Irish-American Heritage Month and St. Patrick’s Day: March 2018

The U.S. Congress proclaimed March as Irish-American Heritage Month in 1991, and the president issues a proclamation commemorating the occasion each year.

Originally a religious holiday to honor St. Patrick, who introduced Christianity to Ireland in the fifth century, St. Patrick’s Day has evolved into a celebration of all things Irish. The world’s first St. Patrick’s Day parade occurred on March 17, 1762, in New York City, featuring Irish soldiers serving in the English military. This parade became an annual event, with President Truman attending in 1948.

The following facts are made possible by the invaluable responses to the U.S. Census Bureau’s surveys. We appreciate the public’s cooperation as we continuously measure America’s people, places and economy.

Did You Know?

32.3 million or 10%

The number and percentage of U.S. residents who claimed Irish ancestry in 2016.


The number of foreign-born U.S. residents who reported Ireland as their birthplace in 2016.

More Stats

See a detailed profile on the Irish population from the 2016 American Community Survey. Statistics include:

  • Sex and age
  • Marital status
  • Educational attainment
  • Veteran status
  • Employment status
  • Occupation
  • Commuting
  • Housing
  • Income

Editor’s note: The preceding data were collected from a variety of sources and may be subject to sampling variability and other sources of error. Facts for Features are customarily released about two months before an observance in order to accommodate magazine production timelines. Questions or comments should be directed to the Census Bureau’s Public Information Office: telephone: 301-763-3030; or e-mail: