Demographics of Houston
Population and households
|City of Houston
As of the census 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. In 2005, the Greater Houston area had a population over 5.7 million.
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.
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.
Race and ethnic origins
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, 0.18% 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.
Houston includes Christian, Jewish, Islam, Buddhist, Hindu, and other religious groups.
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.
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.
As of 2015, about 40% of Harris County residents spoke languages other than English.
Houston's foreign-born population increased by 400,000 in a ten year span ending in 2010. During that span, of all U.S. cities, Houston had the second largest increase of foreign-born persons. As of 2011, 21.94% of Greater Houston residents were born in another country. The percentage was the fifth largest in Texas. In 2015 about 25% of the residents of Harris County, over one million persons, were immigrants. Surrounding counties have percentages similar to that of Harris County. As of that year, immigrants were widely dispersed throughout the Houston area.
Since the 1970s, when Houston began absorbing refugees after the Fall of Saigon, Houston became a magnet for refugee resettlement. About 1,600 refugees arrive at George Bush Intercontinental Airport per year. Refugees from 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. In 2014 4,818 refugees from 40 countries settled in Harris County. That year, all counties in Texas Harris County had the largest number of refugee settlements.
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. 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.
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".
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