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If Irish people had never emigrated to the US, Ireland would be pretty packed

Research estimates that instead of having 213 people per square mile, there would be 850.

'You're standing on my toe!'
'You're standing on my toe!'
Image: Earth Cam via Nicky Ryan

MANY PEOPLE IN the US claim to have Irish heritage, but have you ever wondered what Ireland would look like today had Irish people not left this island in the 1800s.

FiveThirtyEight did just that by extracting data from over 150 years’ worth of census records.

They then looked at how many Irish people emigrated to America each year and calculated how, over the long term, they would affect the size of the US population.

They found that about one in every 11 Americans have Irish ancestry – about 27.6 million Americans.

They estimate that if those 27.6 million Americans were not in the US there would not be much room for manoeuvre here, with 850 people per square mile, instead of the current 213 people.

However, according to the US census, they estimate the number to be higher at 34.1 million Americans stating that they have Irish ancestry.

One thing’s for sure, we wouldn’t have had The Gathering last year had people not left.

What would it be like now if Irish people never emigrated to the US? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.

imagePercentage of US residents with Irish ancestry (US Census Bureau) Can’t see this image, click here.

Read: 9 people with unexpected Irish ancestry>

Read: Conan O’Brien gets in on The Gathering buzz>

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