Urban Disparity and Opportunity


Featured Research

Disparate City Banner

By Heather O'Connell, Kinder Institute Postdoctoral Fellow & Junia Howell, Rice University Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology

The metropolitan Houston area has enjoyed tremendous population and economic growth in recent decades. From 1980 to 2010, the population of Harris County increased by 70 percent; simultaneously, the region grew as an international economic center for both the energy and medical industries.

However, the benefits of the Houston area’s growth have not been equally enjoyed by all parts of the region. This study explores three trends that occurred simultaneously with the Houston area’s economic boom including 1) the growing number of high poverty areas in Harris County 2) the expansion of those areas beyond the city’s core and 3) the increasing lack of economic diversity within the region’s wealthiest areas.

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The Shifting City Banner

By Heather O'Connell, Kinder Institute Postdoctoral Fellow

Houston is often referred to as the most racially diverse metro area in the country and a harbinger of the types of demographic shifts the nation is likely to face in the future. This report provides a comprehensive look at the evolution of the area's racial/ethnic composition on a small geographic scale. The analysis uses two new approaches designed to better capture the nuances of this diversity and recent demographic shifts.

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Houston Disparity Atlas Banner

By Heather O'Connell, Kinder Institute Postdoctoral Fellow

Through the following maps, we seek to show where Houston’s economic opportunities and challenges are concentrated. Those familiar with the city’s demography and economy will not be surprised by these maps. But what is striking is the consistency across each of the maps, which suggests that there are multiple layers to Houston’s social and economic disparities.

Visit the Houston Disparity Atlas