Culture / Newsy

Houston Rightfully Retakes its Most Diverse City in America Title — and Dallas Lands in the Top 5

America's Future is Shining Bright in Texas

BY // 04.11.19

It’s time to set the record straight. While everyone in Texas knows that Houston is the most diverse city in the nation, WalletHub cast national doubt on that in its 2018 rankings of the Most Diverse Cities in the United States, inexplicably handing the crown to Jersey City.

Back then, sociologist and demographics expert and founding director of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research Stephen Klineberg set the record straight for PaperCity with an analysis of the questionable claims that handed Jersey City the No. 1 spot.

This year, there’s no need for a scholarly breakdown. Because the new rankings have gotten it right.

Houston is now officially the No. 1 most diverse city in America in these rankings, too. It’s not so much breaking news as a statement of the glaringly obvious.

For the 2019 list, The Bayou City scored an impressive 71.6, compared to last year’s 71.49. And 71.6 is even higher than Jersey City’s score from last year, which was 71.51, and its 2019 score, 71.52.

Space City wasn’t the only Lone Star State city to win big. Dallas came in at No. 5 with a total score of 71.2, and Arlington landed at No. 9 with 70.87.

The total score is a composite of five factors: socioeconomic diversity, cultural diversity, economic diversity, household diversity and religious diversity. In those categories, Houston scored 101; 29; 121; 110 and 53. WalletHub added up the scores across those major categories for 501 of the country’s largest cities across 13 metrics.

Houston never truly left its throne as the most diverse, but it’s good to get the recognition. After all, over 140 different languages are spoken in this city.

The country can look toward Houston as a shining example of the future, a kind of blueprint for what the whole of America may look like in just 25 years.

“Houston was the most diverse large city last year as well. The key point is that transformation is underway across the entire country, as the U.S., once predominantly an amalgam of European nationalities, is rapidly becoming a microcosm of the world, a first ‘universal nation,’ ” Klineberg tells PaperCity. 

“What we can contribute to this discussion is the systematic survey data we have collected over the past 38 years, watching the residents of Houston increasingly embracing the new diversity, with age as the single most powerful predictor among Anglos of comfort with diversity and support for immigration.”

So there you have it. Houston’s got a lot to be proud of, and its diversity’s at the tippy top of that list.

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