Census data indicate the United States is one of the most diverse nations in the world.

Nowhere is that diversity more evident than in our schools – even in Worthington.

Many people view Worthington from an external lens as a homogeneous, upper-middle-class suburb. We are an upper-middle-class suburb, but we are anything but homogeneous, and that's one of the great things about Worthington Schools.

Worthington Schools is a great place to raise our children so they don't just survive in a diverse global society – they are prepared to thrive in it.

A study published in the American Educational Research Journal revealed that schools' racial/ethnic composition is associated with children's academic outcomes. The study found that students in more diverse schools had higher achievement-test scores.

Here are some interesting facts about diversity in Worthington Schools that may surprise you:

* Worthington has 700 students who were born outside the U.S., and they come from more than 85 countries. The top 15 native countries in order are the U.S., India, China, Mexico, Ghana, Brazil, Iraq, Venezuela, Japan, Jordan, Nigeria, Guatemala, Canada, Vietnam and Cameroon.

* Worthington students come from more than 55 language backgrounds that we can identify, and they speak about 115 other languages. The top native languages in Worthington in order are English, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Portuguese, Somali, Telugu, Hindi, Tamil, Twi, Japanese, Russian, Vietnamese, Mandingo, Akan, French, Greek, Turkish, Creole, Korean and Bengali.

* More than 1,400 Worthington students come from families that speak languages other than English as their native languages.

* Nearly 625 Worthington students qualify under the state of Ohio's English Language Learner guidelines.

Our country's cultural diversity is one of our many national treasures, and it's definitely one we celebrate in Worthington Schools.

It's another reason our schools are able to realize our mission to empower a community of learners to change the world.

Trent Bowers is superintendent of Worthington Schools. Contact him by email at tbowers@wscloud.org.