Results from the 2010 U.S. Census delivered surprising results when it named Butte, Montana to be the most Irish-American metropolitan or micropolitan city in the country.
The Business Journals reports on the Census results that helped provide a current landscape of the Irish-American population in the U.S. today.
During the 2010 Census, the Census Bureau asked respondents to identify one or two ethnic groups with which they identify. Butte, Montana resulted in the highest of any metropolitan or micropolitan city with 23.6 percent saying they had Irish roots.
Butte topped out as the most Irish American of the 942 metropolitan and micropolitan cities in the country. Right behind Butte were Ocean City, N.J., Corinth, Miss., and Barnstable Town (better known as Cape Cod), Mass, all which had just over 20 percent identifying as being Irish-American.
Not surprisingly, Boston took the top spot as the most Irish-American major market in the U.S, with 19.8 percent identifying as having Irish roots. Major market is used to define the nation's 50 biggest metro cities.
In a 1989 book, ‘The Butte Irish Ethnicity,’ David Emmons helped shed light on the perhaps unusual area of settlement for the Irish in Butte. "These Western cities and mining camps suited them," wrote historian Emmons.
"They provided work, and the host society...was reasonably tolerant of an Irish Catholic workforce."
Irish immigrants searching for work were attracted by the West’s offering of jobs in the mining sector in the later half of the 19th century. Butte became a popular settlement for the Irish as it was the home of the Anaconda Copper Mine. One of the major copper kings was Marics Daly form Cavan.
While many Americans indicated that they were of Irish ethnicity - 33.4 million to be exact in all 942 markets - the only group that beat the Irish are the German-Americans, with 45.7 Americans claiming German heritage.