Where are the world’s biggest Irish emigrant communities

It may come as a bit of a surprise, but there is a constant flow of people leaving Ireland. In this article, we take a look at where these Irish emigrants end up.

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On the rise

Amazingly, a whopping 10 million Irish have left the Emerald Isle since 1800. Today, according to the Irish government, there are around 70 million people claiming Irish ancestry throughout the world, a high number for an island which only houses 6 million people. Such are their numbers worldwide, you can expect to see people of Irish descent cracking open a Guinness on St Patrick’s Day – as well as sharing St Patricks Day gifts as part of the holiday mood – from Melton Mowbray to Melbourne.

Top of the tree

The UK has the largest number of Irish emigrants, which is no surprise, bearing in mind the geographical proximity. With more than 500,000 Irish people deciding to live in the UK, there is a strong Irish community. Former Prime Minister, Tony Blair, and author Charlotte Bronte both claim Irish heritage.

Across the pond

The second largest Irish population is in the United States, with figures topping more than 130,000. Interestingly however, the figures for those claiming Irish ancestry sits at almost 35 million. With that number in mind, St Patrick’s Day is virtually a public holiday across the pond – check out https://www.shamrockgift.com/st-patricks-day to get in the holiday vibe!

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Down under

The country with the third largest Irish population is Australia. Similarly, in Canada, 13 per cent of the population claim to have Irish roots.

All about the figures

According to the 2015 figures from United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 10 countries were identified as the most popular places for Irish people to end up. These figures include both foreign citizens and foreign born numbers, although it is most likely that the number claiming Irish ancestry is much higher. Let’s take a look at the figures more closely :
UK: 503,288
United States: 132,280
Australia: 101,032
Canada: 33,530
Spain: 14,651
South Africa: 13,009
Germany: 11,373
France: 9,828
New Zealand: 9,398
Poland: 7,592.

As the figures show, Irish emigrants live throughout the globe with distance from their home country seemingly not important, as the figures for the US, Australia, Canada, South Africa and New Zealand testify.

Richard Anderson


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