Mapping the Charlotte region’s international community

Charlotte’s popular Yiasou Greek Festival kicks off this week, the first in a series of international festivals taking place in Hickory and Charlotte and featuring Indian, German and Latino culture, with UNC Charlotte’s 40th annual International Festival on Oct. 17.

With the spotlight on those cultural groups, researchers at the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute have mapped where those international populations are found in the Charlotte metro area, using data from the U.S. Census and its American Community Survey 5-year estimates. Not surprisingly, Mecklenburg County holds by far the largest number of people who report an ethnic background that is Greek, Asian Indian, German or Hispanic/Latino.  And for most groups the proportion of the population with those backgrounds is also higher in Mecklenburg. 

The exception is Lincoln County, which has a higher proportion of people who claim German ancestry—203 per 1,000 people—than any other county in the region. Catawba is second, with 172.  Perhaps not coincidentally, that’s the site of Hickory’s three-day Oktoberfest Oct. 9-11, featuring beer gardens and polka among its other attractions.

Upcoming festivals: