St. Patrick's Day Fast Facts

By Insurance.com Posted : 03/16/2009

St. Patrick'

What started as a religious holiday to celebrate the introduction of Christianity to Ireland by St. Patrick has become a day for everyone to simply celebrate. Still, it's usually held on March 17th, the date of St. Patrick's death in 461. But did you know that New York held the first St. Patrick's Day parade – now a worldwide tradition – in 1762? Here are some other fast facts about the Irish and St. Patrick's Day.

The Irish Are Just Better
Well, maybe not really. But those of Irish descent in the U.S. who are 25 or older are 4% more likely than average (32% to 28%) to have a bachelor's degree or higher, and 7% more likely to have graduated high school (92% to 85%). In addition, the median income for Irish families is about $6,200 higher than average ($56,966 to $50,740) and they are 5% more likely to own rather than renting (72% to 67%). Apparently, they're not kidding when they talk about the "luck of the Irish."

Because of Lucky Shamrocks?
There's no proof that the luck stems from shamrocks. However, it's a fact that there are four leaves on a lucky clover and four U.S. towns named Shamrock. Coincidence? Probably. What's probably not a coincidence, however, is that the color of the shamrock caused a switch in the traditional color associated with St. Patrick and Ireland – from blue to green.

So Many Irish People!
The number of people in America with Irish ancestors is around 36.5 million, about 30 million more than the entire population of the island of Ireland itself. The state of Massachusetts has the highest percentage of people with Irish ancestry – a whopping 24% – double the 12% average for all states.

And what does this have to do with insurance?
Honestly, not a lot! But, it's our excuse to say Happy St. Patrick's to everyone who's Irish at least one day a year! And, whether you celebrate with Guinness or green beer, don't leave home without your designated leprechaun – or designated driver. Because, the one additional fact we know about St. Patrick's Day is that it's one of the top days for DUI's – so drive carefully!

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