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Houston Surpasses New York And Los Angeles As The 'Most Diverse In Nation'

Houston Most Diverse

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 03/ 5/2012 11:12 am Updated: 03/ 5/2012 1:44 pm

Houston has surpassed the likes of Los Angeles and New York as the most ethnically diverse metropolitan area in the the U.S., according to a new report out of Rice University.

The report, from the university's Kinder Institute of Urban Research and the Hobby Center for the Study of Texas, drew from census data from 1990, 2000 and 2010.

The percentage of Latinos in the region increased dramatically from one fifth of the population (20.8 percent) in 1990 to more than one third (35.5 percent) in 2010. The Anglo population, on the other hand, decreased significantly from 1990, now encompassing 39.7 percent of metropolitan residents.

The Latino population, which follows closely behind the proportion of Anglos, is now the second largest ethic group in the metropolitan area. If the growth of the population continues at its current rate, Latinos will eventually surpass Anglos to take the number one spot in the region, the report estimates.

Michael Emerson, co-author and co-director the Kinder Institute, attributed the region's increased diversity to a 1965 shift in immigration laws. Whereas before 1965, the immigrant population was primarily composed of Europeans, now, the population is predominantly derived from Africa, Latin America and Asia.

The shift in immigration, along with a decrease in segregation between ethic groups, has contributed significantly to the ethnically diverse composition of the city today.

But not all of the diversity is concentrated in urban sectors of the metropolitan area. The report also found that two suburbs of the Texas city -- Pearland and Missouri City -- are the most diverse in the region and are statistically less segregated than Houston.

"Houston is one of a handful of what is known as majority-minority cities, where Anglos represent less than 50 percent of the population," Jenifer Bratter, co-author and director of the Institute’s Race Scholar’s program, said in a statement. "And while Houston is one of the country's most diverse major cities, Pearland and Missouri City are now on par with Houston as the area's most ethnically diverse cities."


RELATED: Latinos in the U.S., By The Numbers

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  • 43%

    <blockquote><strong>43% </strong>is the percentage increase in the Hispanic population between April 1, 2000, and April 1, 2010, making Hispanics the fastest-growing minority group. Source for all statistics: <a href="http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-04.pdf" target="_hplink">United States Census</a> </blockquote>

  • 50.5 million

    <blockquote><strong> 50.5 million</strong> is the size of the Hispanic population of the United States as of April 1, 2010, making people of Hispanic origin the nation's largest ethnic or race minority. Hispanics constituted 16.3 percent of the nation's total population. In addition, there are 3.7 million residents of Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory. </blockquote>

  • 132.8 million

    <blockquote><strong>132.8 million</strong> is the projected size of the Hispanic population of the United States on July 1, 2050. According to this projection, Hispanics will constitute 30 percent of the nation's population by that date. </blockquote>

  • 2nd

    <blockquote><strong>2nd</strong> is the ranking of the size of the U.S. Hispanic population worldwide, as of 2010. Only Mexico (112 million) had a larger Hispanic population than the United States (50.5 million). </blockquote>

  • 14 million

    <blockquote><strong>14 million </strong>is the size of the population of the Hispanic-origin population that lived in California in 2010, up from 11 million in 2000. </blockquote>

  • 96%

    <blockquote><strong>96%</strong> is the percentage of the population of Webb County, Texas, that was Hispanic as of 2010. This is the highest proportion of any county in the country.</blockquote>

  • 82

    <blockquote> <strong>82</strong> is the number of the nation's 3,143 counties that were majority-Hispanic.</blockquote>

  • 10.4 million

    <blockquote>10.4 million is the number of Hispanic family households in the United States in 2010.</blockquote>

  • 35 Million

    <blockquote><strong>35 million</strong> is the number of U.S. residents 5 and older who spoke Spanish at home in 2009. Those who <em>hablan español</em> constituted 12 percent of U.S. residents. More than half of these Spanish speakers spoke English "very well." </blockquote>

  • 26.6%

    <blockquote><strong>26.6%</strong> is the poverty rate among Hispanics in 2010, up from 25.3 percent in 2009, and 23.2 percent in 2008.</blockquote>

  • 14%

    <blockquote> <strong>14%</strong> the percentage of the Hispanic population 25 and older with a bachelor's degree or higher in 2010.</blockquote>

  • 47%

    <blockquote><strong>47%</strong> is the percent of the foreign-born population that was Hispanic in 2009.</blockquote>

  • 9.7 million

    <blockquote><strong> 9.7 million </strong>is the number of Hispanic citizens who reported voting in the 2008 presidential election, about 2 million more than voted in 2004. The percentage of Hispanic citizens voting went from 47 percent in 2004 to 50 percent in 2008. </blockquote>

  • 1.1 million

    <blockquote><strong>1.1 million</strong> is the number of Hispanics or Latinos 18 and older who are veterans of the U.S. armed forces.</blockquote>

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