Main | Sunday, March 17, 2013

Where Irish-Americans Live

The most-Irish metro area in the United States is Boston, with 20% of residents claiming Irish ancestry. The most-Irish zip code in the nation is in Breezy Point, Queens, at 54%. More stats:
Twenty-two million Americans -- 7.2% of the population -- say their "primary ancestry" is Irish, according to the Census's American Community Survey. Another 13.5 million Americans claim at least some Irish ancestry, bringing the total to 35.5 million Americans -- 11.6% of the population -- with at least partial Irish ancestry. If that sounds low, remember that Ireland's population today is just 6.4 million -- 4.6 million in the Republic of Ireland and 1.8 million in Northern Ireland. So there are more than five times as many Americans with at least partial Irish ancestry as there are people who live in Ireland.
RELATED: My great-great grandfather, for whom I'm named, arrived in New York City from Wales at the age of 21 in 1871 aboard the steamship Calabria. We believe that my paternal ancestors, like thousands of other families, had left Ireland a couple of generations earlier to work in the coal mines of Wales, possibly due to the famines sweeping Ireland at that time. The 19th century Joe Jervis went to work in the coal mines of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania shortly after being processed at Manhattan's Castle Clinton, the pre-Ellis Island immigration station for NYC arrivals. And here I sit, 142 years later, just a few miles away on the same tiny island. Anyway, I guess that technically makes me Irish-Welsh even though we're not from Wales. I don't really get how all that works, genealogy-wise.

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