Population Shift

A closer look at how Allen's population has become more diverse over the years.

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Population Shift

Stephanie Scarano, Staff Writer

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Allen was founded in 1872 when it was a tiny town, mostly meant to supply water to the steam engine trains that passed through on their way to bigger cities. Now Allen is a busy area, full of new faces, new businesses and new growth. Allen ISD especially reflects these growing changes.

According to Allen Economic Development Corporation (EDC), Allen has grown a lot since it’s days of train supplying, and now has a population of 104,636, with an estimated projection of 117,606 by 2023. This is a massive jump from its 659 total population in 1950, according to Texas Almanac. That’s not the only thing that’s grown in Allen. The education system has grown and changed as well. Allen ISD has 21,462 students, and since 1997, has more than tripled in size, according to the school webpage. The demographics at Allen are also ever-shifting. In 2000, Allen’s population was 83.2 percent white and in 2018 was 63 percent, according to Allen EDC. Meanwhile, the Asian population of Allen was only 3.7 percent in 2000 and grew to 17.1 percent in 2018, with a population change of 14,503 people.

 

According to teacher Stacey Dunstan, who has been a teacher at Allen for 21 years but has spent 42 years in the city, the cultural diversity in Allen has changed a lot.

 

“I think it opens us up to a whole lot of new culture and a whole lot of new traditions, and I think it exposes kids to the world out there,” Dunstan said. “They’re not just going to see their one main culture or their one main tradition represented.”

 

However, it may not always be easy for demographics to shift, especially so quickly. Language and cultural barriers and conflicts can make growth difficult, especially in the school system.

 

“I [think] there’s always going to be growing pains,” Dunstan said. “As far as problems, [from] my point of view I think the kids I see in my classroom, we’re all learning how to be really tolerant of each other and accepting each other for our differences.”

 

Overall though, Dunstan agrees that the diversity in Allen has led to an overall greater community, and she thinks it will continue to grow, in population as well as in culture.

 

“There’s gonna be a good equal mix of races, people from different cultures, different countries,” Dunstan said. “I would like to see Allen become a huge melting pot where everybody is represented and so everybody feels like they have a place.”

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