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Question On Houston's Fast Growing Asian Population.


WesternGulf

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I asked this question on another forum, but got very little feedback. So I am pretty much copying and pasting it over here since there are probably more people here that can answer my question.

Do you think Houston's Asian population will represent what Hispanics are to the city now? Just from someone living here I do not think that anyone even has to look for stats to know that the city has one of the fastest growing Asian populations in the states.

Houston is in no way a convenient city for Asians to locate to because of its location far from the east and west coast. What is it that makes Asians take the extra step to make it to the city? Houston's Asian population probably represents 6-7% of the city by now, but the population seems concentrated southwest of downtown all the way out to Sugar Land where Asians are the largest group after Anglos. The Asian population out that way is at 25% for crying out loud. Not saying it is a bad thing, but I am just curious.

No one really thinks of the north side or east side having a high Asian popualtion, making the southwest side of town probably the most diverse traces of land in the country. Houston city proper even has the highest number of Viatnamese out of any major city in the country by raw numbers and percentages I believe. What is the attraction?

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Thats a good question. Two of my siblings are in commited relationships with Viets, and both of them have large amounts of family here in Houston/Sugarland (and they live in NY and LA).

First off, while the % increase of Asians has been higher than Hispanics, Asians are still (by far) a minority. (1990-2000 Asians increased 75.7% versus Hispanics 73.5% http://yellowworld.org/demography/152.html )

Historically all that comes to mind are the large Viet fishing fleets that came to Louisiana and Texas back in the seventies. If you work offshore Texas and you plan on using the radio much its best to learn some vietnamese. :) Perhaps the fishing fleets planted the seed of a community here and more and more family came to join them, eventually including all the highly educated people we are getting today.

Edited by Lowbrow
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Being an Asian Indian who was born and raised in the northwestside of town, I think some of the factors that attract Asians to this area are definitely cost of living which is really a factor regardless of ethnicity, I think the climate is also a huge factor since the heat and humidity is very similar to the climates in South and southeast Asia, so it brings Asians closer to home. Other factors include the initial recruitment of many Asian engineers during the Oil boom, and the just the fact that now that the Asian populations are somewhat established here it makes it more attractive to others. About ten years ago or so if I went out of town and said I was from Houston, people thought there was nobody of my kind here. That perception, though still there, has changed quite a bit now.

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About ten years ago or so if I went out of town and said I was from Houston, people thought there was nobody of my kind here. That perception, though still there, has changed quite a bit now.

I met a Phillipino in Chicago a few weeks ago who asked me where i was from. I said Houston, and she responded, "Yeah, I'm from Alabama" trying to relate. She had never been to Houston, and assumed there are no Asians here...

Anyways, my dad came here on a fluke, got a good scholarship at Texas Tech, and ended up in the space business. we lived in Maryland for 10 years, but came back in the 90's for his job. they like it here more, bigger Indian population and culture around. We have no family here, but I know a lot of people who have come here because another member of their family is here.

Cost of living, amount of engineering jobs, and medicine i would say are major factors. plus the draw to extended family from those who are already here.

Edited by skwatra
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I can't tell you how many immigrants I've met from Asia, Africa and the Middle East who have told me that they first landed in America in the dead of winter, almost always in either Chicago or New York. And everyone of them moved to Houston VERY QUICKLY.

Obviously climate plays a big role in many people's decisions to live here. I know I like it (even though I'm a native-born, non-Asian, whitebread mutt.)

Edited by Original Timmy Chan's
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  • 3 weeks later...
I'm Asian and first came to US for a job in New York, where I lived for 6 years. I loved it there but as the previous post suggested, the weather was a big factor why I decided to eventually move to Houston. I hope I am welcome.

You are welcome here, You have landed in the most diverse city and forum, on Earth. We even let liberals say a few things here on HAIF. Even though we all know their views are a littled skewed from time to time,but overall they seem to be good people, just don't let them have too much Starbucks, but that is another story. WELCOME, WELCOME to HAIF. If you haven't sent editor the hundred bucks for joining HAIF yet, you can PM me and I'll give you the address of where to send it. ;):D:blink: j/k.

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You are welcome here, You have landed in the most diverse city and forum, on Earth. We even let liberals say a few things here on HAIF. Even though we all know their views are a littled skewed from time to time,but overall they seem to be good people, just don't let them have too much Starbucks, but that is another story. WELCOME, WELCOME to HAIF. If you haven't sent editor the hundred bucks for joining HAIF yet, you can PM me and I'll give you the address of where to send it. ;):D:blink: j/k.

Of course your are welcome here Skyechase,

TJones...you crack me up! :lol::lol::lol:

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  • 2 months later...
Asians to become like Hispanics? That's hardly possible, statistically.

Cost of living here is cheap. For the price of an average loft in Hong Kong, one can buy a house in Sugar Land, or a titanic one in Alief. Go figure.

In Hong Kong, they fit the total popualtion of Harris County in about 25-30 square miles literally.

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Are there more overseas asian immigrants than born in the US asians in houston compared to other cities like LA, San Francisco and NY?

When I went house hunting around houston last year, many of the asian familes I encounter seem to be new overseas immigrants.

Also, I have seen the show 'king of the hill' (not that it should be an accurate source) but it seems to depict many asian characters with accents.

Edited by webdude
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Also, I have seen the show 'king of the hill' (not that it should be an accurate source) but it seems to depict many asian characters with accents.

How many Asian people in central Texas do you think you'd come across that would talk like a native born Texan?

The best line on that show was when Khan first moved in. One of the fellows asked where he was from. He told them Loas. They asked if that meant he was Chinese or Japanese! :lol:

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How many Asian people in central Texas do you think you'd come across that would talk like a native born Texan?

The best line on that show was when Khan first moved in. One of the fellows asked where he was from. He told them Loas. They asked if that meant he was Chinese or Japanese! :lol:

I think he said he was Laotian and the fellow said: what ocean?

I was thinking houston and dallas's asians. I thought I read somewhere that majority of the asian migration to houston was really recent compared to other major cities(last 10 to 20 years). I am trying to figure out whether it was mostly internal migration from cities like LA, SF and NY where most of asians are or was majority came straight from overseas.

Edited by webdude
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Asians to become like Hispanics? That's hardly possible, statistically.

That's what they said 30 years ago about Hispanics and white people. Or like in the 60's and 70's when New Yorkers predicted that blacks would never become the majority population. Amazing things happen when immigrant groups go middle-class. The more money they accumulate, the slower the birth rate, and then some other group comes in to pick up the slack.

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But Asians have slow birth rates too, and immigration rates will drop in the future, both as a combination of affluence in Asia itself and our immigration policies.

Houston does have a large percentage of foreign-born. I have yet to meet one Asian person over age thirty-five that was born here.

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Guest Plastic

But why Sugarland, I'd think there'd be alot in Katy but the statistics charts say not.

The whole SouthWest,Alief,Sugarland are of Houston is the most diverse area in town. i think there are lots of Indians in Katy.

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But Asians have slow birth rates too, and immigration rates will drop in the future, both as a combination of affluence in Asia itself and our immigration policies.

Houston does have a large percentage of foreign-born. I have yet to meet one Asian person over age thirty-five that was born here.

I'm of Asian descent and I was born in NW Indiana, quite near Chicago. I'd logged 20 plus years as a Houstonian and I'm 37.

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But why Sugarland, I'd think there'd be alot in Katy but the statistics charts say not.

The whole SouthWest,Alief,Sugarland are of Houston is the most diverse area in town. i think there are lots of Indians in Katy.

There are Asians in all parts of the city. I go to a Chinese restaurant near Gulfgate and on many nigjts the restaurant is 90% Asian, including Chinese, Indian and Pakistani. So you know if there are that many there, the food is GOOD.

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  • 3 weeks later...
There are Asians in all parts of the city. I go to a Chinese restaurant near Gulfgate and on many nigjts the restaurant is 90% Asian, including Chinese, Indian and Pakistani. So you know if there are that many there, the food is GOOD.

What restaurant? I had a craving for Chinese yesterday but could not satisfy it! <_<

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  • 8 months later...

Some good restaurants that i like:

For Pho(Vietnamese noodles): Pho Binh(Beechnut and Wilcrest in old Saigon shopping center).

Pho Danh(inside Hong Kong 4 mall at Boone & Bellaire)

Honorable mention: Pho Nguyen on Beechnut & Wilcrest. The best dish is Bun Bo Hue

For Fried Wonton stuff: Old Place Cafe(HW6 and Settlers Way(?) in same shopping center of Welcom)

San Dong( Beltway8 and Bellaire)

For Chinese/Vietnamese in general: Jade Village(S. Gessner and Harwin). Pretty good food overall.

Fung's Kitchen(59s and Fondren). Best Peking Duck in town hands down!! Honorable mention: Van Loc downtown is pretty decent with Com Chien Bo Luc Lac. Haven't been to Mai's place in a long time, so don't know.

For Banh Cuon stuff: It used to be Thien Thanh(across for HK Mall on Bellaire/Boone, but Quang Ba Tho( Bellaire/S.Kirkwood) is better now. Better attitude also!

As far as tapioca, well i think they're all the same now. Pretty bad. I prefer Smoothie King..lol

Oh.. i used to like Tan Tan(Ranchester and Bellaire),but i got kind of sick there a few months ago. It was a MSG attack! Staying away from them for now, but their Wonton noodles and Hot pot were decent.

Sinh Sinh(past Corpate going west on Bellaire)used to have the baked tofu with shrimp inside and green onions sprinkled outside, but i don't think they have it anymore. I used to like that.

For Dim Sum: Kim Son(Fountains Stafford) is good. I used to frequent Golden Palace(it has been several yrs), but not sure how good it is now.

Edited by icanluv2
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  • 5 months later...

I'm writing my disseration on the Vietnamese communities and their shopping centers right now. I will be using Houston/Gulf Coast as one of my case sites.

In answer to why there are so many Vietnamese in Houston, this is a pretty helpful article:

http://www.houstonculture.org/cultures/viet.html

Most of what you see is internal migration. Many Vietnamese refugees were fishermen in their former lives. Through word of mouth, they learned that the Gulf Coast would be an ideal place in terms of climate and livliehood. As they became more wealthy, they were able to move inland to Houston and set up shops that cater to the community's needs. They chose an area (Midtown) that was relatively low-rent. Now they are more clustered in the Bellaire area, due in part to gentrification.

After Hurricane Katrina, many of the evacuees came to Houston, as I'm sure you are all aware of (I live in Boston, so I didn't experience this phenomenon first hand). Many of them have settled in Houston, others have scattered throughout Texas, and not as many have tried to return to their homes. Therefore, you will likely see a huge jump in population since then.

As for accents, I am a second generation Korean American, born in Los Angeles, raised in Long Beach. I do not speak Korean. My accent has been described as 'very' so Cal. My cousin, who was born in New York but raised in New Jersey, has a very strong 'Jersey' accent. Her parents do not speak English. She is fluent in both Korean and English. So, I don't think it takes very long at all! Little children are pretty good at mimicking whatever they hear around them.

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The answer to why there are so many Asians in the SW and Sugar Land is simple...that is where the schools are good (except aleif is in the crapper now)

I am the perfect example of the migration.

My family and I came her in the early 70's. My dad worked in the oil industry and my mom in the medical field. We moved from the med center to Alief because they had good schools in the 80's to early 90's. As they (we) moved up in income, they followed earlier folks that started to make more $$ into to Sugar Land. Sugar Land is now known as one of the few cities with a very Afluent Asian population.

Now fast forward to today...

I Work in the Oil industry (engineer) and my wife works in the medical field (physician)...I guess some things never change :) I think we have cornered the market in these professions. :P

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Houston is fortunate to have such a large and diverse international community.

Most people in this country don't realize how diverse Houston really is.

The city should promote this info at every turn!

Diverse, but i still don't see many different groups mingling/hanging out together much considering how large this city really is. Very disappointing. Out of towners will notice this also.

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The Indian population in Sugar Land is well established. There are all kind of Indian stores, restaurants, movie theaters, temples, etc. there. Plus the area is safe, well developed, fairly wealthy etc.

When I visit family in India, they have all heard of Sugar Land. So, when Indians come to Houston that is the first place they look to settle if they are well to do. Hillcroft is ok, but most would not want to live there.

I think Indians are just more confortable in SL b/c of the availability of everything right down the road.

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I think Houston is attractive to Asians because of word of mouth. What else could it be? Houston doesn't really advertise itself does it? I also think that Houston really is a land of opportunity. You can see it with all the successful businesses here regardless of race.

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I think Houston is attractive to Asians because of word of mouth. What else could it be? Houston doesn't really advertise itself does it? I also think that Houston really is a land of opportunity. You can see it with all the successful businesses here regardless of race.

Wanna know a little dirty secret? Houston is a hotbed of illegal Asians because of the 'city of opportunity'. Hispanics get all the negative publicity about illegals, but there is a growing illegal Asian population in Houston. It is worse in California. It has been going on for several years when i first heard about it. It is pretty discreet.

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That's a LONG way to ride in a shipping container. I wonder if some (most?) are sneaking in by way of Canada?

A lot of them come legally and overstay their visas. I've met a good number of them over the years. In many restaurants, the waitstaff is just as likely to be illegal as the kitchen staff.

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  • 3 weeks later...
I am Asian and many come to Houston because of the cost of living and climate. Also, it is a major port city. The reason why many settle on the western part of Houston area is the schools.

That is very true. In fact I have heard many stories that many Koreans are here illegally. Some of them were here for years. Hispanics cross the border, which is right next to America. Asians have to cross the ocean, mostly by ships.

I am Asian and many come to Houston because of the cost of living and climate. Also, it is a major port city. The reason why many settle on the western part of Houston area is the schools.

That is very true. In fact I have heard many stories that many Koreans are here illegally. Some of them were here for years. Hispanics cross the border, which is right next to America. Asians have to cross the ocean, mostly by ships.

Actually, they are not coming by ships. They are overstaying their visas..disappearing into the population or your local Asian restaurants, nail salons, etc.

Edited by sifuwong
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Many Asians are moving to other parts of Houston besides the southwest side to get away from Asians. They will just commute into the southwest side(Bellaire & Beltway 8) to grocery shop. However, there is a growing Asian community in the northwest side(Veterans Memorial & ..) of Houston with Asian grocery stores, restaurants, etc., so they will most likely not drive to southwest. Sugarland has its own Asian supermarket, but still lacking in good Asian restaurants, varieties of Asian dishes. The supermarket is not exactly stellar either.

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Many Asians are moving to other parts of Houston besides the southwest side to get away from Asians. They will just commute into the southwest side(Bellaire & Beltway 8) to grocery shop. However, there is a growing Asian community in the northwest side(Veterans Memorial & ..) of Houston with Asian grocery stores, restaurants, etc., so they will most likely not drive to southwest. Sugarland has its own Asian supermarket, but still lacking in good Asian restaurants, varieties of Asian dishes. The supermarket is not exactly stellar either.

Theres been a fairly large Vietnamese community around Veterans Memorial & Jersey Village for quite some time now. Those are the two oldest Asian areas on the NW side of Houston. Many of those who lived there are moving to newly developing areas like Cypress on the far, far northwest side. I have a friend that moved to Cypress from the Veterans Memorial area back in 2002 when Cypress was really just starting to take off.

Edited by Metro Matt
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