DFW International Community Alliance Announces Demographic Data For Asian Communities
For Immediate Release
May 10, 2007
Contact: Anne Marie Weiss-Armush
DFW International Community Alliance
As North Texas celebrates Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, stories about demographic changes in the area’s Asian community abound. With the help of our board members, we’ve collected data that reflects demographic shifts in North Texas communities. I’ve provided some of that data below and some explanations that our Asian board members have to offer about the data.
Our research indicates that the Asian population is MOVING NORTH, following the job market and the quality of schools that they value. The three districts that have seen a drop in Asian student population since 1997 are Richardson, Dallas and Fort Worth. The Asian enrollment in Richardson ISD is down 10% from 10 years ago. The Carrollton - FB enrollment is down several hundred from 5 years ago. The number of Asian students continues to grow in Plano and to mushroom in Frisco.
Reasons for such population movement, according to Asian community leaders, include the following:
- In 1997 Frisco had only 29 Asian students out of a total enrollment of 3069. In May, 2006 there were 1751 Asian students out of a total of 19,765. Currently it is 2115.
- The total enrollment increased in Frisco ISD has increased SIX FOLD, while the number of Asians increased nearly SIXTY FOLD.
Most Asians speak and write English, and parents employed in technology industries, usually have or PhD degrees and therefore do not have a need to rely on the school districts to help them with English language needs. While these school districts do not plan special programs for Asian students, families and cultural groups organize among themselves, finding occasions and methods to preserve and celebrate their language, heritages and culture.
- The main factor responsible for internal migration from Asians to the DFW area is the employment possibilities offered by IT and technology industries in the area.
- DFW offers a temperate climate that appeals to Asians enjoy.
- Most Asians value the importance of education and therefore move to the best school district areas -- Plano and Frisco. One of the first things an Asian looks at before moving to a neighborhood is the school district and its ranking.
- The newer schools have newer computer systems, libraries and facilities that attract the immigrants.
- Families with limited English skills feel more comfortable / accepted in younger neighborhoods than in the older areas of town. (Jay Zo of the Korean Cultural Foundation)
- The northern cities are new developments that have newer homes whose design and light features appeal to Asians. (Mike Ghouse, Indian, of the Foundation for Pluralism)
- Some of the northern cities have larger and fully developed parks that are a Mecca for the Asian families living in the neighborhoods. (Mike Ghouse)
- Some of the northern cities also have multi-cultural programs and forums promoted by the city council and arts departments, which in turn creates a positive welcoming environment.
The percentage of ASIAN STUDENTS in local school districts is report by the TEA as below:
- Mesquite: 3.3%
- Plano: 17.2 %
- Richardson: 8%
- Carrollton: 11.1%
- Lewisville: 8%
- Frisco: 2.4%
- Allen: 7.8%
- Garland: 7.3%
- Dallas: 1.9%
- Fort Worth: 2%
- Grapevine-Colleyville: 7%
- Carroll: 5%
While exact figures are difficult to obtain, Asian community leaders and DFW International board members of Asian origin estimate that North Texas Asians are immigrants of first, second, and third generations from the following countries:
Afghanistan 2,000 Arab (various countries) 60,000
Bangladesh 8,000 Burma 1,200
Cambodia 7,000 China / Taiwan 80,000
Hmong (Laos) 400 India 80,000
Indonesia 600 Iran 60,000
Iraq 1,000 Japan 5,000
Korea 55,000 Kurdistan 5,000
Laos 7,500 Malaysia 300
Pakistan 45,000 Philippines 30,000
Singapore 300 Thailand 7,500
Turkey 3,000 Vietnam 60,000
DFW International Community Alliance is the portal for global North Texas, a network of 1,600 of the regional ethnic and internationally focused civic, community and educational organizations. The organization promotes and links North Texas ethnic and immigrant groups through its website and cultural calendar at www.dfwinternational.org, that receives over ten million hits a month.