May 18, 2023 - News

North Texas' Asian population keeps growing

Share of Texas population that identifies as Asian
Data: Census Bureau; Map: Axios Visuals

The Asian population has been the fastest-growing population in North Texas, per census data.

Why it matters: North Texas' population boom has been fueled by the lack of a state income tax and a lower cost of living compared with many other major U.S. cities — and Asian immigrants are a big part of that growth.

The big picture: Those who identify as Asians, alone, make up 5.5% of the state's population. The percentage is much higher in many North Texas counties, according to census figures.

Flashback: Filipinos were the first known Asian immigrants to arrive in Texas in the early 1800s, likely as sailors and deckhands, according to several accounts.

  • Chinese people arrived in Texas in the late 1800s to help build railroads. Some of them eventually settled in North Texas.
  • J.L. Chow, a Chinese man, was reportedly the first person of Asian descent listed in a Dallas directory, as the owner of Chow Chow Laundry in 1874, says Stephanie Drenka, co-founder of the Dallas Asian American Historical Society.

By the numbers: North Texas has the largest Korean population in the state. There's also a large number of people of South Asian and Vietnamese descent.

  • Denton County was estimated to be 10.5% Asian in 2022, up from 6.6% in 2010, per U.S. Census data.
  • Collin County was estimated to be 17.5% Asian in 2022, up from 11.3% in 2010.
  • Dallas County was estimated to be 6.7% Asian in 2022, up from 5% in 2010.

What they're saying: "A lot of people see increased diversity and more Asian Americans and more people of color in the suburbs as a sign of progress," Drenka tells Axios.

  • "But without addressing some of the systemic racism issues that are embedded in schools and the community, you are potentially setting up more people of color for harm."
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