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The 16th Annual Mystic Irish Parade
Will be held on Sunday, March 24th, 2019
Parade kicks off at 1:00 p.m.

Irish Lore: Did You Know?


Population Distribution

Larry St. Pierre Photography

There are 34.7 million U.S. residents who claim Irish ancestry. This number is almost nine times the population of Ireland itself (4.2 million). Irish is the nation’s second most frequently reported ancestry, trailing only those of German ancestry. (The ancestry estimates exclude people living in group quarters).

The nation as a whole claims 12% of residents as having Irish ancestry. In Massachusetts this number doubles to 24 percent!

There are three states in which Irish is the leading ancestry group: Delaware, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Irish is among the top five ancestries in every state but two (Hawaii and New Mexico).

There are 54 counties where Irish is the largest observed ancestry group.
Forty-four of these counties are in the Northeast, with 14 in New York, 11 in Massachusetts and five in New Jersey.

Irish-Americans Today

The percentage of people with Irish ancestry who are 25 years or older and have achieved a bachelors degree or more is 31%. In addition, 91% of Irish-Americans in this age group had at least a high school diploma. For the nation as a whole, the corresponding rates were 27 percent and 84 percent.

The median income of $51,937 is the average made by households headed by an Irish-American. This is higher than the national average of $46,242 for all households. In addition, 9 percent of people of Irish ancestry were in poverty, lower than the rate of 13 percent for all Americans.

Among civilian Irish-Americans 16 or older, 39% work in managment, professional and related occupations. Additionally, 28 percent work in sales or office occupations, 15 percent in service occupations, 10 percent in production, transportation, and material moving occupations and 9 percent in construction, extraction, maintenance, and repair occupations.

The percentage of householders of Irish-American ancestry that own their own home is 72%, with the remainder renting. For the nation as a whole, the homeownership rate was 67 percent.

Trade with the “Old Sod”

The value of trade from the Irish Republic to the United States amounts to $23.8 billion in imports during a 10-month period (January-October 2006). Meanwhile, the United States exported $6.9 billion worth of goods to Ireland.

Places to Spend the Day

There are 4 places in the United States named Shamrock, the floral emblem of Ireland. Mount Gay-Shamrock, W.Va., and Shamrock, TX, were the most populous, with 2,623 and 1,841 residents, respectively. Shamrock Lakes, Ind., had 162 residents and Shamrock, OK, 125. (Statistic for Mount Gay-Shamrock is from Census 2000; the other statistics in the paragraph are 2005 estimates.)

There are 9 places in the United States that share the name of Ireland’s capital, Dublin. Since Census 2000, Dublin, CA, has surpassed Dublin, OH, as the most populous of these places (39,328 compared with 34,964, respectively, as of July 1, 2005). If you are still not into the spirit of St. Paddy’s Day after stopping by one of the places named “Shamrock” or “Dublin”, then you might consider paying a visit to Emerald Isle, NC, with 3,686 residents.

The Celebration

About 41.6 billion pounds and 2.4 billion pounds of U.S. beef and cabbage, respectively, were sold in 2005. Corned beef and cabbage is a traditional St. Patrick’s Day dish. The corned beef celebrants dine on may very well have originated in Texas, which produced 7.3 billion pounds worth of beef, while the cabbage most likely came from California, which produced 466 million pounds worth, or New York (456 million pounds).

Americans annually consume 21.6 gallons of beer per capita. On St. Patrick’s Day, you may be able to order green-dyed beer at one of the nation’s 47,984 drinking places, some of which may be Irish pubs.There were 387 breweries registered in 2004. The nation’s breweries are the source for the domestic beer that is often an integral part of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

Lime-green chrysanthemums are often requested for St. Patrick’s Day parades and celebrations. Sales of wholesale potted florist chrysanthemum sales reached $69 million.

A total of 4.8 million immigrants from Ireland have been admitted to the U.S. for lawful permanent residence since fiscal year 1820, the earliest year for which official immigration records exist. By fiscal year 1870, about half of these immigrants were admitted for lawful permanent residence. Only Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and Mexico have had more immigrants admitted for permanent residence to the United States than Ireland.

*Data courtesy of the U.S. Census Bureau