Irish diasporaThe Irish diaspora () refers to ethnic Irish people and their descendants who live outside the island of Ireland.
The phenomenon of migration from Ireland is recorded since the Early Middle Ages, but it is only possible to quantify it from around 1700: since then between 9 and 10 million people born in Ireland have emigrated. This is more than the population of Ireland at its historical peak of 8.5 million in the 1840s. The poorest of them went to Great Britain, especially Liverpool; those who could afford it went farther, including almost 5 million to the United States.
After 1765, emigration from Ireland became a short, relentless, and efficiently managed national enterprise. In 1890, 40% of Irish-born people were living abroad. By the 21st century, an estimated 80 million people worldwide claimed some Irish descent, which includes more than 36 million Americans who claim Irish as their primary ethnicity.
As recently as the second half of the nineteenth century, the majority of Irish emigrants spoke Irish as their first language. This had social and cultural consequences for the cultivation of the language abroad, including innovations in journalism. The language continues to be cultivated abroad by a small minority as a literary and social medium. The Irish diaspora are largely assimilated in most countries outside Ireland. Ciarán Cannon is the Republic of Ireland's Minister of State for the Diaspora. Provided by Wikipedia