City skyline view of Buffalo Bayou Park in Houston, Texas.

What Are The Most Diverse Cities In The US?

Mary Grace Schmid6-minute read

August 23, 2022

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With such a broad landscape, the U.S. is a racially and culturally diverse nation. The country has an estimated population of around 332 million people and its Diversity Index has increased in the past decade. The likelihood that two random Americans will come from different racial or ethnic groups was at 61.1% in 2020, compared to 54.9% in 2010.

Along with the country itself, U.S. cities are also growing and becoming more diverse. And it's not only the larger cities that have diverse populations – let’s look at the most diverse cities in the U.S., with people with Latino, White, African American, Asian, American Indian and LGBTQ+ identities.

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Where Are The Most Diverse Cities In America Typically Located?

When discussing the most diverse cities in the country, it’s important to understand what diversity is and how it’s measured. Diversity refers to the inclusion of people of different races and cultures within a group, which can be somewhat difficult to measure for larger groups. The U.S. Census uses the Diversity Index, or DI, to measure diversity across the country’s population.

Living in a city with a diverse population is an important factor to consider for many people, especially when selecting a new place to live. According to a study from the Pew Research Center, the majority of Americans agree that a diverse population is very good for the country and has a positive impact on the country’s culture.

While most Americans view the major cities on both the West and East coasts as the most inclusive, diverse populations can fortunately be found across the nation.

The Top 10 Most Diverse Cities In The US

In 2021, using the 2020 U.S. Census Diversity Index data, WalletHub compiled a list of the most diverse cities in the country, based on socioeconomic, cultural, economic, household and religious diversity metrics.

1. Houston, Texas

The fourth largest city in the country, Houston, comes out on top as the most diverse city in the U.S. With a 100 score being the most diverse across all five metrics, Houston scored a 71.87. Houston proves that a city does not need to be located on either the West or East Coast to be a hub of culture, business and cuisine. The residents of Houston speak more than 145 languages, with 39.3% of the population speaking Spanish.

Population: 2,288,250

  • American Indian and Alaska Native: 0.3%
  • Asian: 6.9%
  • Black or African American: 22.8%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 44.5%
  • Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 0.0%
  • White alone, not Hispanic or Latino: 24.1%
  • Two or more races: 7.0%
  • White alone (including Hispanic or Latino): 51.5%

2. Jersey City, New Jersey

Jersey City is a smaller urban sprawl just about 4 miles outside of New York City. Scoring just below Houston at 71.7, Jersey City ranks at the top in terms of cultural diversity. This means it’s the most diverse in terms of racial, ethnic, linguistic and birthplace metrics. Besides being located right by New York City, Jersey City is filled with rich food and history.

Population: 283,927 

  • American Indian and Alaska Native: 0.6%
  • Asian: 26.1%
  • Black or African American: 23.1%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 26.9%
  • Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 0.0%
  • White alone, not Hispanic or Latino: 22.1%
  • Two or more races: 6.8%
  • White alone (including Hispanic or Latino): 33.6%

3. New York, New York

New York City is the largest city in the country and is known internationally as a hub of culture, entertainment and education. Throughout the city, there are neighborhoods that provide a glimpse of the different backgrounds of its residents. It may come as a surprise that it’s not considered the most diverse city in the country, but people from many different ethnicities still call the Big Apple home with a total score of 71.59.

Population: 8,467,513

  • American Indian and Alaska Native: 0.4%
  • Asian: 14.3%
  • Black or African American: 23.8%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 28.9%
  • Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 0.1%
  • White alone, not Hispanic or Latino: 31.9%
  • Two or more races: 5.6%
  • White alone (including Hispanic or Latino): 41.3%

4. Dallas, Texas

In North Texas lies Dallas, another diverse city hailing from the Lone Star State. Known for its sports teams and vibrant neighborhoods, Dallas’ residents are also ranked highly in cultural diversity. In fact, 43.1% of its residents speak a non-English language at home. Dallas scores right below New York City at 71.52.

Population: 1,288,457

  • American Indian and Alaska Native: 0.3%
  • Asian: 3.6%
  • Black or African American: 24.3%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 41.5%
  • Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 0.0%
  • White alone, not Hispanic or Latino: 28.8%
  • Two or more races: 6.4%
  • White alone (including Hispanic or Latino): 57.7%

5. Los Angeles, California

Lights, camera, action! The country’s second largest city is home to Hollywood and a distinctive blend of cultures. Nearly half of Los Angeles’ population is Latino and the city ranks highly in both socioeconomic and cultural diversity. With a score of 71.3, Los Angeles offers many attractions to both residents and visitors alike.

Population: 3,849,297

  • American Indian and Alaska Native: 0.7%
  • Asian: 11.8%
  • Black or African American: 8.8%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 48.1%
  • Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 0.2%
  • White alone, not Hispanic or Latino: 28.5%
  • Two or more races: 7.0%
  • White alone (including Hispanic or Latino): 48.9%

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6. Gaithersburg, Maryland

Coming in at number six is the D.C. suburb of Gaithersburg, Maryland. This is the first city to rank with a population below 100,000, but it ranks as #2 in both socioeconomic and cultural diversity. With a high Asian and Black population, Gaithersburg presents a diverse hub right outside of the nation’s capital. Gaithersburg’s score stands at 71.24.

Population: 69,101

  • American Indian and Alaska Native: 0.4%
  • Asian: 20.3%
  • Black or African American: 17.8%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 25.3%
  • Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 0.1%
  • White alone, not Hispanic or Latino: 33.1%
  • Two or more races: 7.1%
  • White alone (including Hispanic or Latino): 44.7%

7. Silver Spring, Maryland

Silver Spring is ranked #1 for socioeconomic diversity, which considers household-income and educational-attainment diversity. Like Gaithersburg, Silver Spring is a suburb of Washington and has an overall score of 71.2.

Population: 81,015

  • American Indian and Alaska Native: 0.3%
  • Asian: 7.1%
  • Black or African American: 28.8%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 26.0%
  • Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 0.0%
  • White alone, not Hispanic or Latino: 34.4%
  • Two or more races: 5.4%
  • White alone (including Hispanic or Latino): 40.3%

8. Arlington, Texas

Home of the Dallas Cowboys, Arlington is the third Texas city to rank in the top 10 most diverse cities in the U.S. There are plenty of attractions in Arlington that brings in residents and visitors from all over the world, including its famous sporting venues. Arlington’s overall score is a 71.19.

Population: 392,786 

  • American Indian and Alaska Native: 0.4%
  • Asian: 6.6%
  • Black or African American: 22.9%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 29.2%
  • Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 0.3%
  • White alone, not Hispanic or Latino: 38.5%
  • Two or more races: 6.0%
  • White alone (including Hispanic or Latino): 56.1%

9. Long Beach, California

Long Beach is a coastal city and port located outside of Los Angeles, with a strong LGBTQ+ community and notable, diverse colleges like California State University, Long Beach and Long Beach City College. With a large Latino population, an estimated 34% of the population speaks Spanish. Long Beach’s overall score is a 71.06.

Population: 456,062 

  • American Indian and Alaska Native: 0.8%
  • Asian: 12.8%
  • Black or African American: 12.6%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 43.2%
  • Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 0.6%
  • White alone, not Hispanic or Latino: 28.1%
  • Two or more races: 6.6%
  • White alone (including Hispanic or Latino): 49.4%

10. Chicago, Illinois and Danbury, Connecticut

Both Chicago and Danbury are tied with a score of 71.05. Chicago is the third largest city in the country and has a vivid LGBTQ+ community. With nearly 77 neighborhoods, Chicago’s diverse population enlivens the largest city in the Midwest. Going farther east, Danbury lies about 50 miles northeast of New York City and has a considerably diverse population for its size. The New England city has a large Latino population and continues to grow, due to immigration and the draw to its hatting industry.

Chicago Population: 2,696,555

  • American Indian and Alaska Native: 0.3%
  • Asian: 6.8%
  • Black or African American: 29.2%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 28.6%
  • Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 0.0%
  • White alone, not Hispanic or Latino: 33.3%
  • Two or more races: 5.3%
  • White alone (including Hispanic or Latino): 47.7%

Danbury Population: 86,759 

  • American Indian and Alaska Native: 0.2%
  • Asian: 6.2%
  • Black or African American: 9.7%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 29.0%
  • Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 0.0%
  • White alone, not Hispanic or Latino: 52.1%
  • Two or more races: 6.2%
  • White alone (including Hispanic or Latino): 61.1%

The Bottom Line: The US Offers Many Culturally Diverse Cities To Live In

Statistics show that U.S. cities are continually becoming more diverse. Diversity is embraced by most Americans, as it helps boost the economy and local communities. But diverse cities still deal with issues that arise from systemic racism, like segregation, gentrification and income inequality.

The most diverse cities in the U.S. are diverse across different factors, such as age, marital status, racial and ethnic background, language and occupational diversity. To continue the betterment of cities nationwide, these metropolitan hubs can address systemic racism by investing in programs that benefit all of its residents.

If you are interested in moving to a more diverse U.S. city and buying a house, the experts at Rocket Mortgage® can help you get started with confidence.

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Mary Grace Schmid

Mary Grace Schmid

Mary Grace Schmid is a staff writer covering homeownership, personal finance and lifestyle topics. She has a B.A. in public relations from Baylor University with a minor in political science and enjoys photography, music and reading in her free time.