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Demographics of Houston

This article on the demographics of Houston contains information on population characteristics of Houston, Texas, including households, family status, age, gender, income, race and ethnicity.


  • Population and households 1
  • Race and ethnic origins 2
  • Refugee populations 3
  • Religion 4
  • Language 5
  • National origin 6
  • LGBT people 7
  • Health 8
  • Politics 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11

Population and households

City of Houston
Past censuses
Year Population Rank
1850 2,396 ?
1860 4,845 ?
1870 9,332 ?
1880 16,513 ?
1890 27,557 ?
1900 44,633 85
1910 78,800 68
1920 138,276 45
1930 292,352 26
1940 384,514 21
1950 596,163 14
1960 938,219 7
1970 1,232,802 6
1980 1,595,138 5
1990 1,630,553 4
2000 1,953,631 4
2010 2,099,451 4

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 1,953,631 people, 717,945 households, and 457,330 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,371.7 people per square mile (1,301.8/km²). There were 782,009 housing units at an average density of 1,349.6 per square mile (521.1/km²). If the city of Houston were a U.S. state, it would rank 36th in population—its 2.01 million residents in 2004 would place it behind Nevada and ahead of New Mexico.[3][4] In 2005, the Greater Houston area had a population over 5.7 million.[5]

There were 717,945 households out of which 33.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.2% were married couples living together, 15.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.3% were non-families. Twenty-nine percent of all households were made up of individuals and 6.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.67 and the average family size was 3.39. The median house price was $115,961 in 2009.[6]

In the city, the population was spread out with 27.5% under the age of 18, 11.2% from 18 to 24, 33.8% from 25 to 44, 19.1% from 45 to 64, and 8.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 99.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $36,616, and the median income for a family was $40,443. Males had a median income of $32,084 versus $27,371 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,101. Nineteen percent of the population and 16% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 26.1% of those under the age of 18 and 14.3% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.

As of 2002, 38,000 people living in Houston also live in Fort Bend County; this makes Houston the third-largest city within Fort Bend County, after Missouri City and Sugar Land.[7]

Race and ethnic origins

A map of racial/ethnic distribution in the City of Houston and Greater Houston, 2010 U.S. Census - Each dot represents 25 people. Red dots represent White people, orange dots represent Hispanic people, blue dots represent Black people, green dots represent Asian people, and gray dots represent other people

Houston is a diverse and international city, in part because of its many academic institutions and strong biomedical, energy, manufacturing and aerospace industries. According to the U.S. Census 2000, the racial makeup of the city was 49.3% White (including Hispanic or Latino), 25.3% Black or African American, 0.4% Native American, 5.3% Asian, 0.1&% Pacific Islander, 16.5% from other races, and 3.2% from two or more races. 37% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.

The Daily Mail stated, in regards to the 2000 census data, that the racial and ethnic diversity in Houston and Greater Houston increases further from the center of the city.[8]

Refugee populations

Since the 1970s, when Houston began absorbing refugees after the Afghanistan, Bhutan, El Salvador, Cuba, Iraq, Myanmar, and Somalia have settled in Houston; Burundians from Rwanda have also settled in Houston. Over the three years leading to 2009, Houston took about 2,200 Burmese.[9]


Houston includes Christian, Jewish, Islam, Buddhist, Hindu, and other religious groups.


Several streets in the Midtown district have Vietnamese names

In the 2000 U.S. Census, 938,123 residents of the City of Houston said that they spoke English only. The largest foreign languages in Houston included Spanish and Spanish creole (679,292 speakers), Vietnamese (26,125 speakers), Chinese (24,234 speakers), African indigenous languages (11,603 speakers), and Urdu of Pakistan (10,669 speakers). Percentages of the non-English groups who said that they spoke English at least "very well" include 42% of the Spanish speakers, 32% of the Vietnamese speakers, 49% of the Chinese speakers, 72% of the speakers of indigenous African languages, and 70% of the speakers of Urdu.[10]

In 2000, 1,961,993 residents of Harris County spoke English only. The five largest foreign languages in the county were Spanish or Spanish Creole (1,106,883 speakers), Vietnamese (53,311 speakers), Chinese (33,003 speakers), French including Cajun and Patois (33,003 speakers), and Urdu of Pakistan (14,595 speakers). Percentages of language groups who said that they spoke English at least "very well" include 46% of Spanish speakers, 37% of Vietnamese speakers, 50% of Chinese speakers, 85% of French speakers, and 72% of Urdu speakers.[10]

National origin

As of 2011, 21.94% of Greater Houston residents were born in another country. The percentage is the fifth largest in Texas.[11]

LGBT people

Montrose historically was the center of the LGBT community in Houston. By 2011 many homosexual people moved to the Houston Heights and to suburbs in Greater Houston.[12] The suburbs especially attracting gays are Pearland, Sugar Land, and Missouri City.


In 2010 the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston released a Health of Houston Survey. Based on the survey results, 20% of area residents consider themselves to be in poor or fair health. Half of the Houston area residents do not have dental insurance. The area's percentage of individuals who report having psychiatric distress is twice the U.S. national average. Of the racial groups, after excluding illegal immigrants, Hispanics have the lowest rates of health insurance.[13]


In 2013 Allen Turner of the Houston Chronicle said that residents of Harris County were "consistently conservative in elections." According to a Rice University Kinder Institute for Urban Research 2013 opinion poll, they were "surprisingly liberal on topics such as immigration, gun control and equal matrimonial rights for same-sex couples".[14]


  1. ^ Population of the 100 Largest Cities and Other Urban Places in the United States: 1790 to 1990. Campbell Gibson, Population Division, U.S. Census Bureau. Published June 1998. Last accessed January 11, 2007.
  2. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  3. ^ Demographics. Greater Houston Partnership
  4. ^ Annual Estimates of the Population for Incorporated Places over 100,000, Ranked by July 1, 2005 Population: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2005 (SUB-EST2005-01). United States Census Bureau
  5. ^ Post-Census Population Change: Houston is growing faster than the state and the nation. Greater Houston Partnership
  6. ^ "Houston Housing Trends and Values". Retrieved 2009-12-14. 
  7. ^ De Mangin, Charles. "Neighborhood charts its course." Houston Chronicle. Thursday November 14, 2002. Retrieved on October 27, 2011.
  8. ^ Gardner, David. "Revealed: The maps that show the racial breakdown of America’s biggest cities." Daily Mail. September 26, 2010. Retrieved on November 12, 2011.
  9. ^ Giglio, Mike. "The Burmese Come to Houston." Houston Press. September 1, 2009. 1. Retrieved on December 19, 2009.
  10. ^ a b Rodriguez, Lori. "TRANSLATING A NEED / Language barriers / Immigrants see English as vital, but work, family limit time to learn." Houston Chronicle. Monday September 18, 2006. A1. Retrieved on December 30, 2011.
  11. ^ Pulsinelli, Olivia. "Nearly 22% of Houston residents are immigrants, study shows." Houston Business Journal. October 16, 2012. Retrieved on November 9, 2013.
  12. ^ Oaklander, Mandy. "The Mayor of Montrose." Houston Press. 18 May 2011. 4. Retrieved on May 18, 2011.
  13. ^ Ackerman, Todd. "Survey finds Houstonian health worse than national average." Houston Chronicle. Monday November 7, 2011. Retrieved on November 7, 2011. Map. (Image archive)
  14. ^ Turner, Allen. "Survey finds area growing in 'tolerant traditionalists'," Houston Chronicle, 24 April 2013. Retrieved on April 25, 2013.

External links

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