It's no wonder that St. Patrick's Day is such a big event in this country. Today there are approximately 34.3 million people of Irish descent in the United States.
The population of Ireland itself is only 3.9 million, making Irish descendants in the United States almost 9 times the entire Irish population.
You will find the highest percentage of residents with Irish ancestry in Massachusetts with 24% of their people claiming Irish roots. New Hampshire follows at 23% and Rhode Island with 21%.
Germany, Italy, The United Kingdom and Mexico have had the most immigrants admitted for permanent residence in this country, followed by Ireland. In 2002 alone there were one thousand four hundred and nineteen Irish immigrants given permanent residence here.
The United States has an active import relationship with Ireland. In the period January-November, 2003 over $23 billion dollars worth of items were imported into the US from Ireland.
The US on the other hand exported over $7 billion to Ireland. Ireland mainly sent the US organic chemicals, while the US's main exports were nuclear reactors, boilers and machinery.
The entire month of March is actually Irish-American heritage month as was proclaimed by Congress in 1995.
There are only four places in this country named Shamrock. They are Mount Gay-Shamrock, West Virginia, Shamrock, Texas, Shamrock Lakes, Indiana and Shamrock, Oklahoma.
But there are nine places sharing the name of Ireland's capital city, Dublin. It used to be that Dublin, Ohio was the most populated of the nine, but Dublin, California has passed us by.
Here's something else you may find interesting. According to the US Census bureau, Irish-Americans "are both better-educated and more financially well-off than the population as a whole.
Thirty percent of those age 25 years old and over have bachelor's degrees or higher, and their annual median household income is $48,900; for the population as a whole, the respective figures are 24 percent and $42,000."