Houston: The face of America in the next 20 years

April 27, 2009,
Houston is now a minority-majority city. Credit: US Census

Houston is a reflection of where most of America's cities will be in the next 20 years, according to Stephen Klineberg, Rice University sociologist and director of the annual Houston Area Survey.

Klineberg, who has led the study since its inception 28 years ago, said that along with the major immigration capitals of Los Angeles and New York City, and closely following upon Miami, San Francisco and Chicago, Houston is at the forefront of the new diversity that is refashioning the social and political landscape of urban America.

Issues of public discussion such as gay rights and political affiliation could see dramatic shifts as the social and demographic trends occurring here spread to other U.S. cities.

"Throughout all of its history, Houston was essentially a biracial southern city dominated and controlled, in an automatic, taken-for-granted way, by white men," Klineberg said. "Today it is one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse metropolitan areas in the country."

In Houston, and elsewhere, the white population is growing older, while most of the younger adults are black and Hispanic. No force in the world will stop Houston (and America) from becoming more Hispanic and less Anglo as the 21st century unfolds.

Houston's aging white population will give way to a younger black and Hispanic population in the years to come. Credit: Houston Annual Survey

Houstonians' views on the new immigration and on the region's burgeoning diversity have been affected by the economic anxieties, sometimes in curious ways, Klineberg said. The number of area residents who believe that the new immigration "mostly strengthens" (rather than "threatens") American culture increased to 49 percent this year from 44 percent in 2007. The new number is still lower than the 57 percent in 2005, but higher than the 39 percent in 1997. The percentage of Harris County residents who favor "granting illegal immigrants a path to legal citizenship if they speak English and have no criminal record" rose from 56 percent in 2008 to 61 percent this year, but it too is lower than the 68 percent in 2007.

Klineberg characterized the attitudes toward immigration as "complex" and "volatile," but said he has detected among respondents "less of a sense today than in recent years that we are being overwhelmed by immigrants coming here and threatening our culture." Still, only 64 percent in the 2009 survey agreed that "the children of illegal should have the right to attend the public schools," down from 71 percent in 2007.

The effects on politics and social issues

The ongoing demographic transformations have also been a factor in local politics over the past 20 years. In 1989, 50 percent of Houstonians considered themselves Republicans, while 39 percent reported being Democrats. This year, 45 percent identify themselves as Democrats and 39 percent say they are Republicans.

The findings on important social issues reveal two quite different trends. Attitudes toward abortion rights have been virtually unchanged for all of the last two decades in Houston, but views on homosexuality have shifted. On virtually every relevant question, support for gay rights in Houston has grown in what Klineberg described as an "unmistakable, consistent increase over time."

The belief that homosexuality is "morally wrong," for example, dropped steadily from 59 percent in 1997 to 46 percent in 2009. The number who said they had a "close personal friend who is gay or lesbian" grew from 44 percent in 2004 to 56 percent today. Support for gay marriage rose to 43 percent in 2009 from 32 percent two years ago. Tolerant attitudes toward homosexuality closely follow age, Klineberg noted, with younger Houstonians more accepting of gays and lesbians. On the other hand, age is not a good predictor of opinions about abortion, he said, suggesting that this may help to explain their different trajectories over the years.

The ability to track attitudes on a variety of subjects over time is what makes the Houston Area Survey so valuable, he said. The survey each year is designed and directed by Klineberg and his undergraduate sociology class at Rice University. The telephone interviews are carried out by the Center for Public Policy at the University of Houston.

More information: To read more data from this year's survey, go to www.media.rice.edu/images/media/2009-04-27-HAS.ppt .

Source: Rice University (news : web)

Explore further: Houstonians more positive about city despite economic woes, annual survey finds

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1 / 5 (1) Apr 27, 2009
!!! STEPHEN KLINEBERG!! I had him as an Environmental Sociology professor last semester!
2 / 5 (4) Apr 27, 2009
oh thats bullshit...gays are just plain wrong, and they are have a species ending potential....they should be pacified from the earth IMO.

Wrong based on what?? I'll be waiting my little ignoramus.
3 / 5 (4) Apr 27, 2009
if you happen to be religious, then look into your bible and read the line that no man shall lay with another man. This is all in all, for the same reason I say...a potential to cause our species to go extinct.

I myself am not religious whatsoever...but I do recognize that man woman = child = species continuation

Right, this is what I thought. You believe in fairy tales and myths. You took the bait and showed your true ignorance.
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 28, 2009
Depending on how you interpret surveys, the adult population of gay adults is about one in twenty-ish. More reproduction potential is lost by accidental death than sexual orientation. And of course there is the artificial methods of impregnation. Species extinction is not going to be caused by this issue.

And no one seriously believes gay is always a choice. Genetics is a factor, so there must be some reason for it still being in the gene pool all these thousands of years.

What your reaction seems to be is the subconscious "gut" repulsion to gay men (gay women can cause it in straight women to.) It is probably a genetically coded reaction to. but otherwise gay people are harmless, so stop stressing over the fate of mankind coming down to gender preferences. There are lots of other ways we can get wiped off the planet in a much faster way.
3 / 5 (2) Apr 28, 2009
No as I said, its not likely, and I don't stress about it. It still leaves them in the realm as sickos....

I do NOT buy into that "their born that way" crap either.

Then you're an idiot, a homophobe, or, more likely, both. Your position is both unreasonable and uncivil.

No one asked you to "buy" that gays are born as such; it should be meaningless to you. Given that it's not, as demonstrated by your continuous rant on the subject, there are two things we may conclude. One, you have a serious flaw in your logical faculties. How on God's green earth can you have any notion what is inside someone else's thoughts? I suggest you research something called the problem of knowledge of other minds before anyone tries to "sell" you the idea that they were born gay. And two, your emotional reaction to homosexuality...well, that's putting it too lightly...your downright vitriolic condemnation of your fellow human beings can have its source only in fear. And, if you haven't notice, one only fears when one is faced with the possibility loosing, or having diminished, that which one has a self-interest in. So, tell me, friend, what is your self-interest in homosexuality?

Spend a lot of time in closets?
3 / 5 (2) Apr 28, 2009
John-are you going to come up with a valid argument for your point, or are you just going to persist with calling me ignorant because I accept the fact that they could lead to species extinction?

Yes, please show yours first. You make such grandiose claims with no evidence. Based on your world view most people will go gay and therefore the human race will cease to exist. Not to intelligent. Have you ever heard of evolution and what drives us to reproduce???

If you notice my statement, I myself am not religious whatsoever. I think that people that beleive in a higher power are absolute idiots. Ask anybody on here, I have said it more times than I could ever read back.

Yea , your not religious but point to the bible to refute homosexual acts. Again you sound ignorant.

I just love the way you never come back with a valid argument nor a valid point...nor do you answer questions youre asked.

You've yet to make one my dear flat earther.

Why again are you on a science site. Being on a science site, you must realize that gays do have the potential to end the species. Is it likely? No. Is it plausible? Yes Does that make them right? Hell no

I't is only plausible to the ignorant. Modern humans have been around for at conservative estimate, 200 thousand years and the human population have been growing exponentially ever since.

You see, not much of intelligent argument on your part.

What's most likly obvious here is that your trolling and bored and you need someone to spend time with you which is why your are trying to provoke an argument.

Here is a word of advice: How about you spend time learning and reading books instead of trolling on internet forums.

3 / 5 (2) Apr 30, 2009
Well, sexual abuse has been identified as one of the root causes of homophobia.

I guess if people had rational brains it would matter that most sexual abuse is by heterosexual sickos so you statistically are more dangerous than gay people.

What I find really interesting is recent studies of female sexual "fluidity". Even women who identify themselves as strictly heterosexual can become aroused by watching gay woman porn. And there are many documented cases of women who spent a life time as heterosexual can enter into relationships with another women and are as surprised as anyone else.
not rated yet May 03, 2009
LuckyBrandon, I still can't say I agree with your views on the matter, but I can see how what happened with your friend could have had such an effect on you. I just hope you don't let those few incidents continue to shape your opinion of an entire group of people into something so negative.
5 / 5 (1) May 03, 2009
Most criminal acts come from a sense of desperation. If it's more likely that a sexual minority is singled out or castigated, they are more likely to hide themselves and let their sexuality out in abusive ways.

Your childhood friend probably felt he had no avenue to explore his homosexual feelings and they spilled out during situations he felt comfortable in. It's unfortunate in your case it was while babysitting children younger than himself. If he had another outlet, like a young gay community center or hangouts that weren't bullied by homophobic people, maybe that child wouldn't have been abused.

So, while you make out the symptom as the cause of your hatred, it was your hatred that was the cause all along.
not rated yet Jun 06, 2009

Having more is less than having all. If what you hope were true, there would be no rape where brothels exist or where men socialize (to talk about "chicks" or what else, but not socially under pressure). I think, the case is most often, the vice versa. The brothel-going people look out to see who might be "like the women in the brothels." When people have no concern of sin or shame or some truly held ethics (forbidding out-of-wedlock sex), they look out to see who else might fit their world. Conservative (non-out-of-wedlock-sex) people might less likely to commit such offenses.

(As exception, some pervert priests have been reported in the news. But who told such sex-craving people to be religious staff, is left to guessing. They left the valid path to having sex (through marrying, available in Catholicism, too), but then were obviously not able to have self-control.)

When the local clubs do not list truly attractive people, would they be satisfying? If the taste of some homosexual, is wishing the likes of Mel Gibson, or Tom Selleck, or Brad Pitt, or Einstein, but none of the similar, is in that local club, what would he do? Heterosexual promiscuous types look out. Homosexuals probably behave thus, too. Is that type, who was harassing LuckyBrandon, truly finding no outlet locally? (No club, or else, he was a loser there, too.) Or, maybe LuckyBrandon was a lot more to his taste, than the clubmates of that harasser.

Stephen King's "Shawshank Redemption" is quite popular (wikipedia quotes lists listing the movie in the first 100). The "sisters" there, might suggest the concept what I'm talking about. They had their "local club" but looking out, too. Likewise, the case of Lot's (a.s.) tribe.

In summary, nothing short of everything might necessarily suffice. (Maybe even that would not suffice, they would hurt.)

What next?
if they might have telepathic (or, so) access to yourself.

The baby-sitting issue LuckyBrandon recalls, is involving pedophilia, too. Not only homosexuality. No outlet to satisfy pedophilia, and nobody will ever suggest that. (Islam is (& USA was (age 12)) allowing marrying (heterosexually) after puberty (if both mentally and bodily fit for marrying), but that would not please true pedophiliacs who want about age 5 or 6, most. The case involves that "prime" time, in the pedophiliac's view.) Thus, no outlet.

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