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

Demography

Houston Maintains Position as Most Diverse City in Nation

4/21/21
Houston has long been considered one of the youngest, fastest-growing, and most diverse cities in the nation— one with no ethnic majority and where nearly one-in-four residents are foreign-born. For the second year in a row, one ranking in particular has positioned Houston as the most diverse city in the nation. The report from personal finance site WalletHub compared 501 of the most populated cities in the nation, ranking them across five key dimensions: socioeconomic diversity, cultural diversity, economic diversity, household diversity, and religious diversity. “It’s important to embrace diversity – and it’s good for the economy, 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,” explained WalletHub. While not reaching the top-spot of any one category, Houston ranked No. 1 overall with a diversity score of 71.87.  Here is how Houston scored in the 5 categories:  •    Socioeconomic Diversity: 96 •    Cultural Diversity: 31 •    Economic Diversity: 125 •    Household Diversity: 136 •    Religious Diversity: 53 “There is a consistent pattern in the literature that diversity (whether that is measured by race, religion, or immigration status) tends to lead to greater productivity and growth in cities,” Ryan Muldoon, Director of Undergraduate Studies; Associate Professor, Director of Philosophy, Politics and Economics Program, Department of Philosophy, College of Arts and Sciences at University at Buffalo, The State University of New York told WalletHub when asked if there is a relationship between diversity and economic growth in cities.  According to research from the Greater Houston Partnership, Houston is the fourth most populous city in the U.S. city and had a population of 2,320,268 as of July 1, 2019, and nearly one in four Houstonians was born outside the U.S. Among the 1,648,768 foreign-born in the Houston metro area, 73.5% entered the U.S. before 2010.  A number of reports and analyses in recent years have named Houston among the most diverse cities in the U.S., often putting the Bayou City in the top spot.  WalletHub conducted their analysis by using the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index method, which is a commonly accepted measure of market concentration that also works effectively as a general-purpose measure of diversity.  Learn more about Houston’s demographics here.  Learn more about living in Houston here. 
Read More

Related Events

Economic Development

International Business Month - Business Beyond Borders: Canada

Houston is a great global city with the 6th largest economy in the U.S. and the 24th largest in the world.  The Partnership's Business Beyond Borders "Top Market Series" provides Houston companies with global…

Learn More
Learn More
Executive Partners