From the 1840s to the 1950s, Irish emigration was on a huge scale. Although the Irish emigrants to the United States are the best-known, the Irish diaspora encompassed most of the world. Huge numbers settled in England and Scotland. Irish emigrants settled in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South America. By the early 20th century far more people of Irish descent were living overseas than in Ireland.
The Irish emigration to the America was also part of the successive waves of mass migration from Europe as a whole – first from Scandinavia and Germany, followed by Poles, Russian Jews, Italians and countless others. All these migrants shared similar experiences as they struggled to assimilate to their new homeland Then, having become Americans they reacted in their turn to the new waves of immigrants coming to America in the later 20th century, from Latin America and the wider world.