Monday, August 25, 2008

Asian Festival + Asians in Dayton

Asian Cultural Festival last Saturday in Miamisburg, in the Library park.

There was supposed to be one last year, but it was cancelled. All the variou Asian groups in the community get together to throw this little festival (actually not so little, as they had quite a few booths set up).

The schedule had a lot of folkloric dancing, like this group, the Changkoo Dancers (Korean dancing) on a stage in front of the library....

And plenty of opportunity for shopping for various things, including some pretty good food booths. This and the other festivals are always good places to try something different for food (for example, the Vietnamese had their excellent iced coffee)...

More folkloric performance. This was actually pretty interesting; a Korean drumming group. The program says "Taiko Drumming"...
There was also a kids stage/storytelling area. This was a fairly low-key event, but actually could be something that develops over time.

There aren't many Asians in Dayton, 10,366 combined (2000 census 100% count). This translates to 2.0% of Greene Counties total population and 1.3% of Montgomery Counties. Greene has the highest % in SW Ohio, including metro Cincy. This may seem small, but it's enough to support little markets and restaurants and stores scattered throughout the area, as well as some churches and temples.

The Asians can be found all over, but the concentrations are in newer suburban areas, mostly along and outside of I-675.

The two concentrations, or census tracts with over 100 Asians, are on either end of I-675, in Washington Township/Dayton Mall/Springboro Pike area, and in the WSU/Fairfield Commons area. , with additional lesser concentrations in Beavercreek, Fairborn, Bellbrook, Springboro, and the Kitridge Road area, and an area in Huber Heights off the map (numbers from the 2000 census).

The census provides a little detail on where the Asians come from, as Asia is a pretty big place. For Montgomery & Greene County combined, here are the percentages:

It'll be interesting to see what the 2010 census tells us. Mid decade estimates have both counties' Asian population increasing, but census estimates are not that reliable, and have been challenged elsewhere.

It also would be interesting to combine Asian with Latino (the "Third Immigration"), and compare with foreign-born, to see if the suburban distribution pattern holds.

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