Got a little Irish in ye? You’re far from alone, according to this map of Irish heritage throughout the United States. With information compiled by the United States Census Bureau, this map submitted to Reddit by user AJgloe confirms our suspicions of why the States parties so hard on St. Patrick’s Day — a good chunk of the country’s population has strong Irish roots.
The Washington Post found in 2013 that according to US Census data, there are about 35 million Americans claiming majority or partial Irish ancestry. This means that there are about seven times as many Irish ancestors in the United States as there are people in the country of Ireland itself, a not too shabby statistic to toss around in conversation over a pint.
According to the map, New England easily tops the list as far as total percentage of the population being of Irish descent. Much of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island have over 20 percent. If you’ve ever doubted the legitimacy of Boston’s hordes of Irish pubs, it turns out you should probably keep your mouth shut. The same WaPo piece noted 20.4 percent of Boston’s population claims Irish descent. New York holds its own as well, with much of the eastern part of the state ranking very high on the green scale.
Perhaps the biggest surprise on the map is the Butte, Montana region, which also scored in the greater-than-20 percent range. “Butte would definitely fight anyone for the title of most Irish city in America,” boasted Reddit user BZH_JJM. We’re not going to get involved in that fight.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, much of the southern ring of the country claims the lowest Irish ancestry rates, ranging from eastern Arizona all the way through North Carolina and Virginia.