Experts: Houston is Roadmap to Diversity in America

A new study ranks Houston as the most diverse city in America.

Immigrants from Central and South America, Africa and the Middle East have helped shape Houston's restaurant and shopping scene.  But also brought with them a new set of stresses for city leaders.

“There's something like 105 languages are spoken by first graders in Houston ISD, Houston is one of the world centers now for refugee resettlement, and a lot of these folks come with tremendous stresses and often times a low-level of education,” says Dr. Stephen Klineberg, professor of sociology at Rice University's Kinder Institute for Urban Research.

“Houston is one of the most segregated cities in America, its the most spread out, least dense and most automobile dependent cities so we don't run into each other in quite the same way you do in the more dense urban pockets of the northeast,” he says.  “Most people would rather have the problems of growth than the problems of stagnation and decline.”

Dr. Klineberg says all of that puts Houston at the forefront of a changing America.

“By 2050, in 25 years, the entire population of the United States will like Houston looks today,” he says.  “This is where the American future is going to be worked out, and that's what makes us such an interesting and consequential city.”

The upside he says is that all these new immigrants are producing multi-cultural babies -- all of which are new American citizens.

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