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Surprising Data Shows Illinois Isn’t As Irish As You Think

Just How Irish Is Illinois Exactly?
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St. Patrick’s Day festivities kick off this weekend and will probably roll through the next week or so, but the whole event got me thinking.

I was thinking “Just how Irish is Illinois?” I mean, I grew up in Chicago and I know St. Patrick’s Day is so big there’s not only one but two separate parades.

Rockford has it’s own St. Patrick’s Day parade too. By the way, look for 97 ZOK tomorrow downtown Rockford during the parade.

Needless to say, St. Patrick’s Day is big, but I couldn’t help wonder how many Irish live in Illinois.

After a bit of searching I landed on a database with “the states with the highest number of Irish.” Turns out Illinois isn’t as Irish as I thought.

Illinois ranked 18th in the U.S. with only 12.2% of the states population who “market their ethnic origin as ‘Irish'” according to

The report, released in 2004 stated a little over a million and a half Illinois residents are actually Irish.

The state with the smallest percentage of Irish is Utah at just under 6%. The largest? Massachusetts’ nearly 23% of the population.

Next: 5 Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Rockford

Sweet Lenny is the brand manager of 97ZOK and Operations Manager for Townsquare Media Rockford. Catch him afternoons 3 to 7 on 97ZOK. Follow him on Twitter and like his page on Facebook.

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