On St. Patrick's Day, Social Explorer can be be your patron saint of demography. Social Explorer has data on Irish residents back to the nation's founding. With Social Explorer, users can see where Irish immigrants have settled and moved over the years.
According to the first census in 1790, there were 11,139 Irish residents in the young nation, representing just 1.5% of the total population, which was mostly British. During the peak immigration years in the early part of the 20th century, Irish, Italian, Polish, Russian and German were the largest groups of new immigrants with over a million foreign born residents for each residing in the US in 1920.
Map of Irish Foreign Born in the US (1920 Census)
You can see concentrations of Irish immigrants in the Northeast and the West
In 1980, the Census Bureau started tracking detailed ancestry information. Today, the 22,479,693 residents of Irish ancestry make up 7.5% of the population, and an additional 14 million identify as part Irish, bringing that up to over one tenth of the population. But on St. Patrick's Day, perhaps everyone is a little Irish.
Map of Irish Ancestry in the US (American Community Survey 2005-09)
Click the maps to explore more. In honor of the holiday, you can also color your maps in a festive green with our custom color sets.