When we recently took a look at population migration patterns for Dane County, we noticed that a significant number of new residents came here from Asia.
The U.S. Census Bureau didn't break it down any further than just the continent level, but Asia accounted for an estimated 2,162 in-migrants to Dane County yearly from 2007 to 2011.
It's safe to say that UW-Madison is responsible for a large portion of that, in particular because of a rapidly growing number of Chinese students.
How much does that contribute to the overall county trend? It's hard to say exactly because we'll be using values from unrelated data sets, but here are some numbers gleaned from an analysis of enrollment reports from the UW-Madison registrar's office:
• On average between 2007 and 2011 (the same period covered by the census report), UW-Madison added 1,035 incoming freshmen or new graduate, professional or special students that are citizens of Asian countries.
• The total number of students from Asian countries grew from 3,106 in the fall 2007 semester (7.4 percent of all students) to 4,067 in fall 2011 (9.6 percent). That growth has continued, with fall 2013 enrollment showing 4,732 students from Asian countries, or 10.9 percent of the student population.
Here's a look at the fall semester enrollment numbers in greater detail:
Looking at the data, it's clear that students from China are essentially driving all of the growth in students from Asian countries.
Between 2007 and 2013, the number of students from China grew by 1,680, a 315 percent increase. For the rest of Asia, the number fell by 54 students.
After a few years of small yearly growth in students from China in the mid-2000s, the numbers took an upward turn. Between the 2007 and 2008 fall semesters, UW had a net increase of 268 Chinese citizens, a 34 percent jump. The year-over-year growth since hasn't matched that rate since, but the numbers have continued to grow.