By Trishna Buch
Houstonians have cause to celebrate because the city earned third place in a study analyzing the 501 most diverse cities in America.
The study was conducted by analysts at financial-advice website WalletHub. According to the website, America will be completely diversified by 2050, due to rapid demographic diversification. Not only that, but thanks to waves of immigration, the nation’s face has changed and brought in new skills, perspectives and technologies that will allow the United States to be adaptable to change.
“Economies generally fare better when they openly embrace and capitalize on new ideas,” the website said.
“Conversely, those relying on old ways and specialized industries tend to be more susceptible to the negative effects of market volatility.”
I welcome diversity in America because, as I always say, what a boring country we would live in if everyone was the same? I enjoy meeting people from all walks of life, learning about their rich histories and where they came from—because it helps me appreciate humanity as a whole. How lucky are we that we can all be quite different from one another, and yet remain as one.
In order to figure out the most diverse cities, WalletHub analysts compared the 501 most populated cities across five categories: socioeconomic diversity, cultural diversity, economic diversity, household diversity and religious diversity. Each category was then measured using the Herfindahl-Hirschman index, which—according to WalletHub—is a “commonly accepted measure of market concentration that also works effectively as a general-purpose measure of diversity.”
The cities were categorized into three sections—large cities, midsize cities and small cities—and then each category was evaluated using 13 factors, including education-attainment diversity, linguistic diversity, occupational diversity, age diversity and marital-status diversity.
And Houston—which earned the third place spot—earned a rank of 68 in socioeconomic diversity, five in cultural diversity, 250 in economic diversity, 76 in household diversity and 152 in religious diversity.
Although I was born and raised in the US, I am Indian and I have family from all around the world. I appreciate that I live in a city where I am free to celebrate my culture and my background, while simultaneously fitting into the American way of life. I count myself lucky, that I can have “the best of both worlds”; appreciating where I come from and celebrating where I live.
Houston scored extremely well, as did Dallas, Austin and San Antonio, which earned the fourth, 25th and 52nd, respectively. Our city fell below New York and Jersey City in New Jersey—which earned the top two spots—while coming in ahead of Orem, Utah, Provo, Utah and Bangor, Maine—which earned the three bottom spots.
So wear this label of diversity with pride. Take pride in the fact that we, as Houstonians, appreciate people for who they are and where they come from. Take pride in the fact that we celebrate differences, rather than hide them. Take pride in the fact that we invite diversity, rather than discourage it. This diversity is welcoming, because, not only does it allow us residents to learn about the world we live in, but encourages people from other countries to make Houston a destination to visit.
For a full look at the study, go online to wallethub.com/edu/most-diverse-cities/12690.