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Massachusetts America’s most Irish state

In terms of ethnicity


The share of residents claiming Irish ancestry in Massachusetts is 21.6 percent, greater than any other state in the union. Only New Hampshire comes close with 21 percent, according to an analysis of U.S. Census data.

In total, more than 1.4 million of Massachusetts’ 6.7 million residents claim Irish ancestry, well ahead of the next most-cited ethnic background, Italian, with around 900,000 claimants.

Drilling down to a municipal level, several South Shore communities lead the state in share of residents of at least partial Irish descent. Marshfield has the highest percentage with 46.4 percent.

As for Boston proper, the share is a relatively paltry 14.3 percent. The city’s changing, that’s for sure.