The Irish diaspora (Irish: Diaspóra na nGael) consists of Irish emigrants and their descendants in countries such as the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, Argentina, New Zealand, Mexico, South Africa, Brazil and states of the Caribbean and continental Europe. The diaspora, maximally interpreted, contains more than 80 million people, which is more than thirteen times the population of the island of Ireland itself, which had approximately 6.4 million in 2011.
After 1840, emigration had become a massive, relentless, and efficiently managed national enterprise. Counting those who went to Britain, between 9 and 10 million Irish people emigrated after 1700. The total flow was more than the population at its historical peak in the 1830s of 8.5 million. From 1830 to 1914, almost 5 million went to the United States alone. In 1890 two of every five Irish-born people were living abroad. By the 21st century, an estimated 80 million people worldwide claim some Irish descent; among them are 41 million Americans who claim "Irish" as their primary ethnicity.
Famous quotes containing the word irish:
“I was the rectors son, born to the anglican order,
Banned for ever from the candles of the Irish poor;
The Chichesters knelt in marble at the end of a transept
With ruffs about their necks, their portion sure.”
—Louis MacNeice (19071963)