Irish-American Heritage Month and St. Patrick’s Day: March 2020

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.

32 million or 9.9%

The number and percentage of U.S. residents who claimed Irish ancestry in 2018.

Component ID: #ti1791238883


The number of foreign-born U.S. residents who reported Ireland as their birthplace in 2018.

Component ID: #ti615969330


The number of people living in Cook County, IL, the county with the largest population of people who claimed Irish ancestry in 2018.

Component ID: #ti1463579205


The estimated number of U.S. residents who spoke Irish Gaelic in 2013.

Component ID: #ti351832935