Irish-American Heritage Month and St. Patrick’s Day: March 2021

Congress designated 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 5th 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 who served 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 U.S. Census Bureau surveys. We appreciate the public’s cooperation as we continuously measure America’s people, places and economy.

The number/percentage of U.S. residents who claimed Irish ancestry in 2019.

Did You Know?

30.4 million or 9.2%

The number/percentage of U.S. residents who claimed Irish ancestry in 2019.


The number of foreign-born U.S. residents who reported Ireland as their birthplace in 2019.


The number of people living in Cook County, Ill., who claimed Irish ancestry in 2019, the largest of any county in the nation.

More Stats

For more information on the Irish-American population, see the selected population profile  from the 2019 American Community Survey 1-year estimates. Statistics include:

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