As you know we have been trying to create a map of all the traditional Irish musicians in the world and it has been slowly growing over the last while.  We were trying to estimate how many people play traditional Irish music and were putting it at about 150,000.  No exact science for this figure so if you have a more accurate idea let us know.

On the issue of maps Jed Kolko, chief economist of US property website trulia.com has been looking at another aspect of this, namely the percentage of the US population that claim Irish ancestry. He claims that "Twenty-two million Americans — 7.2% of the population – say their “primary ancestry” is Irish, according to the Census’s American Community Survey. Another 13.5 million Americans claim at least some Irish ancestry, bringing the total to 35.5 million Americans — 11.6% of the population — with at least partial Irish ancestry. If that sounds low, remember that Ireland’s population today is just 6.4 million – 4.6 million in the Republic and 1.8 million in Northern Ireland."  This means that there are 5 times as many Americans with at least partial Irish ancestry. When he looks at where the Irish US population lives he finds that

"Irish-Americans are strongly concentrated in the Northeast. The percentage of people with primary Irish ancestry tops out at 20% in the Boston metro area, followed by Middlesex County, MA (west of Boston) and Peabody, MA (north of Boston). The top six metros are all in Massachusetts or upstate New York:"

He has compiled all of this into an interactive map which you can read by following this link. Check it out as it gives a fascinating view of Irish-America.

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