The Most Irish States In The US

By Kathy Morris - Mar. 2, 2021

Find a Job You Really Want In

0 selections

St. Patrick’s Day is approaching.

For some that means parades, corned beef, and avoiding being pinched. However, for others it’s more than just a fun holiday– It’s a day to honor their heritage.

While 4.9 million people call Ireland home, 32 million Americans identify as Irish. That’s right, America is home to more Irish Americans than Ireland is home to Irish. However, some states are far more Irish than others.

To find the states where St. Patrick’s Day isn’t just a day on the calendar but a true event, we found the states where the most residents are of Irish descent.

The results? The Northeast is kelly green.

Most Irish States

  1. New Hampshire
  2. Massachusetts
  3. Rhode Island
  4. Vermont
  5. Maine
  6. Pennsylvania
  7. Connecticut
  8. Delaware
  9. Montana
  10. New Jersey

Massachusetts, formerly the most Irish states, has fallen to 2nd place. Scroll to the bottom to see where your state landed, or keep reading to see just how Irish the most-Irish states are.

How We Determined This

To find the most Irish states, we turned to US Census Ancestry data.

From there, we simply divided the total number of residents with Irish ancestry by total number of residents. The higher percent of Irish residents, the more Irish the state.

Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

This data is self-reported, which relies on people accurately knowing their own heritage. Considering, 21% of Americans are unable to name a single great-grandparent, chances are good these results are skewed.

So, we can’t guarantee there aren’t a lot of unaware Irish folks out in the South West, or that in people in areas with a robust Irish population don’t incorrectly assume they are also Irish.

For the cities, we did a similar process, looking at cities and metro areas over 25,000 residents.

1. New Hampshire

new hampshire class=

Percent Irish: 20.2%
Number Of Irish Residents: 272,613

New Hampshire is the most Irish states in the whole country. An impressive 20.2% of folks in New Hampshire claim Irish ancestry. That means 1-in-5 New Hampshire residents hail from the Emerald Isle.

2. Massachusetts

massachusetts class=

Percent Irish: 20%
Number Of Irish Residents: 1,354,176

While Massachusetts has lost it’s spot as the #1 most Irish state, the state is still pretty Irish. Don’t believe me? Go to Boston on St. Patrick’s Day, between the bars full of cheery Irish patrons or the legendary parade, it’s easy to see Massachusetts is Irish and proud.

3. Rhode Island

rhode island class=

Percent Irish: 18%
Number Of Irish Residents: 186,040

Kiss Rhode Island, because it’s pretty Irish. 18% of Rhode Islanders claim to have Irish ancestors on their family tree.

4. Vermont

vermont class=

Percent Irish: 17%
Number Of Irish Residents: 106,139

Vermont is the 4th most Irish state in the whole country. While we can’t guarantee they have the luck of the Irish, 17% do have Irish roots.

5. Maine

maine class=

Percent Irish: 17%
Number Of Irish Residents: 222,310

Raise a pint of Guinness to Maine, or at least for the 17% of Mainers of Irish ancestry. A sizeable 222,310 of those who live in Maine claim an Irish ancestor (or more!).

6. Pennsylvania

pennsylvania class=

Percent Irish: 16%
Number Of Irish Residents: 1,998,833

An impressive 16% of Pennsylvanians are of Irish ancestry. Pennsylvania is one of only two states in the top 10 not to touch the Atlantic Ocean. Although it is worth noting the state is only about 50 miles away.

7. Connecticut

connecticut class=

Percent Irish: 15%
Number Of Irish Residents: 544,222

Connecticut has (more than) a little Irish in it. Over half a millions Connecticut residents believe they have Irish ancestry. That ends up being a shamrock green 15%.

8. Delaware

delaware class=

Percent Irish: 14%
Number Of Irish Residents: 133,776/pgt;

The 8th most Irish state is Delaware. Another coastal, northeastern state, 14% of residents identify as Irish.

9. Montana

montana class=

Percent Irish: 14%
Number Of Irish Residents: 144,105

Montana may bring to mind cowboys and yogi bear, but it should also bring to mind shamrocks. 14% of Montana residents identify as being of Irish descent. Montana is the furthest west state on the top 10.

10. New Jersey

new jersey class=

Percent Irish: 13%
Number Of Irish Residents: 1,188,978

In 10th place, but still plenty green is New Jersey. 1,188,978 folks in the garden state have Irish heritage.

What are the most Irish cities?

You can keep scrolling to see how Irish your state is and the number of residents with a bit more reason than others to wave the shamrock flag.

However, first here are the more Irish cities in the US. Unsurprisingly, many of them are inside of the most Irish states.

Most Irish Cities

  1. Ocean City, NJ – 30.22%
  2. Butte-Silver Bow, MT – 28.44%
  3. Barnstable Town, MA – 26.53%
  4. Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY – 21.55%
  5. Auburn, NY – 21.49%
  6. Manchester-Nashua, NH – 20.83%
  7. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH – 20.80%
  8. Scranton–Wilkes-Barre, PA – 20.51%
  9. Syracuse, NY – 20.30%
  10. Kingston, NY – 20.29%
  11. Dubuque, IA – 19.71%
  12. Glens Falls, NY -19.64%
  13. Hudson, NY – 19.64%
  14. Oneonta, NY – 19.35%
  15. Rutland, VT – 19.12%
  16. Portland-South Portland, ME – 18.80%
  17. Bennington, VT – 18.79%
  18. Keene, NH – 18.68%
  19. Torrington, CT – 18.44%
  20. Elmira, NY – 18.39%
  21. Norwich-New London, CT – 18.38%
  22. Barre, VT – 18.30%
  23. Bradford, PA – 18.17%
  24. Pontiac, IL – 18.14%
  25. Worcester, MA – 18.07%

States Ranked From Most Irish To Least

Rank State Percent Irish Irish Residents
1 New Hampshire 20.2% 272,613
2 Massachusetts 19.8% 1,354,176
3 Rhode Island 17.6% 186,040
4 Vermont 17.0% 106,139
5 Maine 16.6% 222,310
6 Pennsylvania 15.6% 1,998,833
7 Connecticut 15.2% 544,222
8 Delaware 14.0% 133,776
9 Montana 13.7% 144,105
10 New Jersey 13.4% 1,188,978
11 West Virginia 13.3% 241,354
12 Iowa 13.0% 408,494
13 Ohio 12.7% 1,480,776
14 Missouri 12.4% 757,798
15 Nebraska 12.1% 230,807
16 Kentucky 11.4% 508,220
17 Kansas 11.3% 328,082
18 Wyoming 11.3% 65,438
19 New York 11.2% 2,192,255
20 Illinois 11.1% 1,420,207
21 Oregon 10.9% 451,788
22 Colorado 10.8% 608,412
23 Wisconsin 10.7% 616,950
24 Indiana 10.6% 705,604
25 Washington 10.2% 758,368
26 Michigan 10.2% 1,020,649
27 Oklahoma 10.1% 398,464
28 Minnesota 10.1% 559,686
29 Maryland 10.0% 602,275
30 South Dakota 10.0% 87,057
31 Alaska 9.6% 71,084
32 Arkansas 9.6% 287,153
33 Tennessee 9.3% 620,746
34 Virginia 9.0% 764,929
35 Idaho 9.0% 155,138
36 South Carolina 8.7% 437,697
37 Arizona 8.4% 595,542
38 Florida 8.4% 1,758,679
39 Nevada 8.3% 245,946
40 Alabama 8.0% 391,046
41 North Carolina 8.0% 821,675
42 North Dakota 7.6% 57,158
43 Georgia 7.1% 738,017
44 Mississippi 7.0% 207,836
45 Louisiana 6.5% 303,269
46 Texas 6.1% 1,726,259
47 California 5.9% 2,336,215
48 New Mexico 5.9% 123,337
49 Utah 5.6% 174,068
50 Hawaii 4.3% 61,226

Never miss an opportunity that’s right for you.
Kathy Morris

Author

Kathy Morris

Kathy is the head of content at Zippia with a knack for engaging audiences. Prior to joining Zippia, Kathy worked at Gateway Blend growing audiences across diverse brands. She graduated from Troy University with a degree in Social Science Education.

Find The Best Job That Fits Your Career

Major Survey Entry Point Icon

Where do you want to work?

0 selections

Related posts