carolina, Illinois, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin) or one of the six places that are named Shamrock (in Oklahoma, Texas (2), Minnesota, Missouri and Nebraska).

Did you know?
After Angel Falls in Venezuela, Tugela Falls in South Africa is the world's highest waterfall.