Houston and NY = America's Diversity Cities
Interesting article in the NY Times today about the changing demographics of the NY metro area, which happens to include a couple Houston references. The headline is that non-hispanic whites will dip below 50% of the NY metro area very soon (something that occurred within NY city quite a while back). The chart at the right lists some of the biggest numerical gainers and losers over the beginning of this century. You can see a definite trend out of expensive cities to ones with a far lower cost-of-living, especially housing.
Here are the Houston-relevant excerpts:
What makes the city and the region unusual, though, is that among the nation's 88 metropolitan areas with half a million or more people, New York is one of only three — Houston and Honolulu are the others — where the proportion of blacks, Hispanics and Asians each exceeds their share of the national population.The article is based on a recently released Brookings report. Here are a few Houston-related factoids from that report:
(Honolulu has more blacks and Hispanics than the national average? That didn't sound right, so I went to the Brookings report the article is based on: Honolulu is a rare NYT editing error in this sentence. Here's the real stat: "In New York and Houston, blacks, Hispanics, and Asians all account for shares of the population exceeding their share nationally. Honolulu boasts perhaps the most unique racial composition, with a large over-representation of Asians, American Indian/Alaska Natives, and persons who claim two or more races.")
What's happening in New York has already occurred in metropolitan areas in the West and South, including Los Angeles, Miami, Houston and San Francisco.
The proportion of whites has also dipped to just over a majority in the San Diego, Washington, Dallas and Las Vegas metropolitan regions as Asian and Hispanic people disperse beyond central cities and their suburbs and as blacks migrate to the South. In each of those areas, whites are already a minority of the population under age 15.
Atlanta led large metropolitan areas in black population growth and is poised to overtake Chicago as the region with the second-highest black population in total numbers, after New York.
- In absolute numbers, Houston is the 5th largest US metro for Hispanics, 10th for Asians, and 9th for blacks (we're the 7th largest metro overall).
- In absolute gains during 2000-2004, Houston is the 5th fastest-gaining US metro for Hispanics, 8th for Asians, 5th for blacks, and 8th for whites. Somewhat surprisingly, Dallas is gaining slightly ahead of us in all four groups.
- On a percentage basis, we're the 15th fastest growing large metro (9.3% 2000-04). Everybody growing faster than us is quite a bit smaller than us except for DFW at 14th/9.7%.
- Harris County is the third largest county in the nation at 3.64 million in 2004. Maricopa/Phoenix may pass us in just a few more years if their scorching growth rate holds up. Of the 15 largest counties, only LA, Maricopa, and Riverside-CA are growing numerically faster than Harris County.
- The Houston metro area is 45% white, 16% black, 32% Hispanic, and 5% Asian, qualifying us for 7th on their "Large Melting Pot Metros" list.
- It's not just Hispanics and blacks: We are tied for the largest Asian percentage (5%) of any urban area between the two coasts (east of Vegas, west of DC) along with Chicago and Minneapolis.
- A little random trivia: you might expect Salt Lake City to be the leading non-diverse "whitesville" of the West. Wrong. It's Smart-Growth-Mecca Portland at 80% white to SLC's 79%.