St. Patrick’s Bulletin: Chicago Is 2nd Most Irish City in US, Ranking Shows

Did you think we would come in first and beat out Boston as the most Irish city? No, but we are second, because of the size of our Irish-American population, the number of Irish-themed restaurants and pubs, and number of St. Patrick’s Day activities.  And we get extra points in Irish-ness by dying the river green.

The ranking, by LawnStarter, a lawncare company that carries out municipal studies as part of its marketing program, ranked the top 10 most Irish cities out of the 200 largest U.S. cities. They also took into account the number of St. Patrick’s Day and other Irish cultural events and the number of Irish cultural groups and organizations, such as Irish dance schools, cultural centers, and networking associations.

This is how the researchers described our Irish-ness. See details in their analysis here.

“The Windy City Wearing the Green: Chicago riverdances to the No. 2 spot in our ranking for holding the most Irish community events, 143 total. That’s nearly three times as many as in New York, the city with the second-highest number.

“Of course, Chicago’s events calendar wouldn’t be complete without Irish step dancing classes. The Windy City also gets points for its green spirit. Few other cities dye their rivers green for St. Paddy’s Day.“

Chicago’s Irish population is about 200,000, at least double that of Boston’s. But Boston’s Irish make up about 20 percent of that smaller city’s population, while Chicago’s Irish are about 8 percent of our total.

These are the 10 most Irish cities; note Naperville comes in at number 5.

2022’s Most Irish U.S. Cities

Rank City
1 Boston
2 Chicago
3 New York
4 Pittsburgh
5 Naperville, Ill.
6 Philadelphia
7 Denver
8 Spokane
9 Syracuse, NY
10 Worcester, Mass.

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Nancy S Bishop

Nancy S. Bishop is publisher and Stages editor of Third Coast Review. She’s a member of the American Theatre Critics Association and a 2014 Fellow of the National Critics Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. You can read her personal writing on pop culture at nancybishopsjournal.com, and follow her on Twitter @nsbishop. She also writes about film, books, art, architecture and design.

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