Skip to main content

Houston Still Most Diverse City in the Nation, Report Finds

Published Apr 12, 2019 by A.J. Mistretta

Downtown People Streetscape Small

A new report finds Houston remains the most diverse city in the nation. 

Several studies in recent years have shown the Bayou City at the top of the list for ethnic and racial diversity. The city has no ethnic majority and nearly one-in-four residents are foreign born. In fact, Houston today mirrors what demographers forecast the U.S. population will look like in four decades. 

The latest report from WalletHub shows Houston is the most diverse city out of the 501 municipalities researchers examined. WalletHub looked at diversity across five categories: socioeconomic, cultural, economic, household, and religious. The report examines additional factors such as industry diversity, income, age, religious affiliation, education, language, worker class, and marital status. 

According to WalletHub: “By 2050, many shifts will happen. For example, while non-Hispanic whites are expected to remain the largest ethnic group, they will no longer make up a majority of the population. But America’s transformation is more than skin-deep — it’s economic, too. Not only have waves of immigration changed the face of the nation, they’ve also brought in fresh perspectives, skills and technologies to help the U.S. develop a strong adaptability to change. Economies generally fare better when they openly embrace and capitalize on new ideas. Conversely, those relying on old ways and specialized industries tend to be hurt more by changes in the market.”

When it comes to other major Texas cities: Dallas ranked No. 5 on the list of most diverse cities, followed by Arlington at No. 9 and Fort Worth at No. 25. Austin ranked No. 42 on the list and San Antonio ranked No. 62. 

Houston is the fourth largest city in the nation with a total population of 2.3 million. The broader metropolitan area is home to just under 6.9 million residents. The local population is also among the youngest in the nation: 36% of metro area residents are under the age of 25 and the largest percentage of adults (15.1%) are age 25 to 34, according to research from the Greater Houston Partnership. 

Click here to see other recent rankings. 

Related News

Economic Development

Houston Expected to Create 75,000+ Jobs in '22 as Region Works to Regain Pandemic Losses

12/1/21
HOUSTON (December 1,2021) – The Greater Houston Partnership forecasts the Houston region will create 75,500 net new jobs in 2022. As the region’s economic recovery continues, employment gains are expected in every sector, with the greatest increases anticipated in administrative support and waste management; government; health care and social assistance; and professional, scientific and technical services.  Five factors will support job growth in the region next year: the ongoing U.S. expansion, robust global trade, energy consumption returning to pre-crisis levels, pent-up consumer demand, and local population growth. The dynamics affecting each are broken down in the report. The forecast warns that the recovery will continue to face headwinds, including elevated inflation, supply chain challenges and worker shortages, but these won’t be enough to halt growth.  As of September 2021, Metro Houston had recouped 245,600 jobs, or roughly 68 percent of the 361,400 lost in the early stages of the pandemic. The sectors most impacted by social distancing are near full recovery. Restaurants and bars have recouped 90.1 percent of their losses, retail 86.5 percent, other services (i.e., personal services), 94.0 percent. However, for the industries that were struggling prior to the pandemic—including energy, manufacturing, construction, and wholesale trade—COVID-19 made their situations worse. Those sectors began to shed jobs before COVID-19 arrived and continued to shed them after the economy reopened. Collectively, these struggling Houston industries account for over half the jobs needed to close the gap and recapture Houston’s pre-pandemic employment peak. Partnership Senior Vice President of Research Patrick Jankowski said the good news is that the outlook for the four sectors has improved in recent months and they’re taking small steps toward recouping their losses.  “Only eight times in the past 21 years has annual growth exceeded 75,500 jobs, which is our forecast for 2022,” Jankowski said. “Those eight years tend to coincide with rising oil prices or prices at an unsustainably high level. Factor out the booms (and the busts), and metro Houston typically creates 65,000 to 70,000 jobs in a ‘normal’ year. Measured against that, 2022 looks to be one of the better years for job growth in Houston.”  Metro Houston Jobs Forecast by Sector (December 2021 to December 2022)  Administrative Support/Waste Management: +9,000 jobs  Professional, Scientific and Technical Services: +8,700 jobs  Health Care and Social Assistance: +8,400 jobs  Restaurants and Bars: +7,200 jobs  Government: +7,100 jobs  Transportation, Warehousing and Utilities: +6,500 jobs  Manufacturing: +5,000 jobs  Energy: +4,000 jobs  Wholesale Trade: +3,000 jobs  Construction: +2,700 jobs  Other Services: +2,100 jobs  Finance and Insurance: +2,100 jobs  Educational Services: +2,000 jobs  Retail Trade: +2,000 jobs  Real Estate and Equipment Rentals: +2,000 jobs  Arts, Entertainment and Recreation: +1,600 jobs  Hotels: +1,200 jobs  Information: +700 jobs  Click here to see the full report, including a sector-by-sector examination of the factors that will prompt growth in the year ahead.  The mission of the Partnership is to make Houston one of the world’s best places to live, work and build a business. To that end, the Partnership provides this forecast to help the Houston business community and those involved in economic development in the region understand trends influencing the region’s economy and driving industry gains or losses. The forecast is designed to help businesses make better investment, staffing and purchase decisions in the coming year. ### Greater Houston Partnership The Greater Houston Partnership works to make Houston one of the best places to live, work and build a business. As the principal business organization in the Houston region, the Partnership advances growth across 12 counties by bringing together business and civic-minded leaders who are dedicated to the area’s long-term success. Representing more than 900 member organizations who employ approximately one-fifth of the region’s workforce, the Partnership is the place business leaders come together to make an impact. Learn more at Houston.org. A.J. Mistretta Vice President, Communications          (c) 504-450-3516 | amistretta@houston.org  
Read More
Economic Development

Report: Texas Among States Leading on Talent Attraction and Retention

11/29/21
A new survey suggests Texas is one of several states leading the nation in talent attraction and retention strategy.  Respondents to a survey from the Site Selectors Guild, an association of leading professional site selection consultants, said that Texas was one of six states that have successfully implemented talent strategies that are making them more attractive to companies. Besides Texas, the other states cited by the consultants were Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia.  Survey respondents said companies weighing relocation or expansion options are looking for strong labor supply, robust workforce development programs, and proximity to higher education institutions or access to certificate programs. And in some cases, they said, companies will overlook other, less favorable operating conditions if the right mix of workforce attributes is present. Eighty-five percent of site selectors specializing in office projects said availability and quality of talent is the single-most important factor in office location decisions.  The survey provides insight on some of the issues weighing on site selectors and the clients they serve. Forty-one percent of respondents said they believe skills shortages are the new normal, with manufacturing and transportation/warehousing among the industries most directly affected by the talent crisis.  “Guild members are hearing from their clients about tight labor markets, unprecedented wage increases, and renewed interest in workforce training programs and recruitment tools – all of which are impacting corporate location choices,” said Chris Lloyd, Chairman of the Site Selectors Guild and Senior Vice President and Director of Infrastructure and Economic Development at McGuireWoods Consulting. Lloyd said he and other members of the guild “are working hard with our partners in economic development organizations to identify best in class talent attraction and retention initiatives to help companies meet their needs as the economy recovers from the COVID pandemic.” When asked which industries they expect will be most impacted by talent and/or skill shortages over the next five years, survey respondents selected the following industries: Manufacturing (83%) Transportation/Warehousing (68%) Construction (61%) Healthcare (61%) Hospitality (Accommodations/Food Service) (59%)  In addition, 68% of consultants said in a tightening labor market, companies will put an increasing emphasis on training for necessary skills rather than seeking to hire individuals with those skills.  The survey respondents reported that corporate clients are reacting to the skill and workforce shortages in a variety of ways – the top one being raising wages or salaries – with 83% indicating this as a client response. Consultants said companies are taking other actions, including introducing efficiencies such as purchasing automated equipment to produce goods, improving logistics, and/or implementing LEAN manufacturing methodologies (61%); improving benefits or worker “perks” (56%); offering retention/attraction bonuses (44%) and upskilling/retraining their existing workforce (44%).  Learn more about what makes Houston a great place to expand or relocate a business. 
Read More

Related Events

COVID-19 Business Forums

UpSkill Works Forum: New Mission, Transferable Talent: What Employers Need to Know About Hiring and Retaining Veterans

With more than 250,000 veterans in residence, Houston has the country's second highest veteran population. Veterans are a diverse, highly skilled talent population that can bring valuable experience to a workplace…

Learn More
Learn More