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The most Irish cities in America

  • The most Irish cities in America

    It’s almost time to pull out your green garments and shamrocks—Saint Patrick’s Day is right around the corner. The Irish holiday is celebrated throughout the United States, with cities boasting their own festivities. Travel down south to Savannah, Ga. to experience the third largest Saint Patrick’s Day parade in the world, or head up to Chicago to see the city’s river dyed green in celebration of the holiday.

    Saint Patrick’s Day isn’t the only day Irish-Americans celebrate their heritage—many cities feature events and festivals throughout the year. Here at Stacker, we calculated the 50 most Irish metropolitan areas throughout the country using estimated figures found on American Community Survey Data from 2016, which is the most current information available on the Census website. We cross-referenced the overall populations with the Irish populations to show the percent of Irish-Americans in each metropolitan area. See which cities boast large Irish communities, learn about their history and discover how they celebrate their heritage. Sláinte!

  • #50. Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN

    Total Population: 1,968,768
    Irish-American Population: 201,177
    Percent of Metro Population That is Irish-American: 10.22%

    Saint Patrick’s Day starts on March 15 in Indianapolis, making it a three day festivity. This year will mark the 21st year Hoosier Lottery will turn the downtown canal green in celebration of the Irish holiday.

  • #49. Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI

    Total Population: 1,028,173
    Irish-American Population: 106,062
    Percent of Metro Population That is Irish-American: 10.32%

    In 1835, the first wave of Irish immigrants came to Grand Rapids. The community celebrates its heritage every year with the Irish on Ionia downtown street party.

  • #48. Charleston-North Charleston, SC

    Total Population: 728,271
    Irish-American Population: 76,286
    Percent of Metro Population That is Irish-American: 10.47%

    The city boasts a South Carolina Irish Memorial that commemorates the Irish community’s deep roots in the city.

  • #47. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA

    Total Population: 3,671,095
    Irish-American Population: 384,614
    Percent of Metro Population That is Irish-American: 10.48%

    Thousands of Irish immigrants came to Seattle in the late 1890s because of the Klondike Gold Rush. The Irish community celebrates its heritage and Saint Patrick’s Day with Irish Week, a month-long series of festivities.

  • #46. Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI

    Total Population: 1,571,730
    Irish-American Population: 165,226
    Percent of Metro Population That is Irish-American: 10.51%

    The city hosts its own Irish Fest, which is a four day event in August featuring food, sports and a Jameson Lounge.

  • #45. Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL

    Total Population: 680,970
    Irish-American Population: 74,291
    Percent of Metro Population That is Irish-American: 10.91%

    See numerous live Irish bands and enjoy traditional Irish dance at the annual Cape Coral Irish Festival. The festival also offers games, food, arts and crafts, Irish beer and more. 

  • #44. Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, SC

    Total Population: 862,064
    Irish-American Population: 96,334
    Percent of Metro Population That is Irish-American: 11.17%

    In 1992, the Cara Club met for the first time in Greenville to connect people of Irish descent. Since then, the city has become a hub for preserving Irish culture.

  • #43. Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI

    Total Population: 9,528,396
    Irish-American Population: 1,064,729
    Percent of Metro Population That is Irish-American: 11.17%

    The first wave of Irish immigrants came to Chicago after the Irish potato famine in 1845. The city began its famous South Side Irish parade in 1979 when a group of local families marched through Morgan Park.

  • #42. Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA

    Total Population: 2,351,319
    Irish-American Population: 263,351
    Percent of Metro Population That is Irish-American: 11.20%

    Irish workers found their way to Portland during the 1870s. The city’s Kells Irish Pub celebrates Saint Patrick’s Day and Irish traditions with an annual festival that benefits the Providence Child Center.

  • #41. Knoxville, TN

    Total Population: 857,111
    Irish-American Population: 96,769
    Percent of Metro Population That is Irish-American: 11.29%

    Knoxville boasts its own Irish Society where members can play the ancient Irish sport of hurling, read Irish literature and participate in traditional Celtic music sessions.