St. Patrick’s Day by the Numbers

The world’s favorite imported holiday is right around the corner – break out your kelly green and brush up on some fun facts before St. Patrick’s Day arrives on the 17th!

Fifth: century in which St. Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland. Although he was born in Britain, he was kidnapped at the age of 16 and brought to Ireland, where he spent 6 years as a slave. After escaping, he returned 23 years later to preach to and convert the Irish. During his time there, he ordained more than 350 bishops and baptized thousands of people – by one account, he did 12,000 in one day.

The famous St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York first occurred in 1762; there have been more than 250 since then. More than 2 million people attend annually.

Chicago’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade requires more than 40 pounds of dye to change the river water to a bright, festive green. They’re tied with Boston as having the second largest parade in the U.S., with around 1 million revelers every year.

Most Americans spend just under $40 celebrating the holiday, which adds up to more than $4.6 billion nationwide. 250 million of those dollars will be spent on beer – most likely Guinness.

5.5 million pints of Ireland’s most famous beverage, Guinness, are drunk every day around the world, but that number jumps to 13 million on March 17th. If all of that was combined, it could fill 60% of the Empire State Building.

82.4% of people get festive (and avoid getting pinched) by wearing green, and 40% make a special dinner – perhaps the traditional corned beef and cabbage. Just over 29% of Americans celebrate with dinner or a party at a restaurant or bar, while 19% attend a private party with friends and family.

In the 110 years between 1820 and 1930, around 4.5 million Irish immigrants came to the United States; today there are more than 34.5 million Americans with Irish ancestry – that’s more than 7 times the total population of Ireland.


This entry was posted in Archives