DENVER (KDVR) — St. Patrick’s Day is this Friday, and Denverites and Coloradans will no doubt join the festivities despite only middling levels of Irish ancestry.
St. Patrick’s Day is impressively festive – it is the nation’s third-most popular drinking day with 4.2 drinks consumed per person and over 13 million pints of Guinness downed. One in 10 Americans claim to have some Irish ancestry. That’s roughly six times as many people claiming to have Irish ancestry than those who actually live in Ireland.
Colorado isn’t the most Irish state, however, and the Denver metro isn’t the most Irish area. Both the state and its major population center are about average in terms of their concentration of Irish ancestry.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey, 10.84% of Coloradans claim some Irish ancestry, ranking 22nd in the nation.
The U.S. has its greatest concentration of Irish ancestry in New England. New Hampshire is the most Irish state with 20.5% claiming Irish ancestry, followed by Massachusetts with 19.24%, Rhode Island with 17.03%, Maine with 16.38% and Vermont with 16.27%.
Western and southern states are the least Irish.
Only 4.36% of Hawaiians claim some Irish ancestry, the least in the country. California has the next least with 5.88%, followed by Utah at 5.94%, Texas at 6.01%, and New Mexico at 6.15%.
The Denver-Aurora-Lakewood has an average share of citizens who claim Irish ancestry.
About 10.74% of Denver metro residents claim some Irish ancestry, slightly higher than the average of 9.57% among U.S. metros with over one million people.
Boston has the nation’s highest among large metros with 20.34% Irish- fitting, for the city that hosted the world’s first St. Patrick’s Day parade in 1737. The Philadelphia, Providence and Pittsburgh metro areas also rank high.