Irish-American Heritage Month (March) and St. Patrick’s Day (March 17): 2009

In honor of St. Patrick, some interesting data on Ireland’s contribution to U.S. demographics.

Palm Coast, Florida – March 16, 2009 – My branch of the Tobin family heralded from County Cork, Ireland. My ancestors were transported to Peterborough, Canada on a British troop ship as part of the Robinson Emigration Act of 1825; a dual-purpose program designed to solve the "Irish problem" while, at the same time, populating a British colony with British subjects. One branch of this family eventually made it to Rochester, N.Y. where my Great Grandfather Tobin was struck and killed by the Empire State Express while working on the railroad. The following information is courtesy of the U. S. Census Bureau in honor of my fellow citizens of Irish decent.
Compliments of the U.S. Census Bureau:  Originally a religious holiday to honor St. Patrick, who introduced Christianity to Ireland in the fifth century, St. Patrick’s Day has evolved into a celebration for all things Irish. The world’s first St. Patrick’s Day parade occurred on March 17, 1762, in New York City, featuring Irish soldiers serving in the English military. President Truman attended the parade in 1948. Congress proclaimed March as Irish-American Heritage Month in 1995, and the president issues a proclamation each year.

Population Distribution

36.5 million
Number of U.S. residents who claimed Irish ancestry in 2007. This number was more than eight times the population of Ireland itself (more than 4 million). Irish was the nation’s second most frequently reported ancestry, trailing only German. Sources: 2007 American Community Survey <> and Ireland Central Statistical Office <>
Percent of Massachusetts residents who were of Irish ancestry in 2007. This compares with a rate of 12 percent for the nation as a whole. Source: 2007 American Community Survey <>

Irish-Americans Today

Percentage of people of Irish ancestry, 25 or older, who had a bachelor’s degree or more education. In addition, 92 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 28 percent and 85 percent. Source: 2007 American Community Survey <>
Median income for households headed by an Irish-American, higher than the $50,740 for all households. In addition, 8 percent of people of Irish ancestry were in poverty, lower than the rate of 13 percent for all Americans.
Source: 2007 American Community Survey <>
Percentage of employed civilian Irish-Americans 16 or older who worked in management, professional and related occupations. Additionally, 27 percent worked in sales and 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. Source: 2007 American Community Survey <>
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 67 percent.
Source: 2007 American Community Survey <>

Trade With the “Old Sod”

$26.2 billion
The value of U.S. imports from Ireland for January to October 2008.
Meanwhile, the United States exported $7.4 billion worth of goods to Ireland. Source: Foreign Trade Statistics <>

Places to Spend the Day

Number of places in the United States named Shamrock, the floral emblem of Ireland. Mount Gay-Shamrock, W.Va., and Shamrock, Texas, were the most populous, with 2,623 and 1,830 residents, respectively. Shamrock Lakes, Ind., had 154 residents and Shamrock, Okla., 123. (Statistic for Mount Gay-Shamrock is from Census 2000; the other statistics are 2007 estimates.)
Number of places in the United States that share the name of Ireland’s capital, Dublin. Since Census 2000, Dublin, Calif., has surpassed Dublin, Ohio, as the most populous of these places (43,960 compared with 37,954, respectively, as of July 1, 2007).
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 3,651 residents. Other appropriate places in which to spend the day: the township of Irishtown, Ill., several places or townships named “Clover” (in South Carolina, Illinois, Minnesota and Pennsylvania) and the township of Cloverleaf, Minn.
Sources: American FactFinder <> and population estimates <>.

The Celebration

41.5 billion and 2.6 billion
U.S. beef and cabbage production, respectively, in pounds, in 2007. Corned beef and cabbage is a traditional St. Patrick’s Day dish. The corned beef that celebrants dine on may very well have originated in Texas, which produced 6.8 billion pounds worth of beef, while the cabbage most likely came from California, which produced 581 million pounds, or New York, which produced 580 million pounds.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service <>
$40 million
Value of potted florist chrysanthemum sales at wholesale in 2007 for operations with $100,000 or more sales. Lime green chrysanthemums are often requested for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service <>
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