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6Mar/121

Kinder Institute on Houston’s Diversity

ยป Chron: Houston region is now the most diverse in the U.S (Jeannie Kever)

More research on the local demographics ...

The Houston region is now the most ethnically diverse large metropolitan area in the country, surpassing New York City.

Two suburbs - Missouri City and Pearland - have become even more diverse than the city of Houston. Other suburbs aren't far behind.

These findings are from a report released Monday by Rice University researchers, based on an analysis of census data from 1990, 2000 and 2010.

"We are a little United Nations," Pearland Mayor Tom Reid said. "You go to one of our neighborhoods, and there will be a person from Nigeria living next to somebody from India, living next to somebody from Mexico and somebody from Louisiana."

The report also found that while residential segregation has dropped over the past 20 years, it remains highest within the city of Houston; most suburban neighborhoods are less racially segregated.

You can dig through the Kinder Institute report here or just take in the overview video it here:

I'm curious how some other locations track with this. I'd have to think that there would be some similarities in Los Angeles, at a minimum. Obviously, some of what leads to remnant segregation of Houstonians is that you have major parts of town fully developed and that have had multiple generations living in close proximity. So it seems logical that some areas of Third Ward and River Oaks would remain as they are. And as you build up undeveloped areas around those parts of town, the pool of buyers is generally going to be more diverse. That's why you see pockets of Hispanic neighborhoods near Katy and newer Asian home-buyers filling in the area between Alief and Sugar Land, as well as between Alief and Willowbrook Mall. The fact that there was plenty of open space to develop creates this, in other words.

How this compares to Chicago, New York, or other major cities where I'm less sure that you'll see something comparable would be something that warrants a bit more study. If only to satisfy my curiosity. That Harris County, as a whole, has gone through a rapid pace of diversification is something that obviously fits well within my wheelhouse. For a visual, there's always this time-series of demographic maps that I tend to rely on for making the argument easily understandable.

And as an additional reminder, there's this snapshot of SW Harris County done with my standard-issue demographic color-coding down to the Census block level:

This, in short, shows the pattern of multicultural blocks (yellow) outside the city, but the remnant homogeneous areas within the city (red/Anglo, brown/Hispanic, black/Afr-Am). As a point of emphasis, this demonstrates that it's not just the larger aggregates of population that are settling in different ways. Block level aggregates are generally as small as 8-12 houses. Seeing a mix of population with no distinct majority living that closely together is something we'll definitely be seeing more of in the future.

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  1. If you take a look here – http://www.towncharts.com/Texas/Demographics/Houston-city-TX-Demographics-data.html you will see that Houston is even more diverse now that we have data from 2015. Hispanic population is at 43.9% and the Asian population is the fastest-growing, as I read in a news report the other day. They make up a total of 7.1% of the population but that number is expected to be even bigger in the years to come.


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