Scituate, a pleasant seaside town thirty miles from Boston is the most Irish town in the United States according to the U.S census.
All in all 16 communities within the South Shore neighborhoods of Boston have the highest percentage of people of Irish descent in the United States.
Top of the list is Scituate, where almost 50 percent of residents are of Irish decent. At least 44 percent of the population in Braintree, Hull, Marshfield, Avon, Pembroke, and Milton claim Irish ancestry also.U.S. Census Bureau.
Scituate, on Cape Cod bay is also close to Plymouth Rock where the Mayflower arrived. It has a population of a little over 17,000
The data shows that the South Shore's "Irish Riviera" hasn't significantly changed since the last census in 1990.
Irish Americans continue to dominate the large majority of suburban Boston.
According to the 2005-2009 American Community Survey, 19 of the top-20 most Irish communities in Massachusetts are south of Boston.
A decade ago, showed similar results. These same towns were among the top Irish-American communities in the state of Massachusetts, according to the 2000 census.
Richard Finnegan, professor of political science and director of Irish studies at Stonehill College maintains that the South Shore has long been home to a large Irish community.
The migration of Irish families from Boston to the South Shore, dates back to the end of World War II, and continued through the 1950's and 60s.
Professor Finnegan says that many gravitated towards the South Shore because of geography.
"If you live in Dorchester or Hyde Park, you don’t think of moving to Swampscott,’’ he said. “Where will I move if I can get ahead and move up the social ladder? Quincy, Weymouth, and down the South Shore.," he told the Boston Globe.
He added that for many of the Irish in South Boston, Hyde Park and Dorchester, their natural migration was to move south, because that’s where they went in the summer.
“When you’re on the south side [of the city] and looking to rent a beach house for a few weeks, you go to the South Shore,’’ he said.
This same pattern continues today. “Families move where their family and friends are,’’ said Finnegan.
Most-Irish communities named
(The top 16 are all south of Boston)
PERCENTAGE OF TOTAL POPULATION:
Source: US Census Bureau, 2005-2009 American Community Survey.