Lowell, MA is home to approximately 125,000 people, with roughly one quarter of them from Asian countries. In 1970s, there was a very limited presence of Southeast Asians in Lowell. By 1980, an increase in the Southeast Asian population in the U.S. and in Lowell occurred. Amongst arrivals, were large number of people from Vietnam leaving their homeland at the conclusion of the Vietnam War. Those parts of Lowell becoming home to the densest concentrations of Vietnamese families— the Acre, the Lower Highlands, and Back Central—were once home to the city’s earlier immigrant waves. Indeed, a  pillar of the Vietnamese community is St. Patrick’s church, built by Irish immigrants in 1831.