It’s time to get out your green; St. Patrick’s Day is nearly upon us!
The shamrock was considered a sacred plant in ancient Ireland because it was symbolic of the rebirth of spring. When England seized Irish land and made laws against the use of the Irish language and the practice of Catholicism in the 1600s, many Irish began to wear the shamrock as a symbol of their national pride in their heritage and rebellion against English rule.
Here are some facts about Irish Americans!
- There are 34.7 million U.S. residents with Irish ancestry. This number is more than seven times the population of Ireland itself.
- Irish is the nation’s second most frequently reported ancestry, ranking behind German.
- Across the country, 11 percent of residents lay claim to Irish ancestry. That number more than doubles to 23 percent in the state of Massachusetts.
- Irish is the most common ancestry in 54 U.S. counties, of which 44 are in the Northeast. Middlesex County in Massachusetts tops the list with 348,978 Irish Americans, followed by Norfolk County, MA, which has 203,285.
- Irish ranks among the top five ancestries in every state except Hawaii and New Mexico. It is the leading ancestry group in Delaware, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
- There are approximately 144,588 current U.S. residents who were born in Ireland.
Population data courtesy of the U.S. Census Bureau and history.com.
Have a safe and happy St. Patrick’s Day!