02/28/2011 03:05 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Irish America by the Numbers

The U.S. Census Bureau is more than a once-every-10-years operation. For instance, its American Community Survey (ACS) provides yearly data on various communities within the country. The 2009 results are out and St. Patrick's Day is just around the corner, so here's some the survey's key Irish-American numbers:

  • 36.9 million: Number of U.S. residents who claimed Irish ancestry in 2009. This number was more than eight times the population of Ireland itself (4.5 million). Irish was the nation's second most frequently reported ancestry, trailing only German.

  • 122,000: Number of Irish-born U.S. residents in 2009. Those from Ireland are much older (a median of 60 years old) and have a higher median household income ($56,158) than U.S. residents as a whole (37 years and $50,221).
  • 24 percent: Percent of Massachusetts residents who were of Irish ancestry in 2009. This compares with a rate of 12 percent for the nation as a whole.
  • 32 percent: Percentage of people of Irish ancestry, 25 or older, who had a bachelor's degree or higher. In addition, 92 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 28 percent and 85 percent, respectively.
  • $56,383: Median income for households headed by an Irish-American, higher than the $50,221 for all households. In addition, 10 percent of people of Irish ancestry were in poverty, lower than the rate of 14 percent for all Americans.
  • 40 percent: Percentage of employed civilian Irish-Americans 16 or older who worked in management, professional and related occupations. Additionally, 27 percent worked in sales and office occupations; 16 percent in service occupations; nine percent in production, transportation and material moving occupations; and eight percent in construction, extraction, maintenance and repair occupations.
  • 70 percent: Percentage of householders of Irish ancestry who owned the home in which they live, with the remainder renting. For the nation as a whole, the homeownership rate was 66 percent.
  • Four: Number of places in the United States named Shamrock, the floral emblem of Ireland. Mount Gay-Shamrock, W.Va. and Shamrock, Tex. were the most populous, with 2,623 and 1,828 residents, respectively. Shamrock Lakes, Ind. had 152 residents and Shamrock, Okla., 122.
  • Nine: Number of places in the United States that share the name of Ireland's capital, Dublin. Since the 2000 Census, Dublin, Calif., has surpassed Dublin, Ohio, as the most populous of these places (44,541 compared with 39,310, respectively, as of July 1, 2009).