Map: Fast-Growing Millennial Populations by Metro Area

Houston’s iconic “Tolerance” sculptures, which dot Allen Parkway, serve to promote diversity. Image: Flickr user Rob Albright.

Houston has one of the fastest growing and most diverse young adult populations in the country, according to a new analysis.  Among the top 10 metropolitan areas with the largest growth of its young adult population between 2010 and 2015, according to the Brookings Institution, Houston was also the largest metropolitan area in the list.

“The large waves of immigration to the U.S. in the 1980s and 1990s, especially from Latin America and Asia, coupled with the aging of the white population,” reads the report from Brookings, “made millennials a far more racially and ethnically diverse generation than any that preceded it.” Both of those are trends foreshadowed by Houston’s own experience, tracked annually in the Kinder Houston Area Survey.

Drawing on a report released earlier this year, the maps released in March track the growth of the Millennial population as well as its diversity. Growth was concentrated in metropolitan areas in the Sun Belt, including places like Denver, San Antonio and Austin which were also ranked in the top 10 for fastest growing Millennial populations.

Source: Brookings Institution.

Nationwide, Millennials are now the largest adult generation, though their overall share of the population is not as large as it was for the Baby Boomers when they were young adults.

In terms of percentage of overall population, Austin had the second largest Millennial population, according to Brookings, at 27.2 percent. Houston was not far behind. Its Millennial population accounted for 24.8 percent of the overall population.

The Millennial population in the Houston area stands out from even other fast-growing areas because of its diversity: 32.1 percent white, 18.2 percent black, 40.3 percent Hispanic and 7.9 percent Asian. Few other metropolitan areas had that sort of split between the four major racial and ethnic groups. Dallas’ Millennial population looked fairly similar, but Austin’s, for example, was 48.9 percent white, 35.3 percent Hispanic and just 7.3 percent and 6.3 percent black and Asian respectively.

This diversity, however, is spread across a multi-county area and doesn’t speak to lived experiences. Whether this increasing diversity will disrupt durable patterns of segregation is an open question going forward.

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Leah Binkovitz

Leah Binkovitz is Senior Editor with the Kinder Institute for Urban Research.

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