St. Patrick’s Day in Boston, By the Numbers

278 = number of citations at last year's parade.

st patricks day boston numbers

Photograph courtesy of iStockphoto

We may not go so far as to dye the Charles green, but Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration is among the most vigorous you’ll find anywhere. Every year, as many as a million people descend upon Southie for the shamrock-bedecked spectacle that is the Allied War Veterans Council’s annual parade. Here, we take a closer look at our city’s favorite holiday.


Number of arrests made by the Boston Police Department at last year’s parade.


Number of citations issued by the Boston Police Department at last year’s parade.

Population of Boston, Before and After the Irish Potato Famine

Before, 1840:


After, 1850:


3.6 Miles

Length of the parade route (before it was shortened to about 2 miles last year)

38° Fahrenheit

Average temperature in Boston on March 17.

Glasses of Guinness Consumed Per Day Around the World

Average Day:

7.6 Million

St. Patrick’s Day:

13 Million


Decrease in Irish population between 1990 and 2007.


Percentage of Massachusetts residents who claimed Irish ancestry in 2014.

Number of People in Suffolk County Reporting Irish Ancestry

By Year, 2006-2014



Estimated crowd size for the annual parade.


Years since The Departed came out in theaters, making the Dropkick Murphys’ “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” an unofficial Bahston anthem.

Key Moments in Boston’s Irish History


South Boston is annexed by Boston.


Hugh O’Brien, the first Irish immigrant elected mayor of Boston, takes office.


Amrheins, Southie’s oldest bar, is established.


The first Evacuation Day parade is held.


The Allied War Veterans Council cancels the parade in protest of court rulings allowing LGBT groups to march.


Parade organizers officially sanction an LGBT group to march in the 2015 parade.