St. Patrick's Day: March 17 Although not an official holiday in the United States, St. Patrick's Day has a long history of being celebrated with parades and general goodwill toward all things Irish. The day commemorates Bishop Patrick, who brought Christianity to Ireland in the Fifth Century. Population Distribution 33.7 million Number of U.S. residents who are of Irish ancestry. This number is almost nine times the population of Ireland itself (3.8 million). <http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/BasicFactsServlet> <http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/idbsum.html> 23 Percentage of Massachusetts residents who are of Irish ancestry. Massachusetts has a higher proportion of residents of Irish descent than any other state, edging out New Hampshire (20 percent) and Rhode Island (18 percent). The remaining New England states -- Connecticut, Vermont and Maine -- also rank among the top 10 in this category, as does Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Montana. <http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/BasicFactsServlet> Coming to America 156,000 Number of U.S. residents born in Ireland, which was among the top 10 countries of birth among the foreign-born population as recently as 1970. <http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/BasicFactsServlet> <http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/2002/cb02-18.html> * As you go out and about this St. Patrick's Day, you may well run into a real live Irish citizen, as about 373,000 tourists and business travelers from "the old sod" visit the United States annually. <http://www.immigration.gov/graphics/aboutus/statistics/Yearbook2000.pdf> Trade With the Old Country $22.4 billion The value of U.S. imports from the Republic of Ireland during a recent 12-month period (January - December 2002). About half the imports were organic chemicals, worth about $10.8 billion. Meanwhile, the United States exported $6.7 billion worth of goods to Ireland, with the leading exports being nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and parts at $1.6 billion. <http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/www/> Places to Spend the Day 4 Number of places in the United States named Shamrock, the floral emblem of Ireland. Mount Gay-Shamrock, W.Va., and Shamrock, Texas, were the most populous, with 2,623 and 2,029 residents, respectively. Shamrock Lakes, Ind., had 168 residents and Shamrock, Okla., 125. <http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/BasicFactsServlet> 9 Number of places in the United States which share the name of Ireland's capital - Dublin. Dublin, Ohio, was the most populous, at 31,392, followed closely by Dublin, Calif., at 29,973. <http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/BasicFactsServlet> If you're still not into the spirit of St. Paddy's Day after stopping by one of the places named "Shamrock" or "Dublin," then you might consider paying a visit to Emerald Isle, N.C., with 3,488 residents, of whom a ratio of 1-in-6 are of Irish descent. <http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/BasicFactsServlet> The Celebration 22 Gallons of beer consumed per capita by Americans annually. Some establishments offer beer dyed green in honor of St. Patrick's Day.