The Best U.S. Cities to Find a Pot of Gold

A header image for a blog about cities where you could find a pot of gold

From indulging in Irish coffee to wearing green to ward off leprechauns, there’s no wrong way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Cities all over the nation will soon rejoice with parades featuring Irish step dancing, bagpipe music, and more to pay homage to St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. And while you could pick four-leaf clovers in the comfort of your own backyard, why not broaden your horizons to other lucky cities?

To discover the top U.S. cities to find a pot of gold, we ranked 100 of the most populated cities on various luck-granting factors. Keep reading to see which U.S. city is the most likely to have a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!

Key Findings

  • Albany, New York, is where you’re most likely to find a pot of gold with a total score of 37.7 out of 50.
  • McAllen, Texas, is the city where you’re least likely to find one with a score of 12.57 out of 50.
  • Albany, New York, is also the city with the highest percentage of residents with Irish ancestry (21.11%). Boston, Massachusetts, is second at 20.51%.
  • Rochester, New York, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, are the U.S. cities with the most Irish pubs per capita at 1.84 and 1.59 per 100K people, respectively.

The 10 Best U.S. Cities to Find a Pot of Gold

A U.S. map showing the cities where you’re most likely to find a pot of gold

When it comes to finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, certain cities were more generous than others.

Albany, New York, placed first with a city score of 37.70 out of 50. 21.11% of Albany residents have Irish ancestry and Albany also features a high Google search interest (55) for metal detectors — the perfect gadget for detecting gold.

Boston, Massachusetts, placed second with a score of 36.48 out of 50. Boston features a high percentage of residents with Irish DNA (20.51%). Boston also has an average of 200 sunny days and 130 rainy days per year, which is the perfect recipe to see some of the best rainbows after an afternoon shower.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, ranked third with a city score of 34.32 out of 50 and is one of the top cities to find a pot of gold. Philadelphia is home to 1.01 Irish pubs per 100K people and 17.60% of the population has Irish roots.

Visit Moriarty’s Irish Pub and Restaurant in Philadelphia for a taste of Ireland. Try their Irish potato soup, extensive beer menu, and other Irish staples!

Buffalo, New York, placed fourth and Worcester, Massachusetts, placed fifth with a score of 33.62 and 33.11 out of 50, respectively.

Irish Ancestry Hotspots Around the U.S.

A graphic ranking the U.S. cities with the most Irish ancestry, Irish pubs, and rainbow likelihood

Some cities have the luck of the Irish, while others don’t. There are a number of cities with a significant amount of Irish ancestry in their population, including Albany, New York (21.11%), Boston, Massachusetts (20.51%), Syracuse, New York (20.12%), and Scranton, Pennsylvania (20.07%).

Shepherd’s pie, corned beef, and Irish cider are a few staples you’re bound to find at any Irish pub, not to mention friendly patrons and lots of local brews. If you’re looking for authentic Irish bars, then look no further than cities like Rochester, New York, which is home to 1.843 Irish pubs per 100K people.

Cities like Milwaukee, Wisconsin (1.6), Buffalo, New York (1.5), Boston, Massachusetts (1.4), and St. Louis, Missouri (1.2), feature plenty of Irish pubs per capita, ensuring you’ll always have a seat at the table or the bar!

Technically speaking, you can see a rainbow when the sun is behind you and the rain is in front of you — so long as the sun is less than 42 degrees above the horizon. If the sun’s rays hit the raindrops, then you’re bound to see a rainbow. With that in mind, we analyzed which cities averaged the sunniest and rainiest days and found the difference between the two.

Syracuse, New York, is home to some of the best rainbows with a difference of only 2.4 days of overlap between rain and shine. If you’re lucky, you may even see a double rainbow!

Seattle, Washington (3.3), Buffalo, New York (8.9), and Portland, Oregon (11.9), all had a small difference between sunny and rainy days, giving you the perfect excuse to go rainbow-watching (or leprechaun hunting).

More Data to Help You Find a Pot of Gold

Curious if you can find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow in your city? Review our table to see how your city stacks up against the rest!

Closing Thoughts

From Irish pubs to Irish ancestry, certain cities are luckier than others. The best way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day is with someone you love, whether that means staying in and cooking Irish food or going to the pub and drinking Irish mules.

If you’re lucky enough to have found your special someone, make sure they know how much you treasure them with a personalized engagement ring or piece of fine jewelry from Shane Co.


To determine the best U.S. cities to find a pot of gold, we analyzed local data from the 100 largest U.S. cities on six factors that would impact such an excursion. The ranking is based on celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, so we took into account factors like Irish ancestry population, Irish pub locations, and climate data that could impact one’s ability to find a rainbow (and the pot of gold at the end of it).

Once we compiled the data, we analyzed it and ranked the cities from 1 to 100 based on the results. We assigned cities with a score of 0 to 5 for each factor we researched, with a score of 5 representing the most favorable conditions. We then determined each city’s score from the total of its weighted factor scores. These factor scores were then added up to give each city a final score from 0 to 50. Higher scores indicate cities that offer a better chance of finding a pot of gold. Details on our ranking factors can be found below.

Ranking FactorWeightSource
% of the Population with Irish Ancestry2.5U.S. Census Bureau
No. of Irish Pubs2.5Yellow Pages
Difference Between Avg. Sunny and Rainy Days2.0Best Places
Average Cloud Cover %2.0Weather-U.S.
Search Interest for Metal Detectors0.5Google Trends
Metal Detector Law Severity0.5Detect History
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