Houston is once again the most diverse city in America, says a new report. Photo by Zview/Getty Images

Diversity is currently at the forefront of the U.S. conversation, as anti-Asian hate crimes have spiked nearly 150 percent in 2021 and the Derek Chauvin trial currently broils in Minneapolis.

But now, a new study sheds some good news on the Bayou City, as Houston has once again claimed its title as the most diverse city in America. Finance website WalletHub released its report on 2021's Most Diverse Cities in America, and Houston tops out not only as the most diverse city, but also as the most diverse big city in the U.S.

To crown the diversity champion, WalletHub compared the profiles of more than 500 of the largest cities across five major diversity categories: socioeconomic, cultural, economic, household, and religious.

The annual report drills down into metrics and creates a point system on items such as industry diversity, income, age, religious affiliation, education, language, worker class, and marital status.

Towards that end, here's a breakdown of Houston's rankings (with 1 equaling most diverse and 250 equaling "average"):

  • 49th – educational-attainment diversity
  • 40th – racial and ethnic diversity
  • 26th – linguistic diversity
  • 246th – birthplace diversity
  • 15th – industry diversity
  • 173rd – occupational diversity
  • 228th – marital-status diversity

While not standing out in any one particular measurable, Houston narrowly edged out Jersey City, New Jersey with an overall diversity score of 71.87; Jersey City scored a 71.7. The next major city behind Houston is New York City at No. 3 (71.59).

Dallas follows closely behind at No. 4 overall and a ranking of 71.52. Dallas scored best in religious diversity (43rd overall) and cultural diversity (43rd overall), followed by socioeconomic diversity (68th), household diversity (159), and economic diversity (190).

Elsewhere in Texas, Arlington follows at No. 8 overall and a score of 71.19. The city scored best in cultural diversity (38) and religious diversity (90), followed by socioeconomic diversity (111), economic diversity (117), and household diversity (237).

Fort Worth comes in at No. 25 and a score of 70.12. It scored best in cultural diversity (60), followed by socioeconomic diversity (95), economic diversity (119), religious diversity (161), and household diversity (245).

Meanwhile, Austin ranked 38th overall with a score of 69.67. The Capital City scored an impressive No. 3 overall in socioeconomic diversity, followed by cultural diversity (74), household diversity (192), economic diversity (205), and religious diversity (253).

Further down the list is San Antonio at No. 66 overall and a 68.6 score. San Antonio scored best in household diversity (92), followed by religious diversity (102), cultural diversity (137), economic diversity (143), and socioeconomic diversity (205).

Houston's top ranking should come to no surprise to locals. The city topped WalletHub's diversity ranking in 2019.

------

This article originally ran on CultureMap.

The Bayou City has staked its claim as most diverse city in the nation. Photo by Tim Leviston/Getty Images

Houston crowned most diverse city in America by new report

We're No. 1

Last year, many locals cried foul when Houston was named the No. 2 most diverse city in the nation, behind — gasp! — Jersey City, New Jersey. But a new report confirms what we here already know: Houston is, indeed, the most diverse city in the country.

The new ranking comes courtesy of personal finance website WalletHub, which, in 2018, placed Houston in a dubious second place. "Yes, Jersey City may be listed as more ethnically diverse," Dr. Stephen Klineberg, noted local demographic expert, told CultureMap last year. "But it's much smaller." (Some consolation: Last year's WalletHub report found Houston was the most diverse big city in America.)

To crown the diversity champion, WalletHub compared 501 of the most populated cities in America across five key dimensions: socioeconomic diversity, cultural diversity, economic diversity, household diversity, and religious diversity. The report drills down into metrics such as industry diversity, income, age, religious affiliation, education, language, worker class, and marital status.

While not standing out in any one category, Houston toppled Jersey City by achieving an overall diversity score of 71.6; Jersey City scored a 71.52. Houston scored best in industry diversity (No. 16) and racial and ethnic diversity (No. 33), while scoring lowest in marital status diversity (No. 226).

Elsewhere in Texas, Dallas comes in at No. 5 overall, with an overall ranking of 71.12. Arlington follows at No. 9, with an overall ranking of 70.87. Fort Worth comes in at No. 25, with an overall score of 69.88. Further down the list is Austin at No. 42, with an overall score of 69.2. Plano comes in at No. 57, with an overall score of 68.55, while San Antonio follows at No. 62 with an overall score of 68.42.

The least diverse city in America? The scenery apparently doesn't change much in Provo, Utah, which comes in last on WalletHub's list.

------

This article originally ran on CultureMap.



2019's Most Diverse Cities in the U.S.www.youtube.com

Ad Placement 300x100
Ad Placement 300x600

CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Houston family's $20M donation drives neurodegeneration research

big impact

Neurodegeneration is one of the cruelest ways to age, but one Houston family is sharing its wealth to invigorate research with the goal of eradicating diseases like Alzheimer’s.

This month, Laurence Belfer announced that his family, led by oil tycoon Robert Belfer, had donated an additional $20 million to the Belfer Neurodegeneration Consortium, a multi-institutional initiative that targets the study and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

This latest sum brings the family’s donations to BNDC to $53.5 million over a little more than a decade. The Belfer family’s recent donation will be matched by institutional philanthropic efforts, meaning BNDC will actually be $40 million richer.

BNDC was formed in 2012 to help scientists gain stronger awareness of neurodegenerative disease biology and its potential treatments. It incorporates not only The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, but also Baylor College of Medicine, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

It is the BNDC’s lofty objective to develop five new drugs for Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders over the next 10 years, with two treatments to demonstrate clinical efficacy.

“Our goal is ambitious, but having access to the vast clinical trial expertise at MD Anderson ensures our therapeutics can improve the lives of patients everywhere,” BNDC Executive Director Jim Ray says in a press release. “The key elements for success are in place: a powerful research model, a winning collaborative team and a robust translational pipeline, all in the right place at the right time.”

It may seem out of place that this research is happening at MD Anderson, but scientists are delving into the intersection between cancer and neurological disease through the hospital’s Cancer Neuroscience Program.

“Since the consortium was formed, we have made tremendous progress in our understanding of the molecular and genetic basis of neurodegenerative diseases and in translating those findings into effective targeted drugs and diagnostics for patients,” Ray continues. “Yet, we still have more work to do. Alzheimer's disease is already the most expensive disease in the United States. As our population continues to age, addressing quality-of-life issues and other challenges of treating and living with age-associated diseases must become a priority.”

And for the magnanimous Belfer family, it already is.

3 Houston innovators to know this week

who's who

Editor's note: Every week, I introduce you to a handful of Houston innovators to know recently making headlines with news of innovative technology, investment activity, and more. This week's batch includes a podcast with the founder of a new venture firm, a former astronaut and recent award recipient, and a health care innovator with fresh funding.

Zach Ellis, founder and managing partner of South Loop Ventures

Zach Ellis explains on the Houston Innovators Podcast that South Loop Ventures plans to invest in promising companies from across the country and bring them into Houston's ecosystem to grow and scale. Photo via LinkedIn

Houston has a lot of the right ingredients for commercialization and scaling up companies, so when Zach Ellis moved to town to stand up a venture capital firm that made investments in diverse founders, he decided to go about it in an innovative way.

South Loop Ventures, which Ellis launched two years ago, invests in pre-seed and seed-stage startups across health care, climatetech, aerospace, sports, and fintech. While the first handful of investments, which have already been made, are into Houston-based companies, Ellis explains on the Houston Innovators Podcast that the firm plans to invest in promising companies from across the country and bring them into Houston's ecosystem to grow and scale.

"Any investor wants to feel like they are looking at the best possible investment opportunities in which to deploy capital," Ellis says on the show. "So that's reason No. 1 to cast your net as widely as possible.

"At the same time, you want to give any investment that you make greatest chances of success," he continues. "The biggest factor of success outside of the team and the capital you give them, is the customers that they can call upon. In bringing targeted companies to Houston or connecting them with Houston, you introduce the opportunity for them to achieve rapid scale and work with world-class partners very efficiently." Read more.


Toby R. Hamilton, founder and CEO of Hamilton Health Box

Dr. Toby Hamilton has secured $10 million to grow his company. Photo via tmc.edu

A Houston company that is working on a value-based model for primary care has fresh funding to support its mission.

Hamilton Health Box announced the completion of a $10 million series A funding round led by 1588 Ventures with participation from Memorial Hermann Health System, Impact Ventures by Johnson & Johnson Foundation, Texas Medical Center Venture Fund, and the Sullivan Brothers.

The company, founded in 2019 by Dr. Toby R. Hamilton, will use the funding to fuel its expansion into rural areas to help assist those living in Health Professional Shortage Areas, or HPSAs. Read more.

Ellen Ochoa, former astronaut and center director at the NASA's Johnson Space Center

Ellen Ochoa was recognized for her leadership at NASA Johnson and for being the first Hispanic woman in space. Photo via NASA

Two astronauts recently received Presidential Medals of Freedom from President Joe Biden for their leadership in space.

Ellen Ochoa, the former center director and astronaut at the NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, and Jane Rigby, senior project scientist for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, were honored at the White House on May 3.

Ochoa spent 30 years with NASA, which included being the 11th director of JSC, deputy center director of JSC, and director of Flight Crew Operations. She served on the nine-day STS-56 mission aboard the space shuttle Discovery in 1993, and became the first Hispanic woman in space. She flew four more times to space with STS-66, STS-96, STS-110, and more.

“I’m so grateful for all my amazing NASA colleagues who shared my career journey with me,” Ochoa says in a NASA news release. Read more.

Houston health care institutions receive $22M to attract top recruits

coming to Hou

Houston’s Baylor College of Medicine has received a total of $12 million in grants from the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas to attract two prominent researchers.

The two grants, which are $6 million each, are earmarked for recruitment of Thomas Milner and Radek Skoda. The Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) announced the grants May 14.

Milner, an expert in photomedicine for surgery and diagnostics, is a professor of surgery and biomedical engineering at the Beckman Laser Institute & Medical Clinic at the University of California, Irvine and the university’s Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

In 2013, Milner was named Inventor of the Year by the University of Texas at Austin. At the time, he was a professor of biomedical engineering at UT. One of his major achievements is co-development of the MasSpec Pen, a handheld device that identifies cancerous tissue within 10 seconds during surgical procedures.

Skoda is a professor of molecular medicine in the Department of Biomedicine at the University of Basel and the University Hospital Basel, both in Switzerland. He specializes in developing treatments for myeloproliferative neoplasms, which are a group of blood diseases including leukemia.

Other recruitment grants provided by the institute to Houston-area organizations are:

  • $4 million for recruitment of Susan Bullman to the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. She was an assistant professor at Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, where she studied the connection between microbes and cancer.
  • $4 million for recruitment of Oren Rom to the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Rom is an assistant professor of pathology and translational pathobiology at Louisiana State University Shreveport.
  • Nearly $2 million for recruitment of Lauren Hagler to conduct RNA cancer biology at Texas A&M University. She is a postdoctoral scholar in biochemistry at Stanford University.

The institute also awarded grants to five companies in the Houston area:

  • $4.7 million to 7 Hills Pharma for development of immunotherapies to treat cancer and prevent infectious diseases.
  • $4.5 million to Indapta Therapeutics for the Phase 1 trial of a cell therapy for treatment of multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
  • $2.75 million to Bectas Therapeutics for development of antibodies and biomarkers to overcome a type of resistance T-cell checkpoint therapy.
  • $2.69 million to MS Pen Technologies for development of technology that differentiates between normal tissue and cancerous tissue during surgery.
  • $2.58 million to Crossbridge Bio for development of an antibody-drug combination to treat certain solid tumors.