Almost 35 million people currently living in the US claim Irish ancestry, according to the just released figures from the Census Bureau’s annual American Community Survey for 2010.
But in a controversial move the figures for the numbers of Scotch-Irish are no longer available. The Census Bureau has announced the change.
In a statement they said “While the ancestry tables will all look the same, the interpretation of the"Scotch-Irish" and "Other groups" estimates will change. ….Individuals reporting Irish-Scotch are no longer tabulated as "Scotch-Irish" but rather are included in the "Other groups" category.”
That information could well upset the millions of Americans who are of Scotch-Irish heritage which will no longer now be acknowledged as a separate heritage.
US Senator Jim Webb of Virginia has been an outspoken advocate of the Scotch-Irish and wrote a best selling book called "Born Fighting” about them.
Among the most famous Scotch-Irish are Andrew Jackson, Davy Crockett and President Chester Arthur.
Much of the appeal for Northern Ireland tourism efforts to woo American tourists has been aimed at the Scotch-Irish, primaily in the south. Now it will be far moredifficult to locate them.
Irish continue to flock to US immigration figures show
Massive emigration points again to Ireland failing to support its people
The latest figures show a total of 34,669,616 people residing in the US claim Irish ancestry.
Massachusetts continues to have the highest concentration of Irish, with almost one-in-four claiming Irish ancestry.
Hawaii has the lowest percentage, with less than one-in-twenty residents claiming Irish roots.
The data shows that the Irish are the fourth largest ethnic group in the US in 2010, representing a 11.21 percent of the population.
According to the census, persons of Irish ancestry live in all 50 states. A total of 11 states have more than one million persons of Irish or Scotch-Irish ancestry.
The Florida Irish Heritage Centre reports that Florida has the fifth largest population of Irish or Scotch-Irish ancestry (2,068,006).