40m Americans now claim Irish heritage

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According to the latest US Census, there are almost seven times more Irish Americans than the entire population of Ireland.

The last census, which was taken in 2010, has been analysed and showed that there are 39.6 million Americans who claim Irish heritage including five million who say they are of Scots Irish heritage.

That number is almost seven times larger than the entire population of Ireland (6.3 million). After German, Irish is the most common ancestry of Americans.

Boston, with 20.4% of its population claiming Irish ancestry, has the most-concentrated Irish population for a US city. The community with the largest Irish American population is Breezy Point in Queens, New York where 54.3% claim Irish ancestry.

Studying the surprising new figures, Jed Kulko, chief economist for Trulia, then created a map showing the areas with the most concentrated number of Irish Americans.

“Irish Americans are at least 5 percent of the population in most counties across the U.S., and 10 percent or more in most of New England, New York state, New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania, and other smaller counties across the country,” he told a leading Irish American newspaper recently.

With 12.9 percent of its residents claiming Irish ancestry, New York has the most concentrated Irish American population. At 20.4 percent, Boston has the most-concentrated Irish population for a city, while Miami, at 1 percent, has the least.

According to Kolko’s data, the one neighbourhood in the entire USA that has the largest Irish American population is Breezy Point in Queens, where a staggering 54.3 percent of its population claim Irish ancestry.

Kolko says that new Irish immigrants to the U.S. tend to settle in areas that already have a large Irish population. “Eight of the top 10 metros where Ireland accounts for the highest share of foreign search traffic are also among the top 20 metros for the highest share of Irish ancestry,” he says. “In other words, people from Ireland tend to search more for homes in places where more Irish-Americans live.”