Top ten facts on Irish Americans from the US Census Bureau


The US Census Bureau has just released its annual findings on the state of Irish America.

Here are the top ten facts:

1. Nine signatories of the Declaration of Independence.

Nine signatories of the Declaration of Independence were Irish, as were over 20 of Washington’s generals, and the first man to hold a commission in the United States Navy.

Over 190,000 Irish-born Americans fought in the Civil War.

2. 253 Irish-born men received a Medal of Honor.

253 Irish-born men have been awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest honor. That's more than from any other nation.

A monument to these Irish-born Medal of Honor winners is located at Valley Forge's Medal of Honor Grove. The first Irish American to receive the Medal was Michael Madden, who was honored for his actions in the American Civil War.

3. 34.1 million claim Irish ancestry.

The number of US residents claiming Irish ancestry in 2012 was 34.1 million, a figure that is seven times the population of Ireland.

The highest percentage of the population in America to claim Irish ancestry was found to be in – where else? – Massachusetts. The 34.1 million does not include the 5 million or so who claim Northern Irish roots.

4. 153,248 Irish-born.

This is the number of people who indicated they were Irish-born on the 2012 census. It is a clear indication that as emigration from Ireland stops the number of Irish-born continues to shrink, though green card holders and other employment visas are not counted.

A decade ago that number was 250,000.

5. 68.9 % homeowners.

As usual, Irish Americans feel home ownership is very important to them. 68.9 % of those surveyed owned the home in which they lived, the highest for any ethnic group

6. 24.1% Boston Irish.

The 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 of the Celtics of the National Basketball Association.

7. 34.2% completed higher education.

Notre Dame student celebrate graduation. Indiana University

The percentage of people of Irish ancestry 25 or older who have earned a bachelor's degree or higher is 34.2 percent.

In addition, 93.4 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 29.1 percent and 86.4 percent, respectively.

8. $59,220 - median income.

Median income for households headed by an Irish-American, higher than the $51,371 for all households. In addition, 7.4 percent of family households of Irish ancestry were in poverty, lower than the rate of 11.8 percent for all Americans.

9. 16 Dublins in USA.

Sixteen places in the United States that share the name of Ireland's capital, Dublin.

The most recent population figure for Dublin, CA was 47,156.

10. First St. Patrick’s Day in the World!

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.

This parade became an annual event, with President Truman attending in 1948. Congress proclaimed March as Irish-American Heritage Month in 1995 and the President issues a proclamation commemorating the occasion each year.


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