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Fun Facts about St Patrick's Day

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Facts for Features: Irish-American Heritage Month (March) and St. Patrick's Day (March 17): 2014

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 for 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. Congress proclaimed March as Irish-American Heritage Month in 1995, and the President issues a proclamation commemorating the occasion each year.

Sports Celebration of Irish Heritage
The Population of South Bend, IN., home to the Fighting Irish of the University of Notre Dame. About 10.4 percent of South Bend's population of 100,003 claims Irish ancestry.
Source: 2012 American Community Survey

About 24% Percent of the Boston metropolitan area population claims Irish ancestry, one of the highest percentages for the top 50 metro areas by population. Boston is home of the Celtics of the National Basketball Association.
Source: 2012 American Community Survey

Population Distribution

34.1 million U.S. residents claimed Irish ancestry in 2012. This number was more than seven times the population of Ireland itself (4.6 million). Irish was the nation's second most frequently reported ancestry, trailing only German.
Sources: 2012 American Community Survey

Ireland Central Statistics Office
22.6% of the population in Massachusetts that claims Irish ancestry, which is among the highest in the nation. New York has 2.5 million people claiming Irish ancestry, which is among the most of any state.

153,248 people with Irish ancestry who were naturalized citizens in 2012.

The Median age of those who claim Irish ancestry is 39.2 years old, which is higher than U.S. residents as a whole at 37.4 years.

34.2% of people of Irish ancestry, 25 or older, who had a bachelor's degree or higher. In addition, 93.4 percent of Irish-Americans in this age group had at least a high school diploma. For the nation as a whole, the corresponding rates were 29.1 percent and 86.4 percent, respectively.

The median income for households headed by an Irish-Americans is $59,220, higher than the $51,371 for all households. In addition, 7.4 percent of family households of Irish ancestry were in poverty, lower than the rate of 11.8 percent for all Americans.

Places to Spend the Day
There are 16 places in the United States that share the name of Ireland's capital, Dublin. The most recent population for Dublin, Calif., was 47,156.

If you're still not into the spirit of St. Paddy's Day, then you might consider paying a visit to Emerald Isle, N.C., with 3,669 residents.

Other appropriate places in which to spend the day: the township of Irishtown, Ill., several places or townships named Clover (in South Carolina, Illinois, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin) or one of the seven places that are named Shamrock.

25.9 billion pounds of U.S. beef will be produced in 2014 according to the USDA. Corned beef is a traditional St. Patrick's Day dish.

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