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St. Patrick’s Day by the Current Numbers

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(photo courtesy of WalletHub)

WalletHub today released its annual St. Patrick’s Day By the Numbers report. This report highlights the green germane to this costly celebration – from the $4.4 billion that we’ll spend on St. Paddy’s Day 2016 to the $1.2 million market value of a pot of gold.
Highlights include:

  • $35.4: Average amount each St. Patrick’s partier will spend.
  • 13M: Pints of Guinness will be consumed worldwide on St. Patrick’s Day.
  • 70%: Increase in cabbage shipments during St. Patrick’s week.
  • 266: Drunk-driving casualties on St. Patrick’s Day holiday period (2010 – 2014).
  • $62,141: Median income for Irish-American households (vs. $53,657 for all households).



According to Kathryn Conrad, Associate Professorin the Department of English at the University of Kansas, “St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday with a long history in the United States, one of the chief countries of the Irish diaspora. The Irish are best known for their emigration during the potato blight and subsequent mass starvation in the 1840s, when they comprised the biggest single group of immigrants entering the US, but actually, Irish emigration to the United Swtates had begun long before that time.

Although it is a Catholic saint’s feast day, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated by both Catholics and protestants in Ireland an abroad, and some of the first St. Patrick’s Day parades in the United States were in the mid-1700s, as celebrations of Irish pride that, for many Catholics, were also a response to the restrictive anti-Catholic Penal Laws that were still in effect in Ireland.

St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the US have tended to be less religious than they were traditionally in Ireland, considered more to be an opportunity to promote Irish culture and heritage (and, eventually, Irish-American politicians).

But we can probably attribute the current popularity of St. Patrick’s Day to many Americans’ perception of it both as a welcoming, fun holiday ‘everyone’s Irish on st. Patrick’s Day!’) and as an opportunity to drink.”

It is worth noting that, until relatively recently, Irish pubs were actually closed on…. this holiday! But are now open due to… ‘the expectations and demands of American tourists. So it is considered that, “St. Patrick’s Day as a (drinking) holiday has more to do with Americans and their desire for a party than with the Irish; we might keep in mind that Cinco de Mayo has seen the same sort of transformation in our country.”

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