For more than three decades, the Kinder Houston Area Survey has been tracking the changing attitudes and experiences of Houstonians.

For more than three decades, the Kinder Houston Area Survey has been measuring the continuities and changes in the attitudes, beliefs, and experiences of successive representative samples of Harris County residents. Through intensive 25-minute interviews with a total of almost 44,000 Houston area residents, we have been watching the world change. In recent years, the survey expanded its reach from Harris County to include the quickly growing neighboring Montgomery and Fort Bend counties. The longevity of the survey allows for unique, longitudinal analyses that help us better understand this major metropolitan area and shows us who we are as a region – and where we’re going. No other metropolitan region in the country has been the focus of a research program of this scope. Over the years, the survey’s findings reveal how Houston is a harbinger of many of the changes facing urban areas across the country.


No city in the nation has been followed in this way over such a long period of time. Few more clearly exemplify the remarkable trends that are refashioning the social and political landscape across all of America. The coming together of two fundamental transformations has redefined the challenges and opportunities of our time. The good blue-collar jobs have disappeared in the wake of globalization and automation, and today’s economy is generating growing inequalities predicated above all else on access to high quality education and technical skills. At the same time, America is in the midst of an extraordinary demographic transition, as an earlier generation, predominantly Anglo and now aging, is being replaced by a new generation of Americans, who are a mix of all the world’s ethnicities and religions. 

Strategic Goals

The overall purpose of this research program is to measure systematically the way area residents are responding to these remarkable changes, to explore the bases for individual differences in attitudes and beliefs, and to make the findings of this continuing research readily available to civic and business leaders, to the general public, and to scholars everywhere.



Head shot of Stephen L. Klineberg

Stephen L. Klineberg

  • Kinder Fellow
  • Founding Director, Kinder Institute for Urban Research
  • Professor of Sociology, Rice University
Head shot of Jie Wu

Jie Wu

  • Director of Research Management, Kinder Institute for Urban Research
  • Research Oversight Committee, Urban Data Platform


Head shot of Samantha Love

Samantha Love

  • Staff Researcher, Kinder Institute for Urban Research