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Where Do People With Irish Ancestry Live In Chicago? (MAP)

By Tanveer Ali | March 10, 2017 8:48am | Updated on March 17, 2017 6:17am
 People with Irish ancestry make up 7.5 percent of Chicago's population today.
People with Irish ancestry make up 7.5 percent of Chicago's population today.
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DNAinfo/Tanveer Ali

CHICAGO — On St. Patrick's Day, everybody's Irish, right?

But for the rest of the year, some people actually are and others aren't.

Using U.S. Census Bureau estimates covering 2011 to 2015, we went in search of the most Irish of Irish neighborhoods.

The result? Mount Greenwood, where nearly half of all Mount Greenwood residents have Irish ancestry.

A few years back, the Southwest Side enclave was found to be the fourth most Irish neighborhood in the country.

How Irish is your neighborhood? Use the map below to find out.

Other neighborhoods that have a high percentage of residents with Irish ancestry: Edison Park (28 percent), Mount Greenwood's neighbor Beverly (also 28 percent) and Forest Glen (25 percent).

About 204,000 Chicagoans, or 7.5 percent of the city's population, claim Irish ancestry today. The largest population is in Lakeview, home to an estimated 19,000 people with Irish heritage.

Chicago's Irish community is nearly as old as the city itself, according to Tom O'Gorman, who serves as a historian for the Irish Fellowship Club of Chicago. Its Irish population played a role in building the canal connecting Lake Michigan with the Mississippi River.

Unlike other immigrant communities in Chicago's history, the Irish didn't concentrate on one part of Chicago, O'Gorman said. (Though they had a big presence in what today is Bridgeport and University Village.)

"They never had neighborhoods where they predominated. They lived everywhere in Chicago," O'Gorman said.

But the population shifted in the mid-20th century, as the Great Migration brought African Americans to Chicago and led many of Chicago's Irish residents to head toward the suburbs.

Those who stuck around included a large contingent of police officers, firefighters and other city employees who were required by law to live in city limits.

While the Irish are no longer a prevalent force in Chicago's political scene like they were in its early days, O'Gorman is careful to say that "the Irish heritage is still important to Chicago," pointing to ongoing events like the South Side Irish St. Patrick's Day Parade.