By Heather Brown

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Though we like to celebrate the Patron Saint of Ireland, most Minnesotans originally came from Germany.

According to the 2013 American Community Survey,  34.3 percent claim German ancestry, followed by Norwegian (15.1 percent), Irish (10.6 percent), Swedish (8.1 percent), English (5.5 percent) and Polish (4.8 percent).

Of the about 600,000 Minnesotans who claim Irish ancestry, the tiny town of Kilkenny, Minnesota (population 416) has the highest concentration at 47 percent. Kilkenny, located in LeSueur County, was settled in 1856 by Irish immigrants and is named after the city and county in Ireland.

According to the American Community Survey 2009-13, the small town of Barry (population 23) is next at 28 percent, followed by Warba (population 244) at 26 percent.

In cities over 10,000 people, Mendota Heights has the highest Irish concentration at 16 percent, followed by Hugo at 12.7 percent. In the Twin Cities, St. Paul is right at the state average of 10.6 percent, while Minneapolis has a smaller concentration at 8.9 percent.

Heather Brown

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