As most of America, Irish decent or not, is celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in some granular or grandiose way, one may begin to ponder: what is the most Irish city in the country?
Boston is generally considered to be a heavily Irish-American city, but are they really? What about the rest of the Northeast? Anywhere further west or south?
Thankfully, Realtor.com has you sorted.
The hegemony in the Northeast is as predicted, but Boston just sneaks into the top ten at 14% claiming Irish decent. Number one is Manchester, New Hampshire with 19.4% claiming Irish ancestry. The top 10 spreads only as far west as Colorado.
Massachusetts has a stranglehold on the top ten having just under a third of the numbers, and Lowell is their city with the most claimed Irish decent at 17%.
“It was kind of like turning on a faucet,” says Jay Dolan, author of The Irish Americans: A History, via Realtor.com “Once the migration started, then their friends, relatives, and others began to gravitate,” in explanation for the Irish in the Northeast.
As for the Midwest, immigrants had to go past the Northeast for better opportunities.
“Most Irish immigrants were bottled up in the [cramped city] tenements and had very few opportunities in the East, so they came [to the Midwest,]” says Pat O’Neill, author of From the Bottom Up: The Story of the Irish in Kansas City, via Realtor.com. “But they were promised a welcoming community, a place to stay, and a job.”
Now when you see the proliferation of green wear today on St. Patrick’s day, this’ll be a fun fact to impress with.