The Most Diverse Cities in the United States
The United States has long been hailed as a land of freedom and economic opportunity. Waves of immigration in the 20th century and early new millennium continue to be the norm in America. Indeed, the nation today is more racially and culturally diverse than ever before, and according to 2020 census data, the odds of two random people being from different ethnic groups was 61%. As America grows, so does its diversity and rich cultural heritage. This article takes a look at some of the most diverse cities in the United States.
New York, New York
New York has always been known as a global hub city. It continues to be a magnet for an eclectic range of ethnicities, cuisines, languages, religions and other cultural traditions from around the world. From neighborhoods like Chinatown, Little Italy and even Little Guyana to bustling spots like the Financial District and Times Square, any time spent in this city and its Burroughs will undoubtedly be filled with diversity. And with a population of 8 million, you’ll find a wide range of nationalities and races in an authentic cultural mosaic of a metropolis.
Los Angeles, California
The second largest city in America after New York, Los Angeles in California has also been a culturally and ethnically diverse city for decades. In this sprawling metropolitan area of 3 million and the birthplace of Hollywood, more than half the population has Latino roots. But an affluent community of African and Asian descent also makes up the city, and several neighborhoods reflect these cultural, religious, and ethnic compositions. Add to that many museums, galleries, restaurants, shops, and historic sites, and Los Angeles is a diverse place that gives real meaning to multiculturalism.
Located between the cities of Fort Worth and Dallas, Arlington is home to the University of Texas at Arlington, with nearly 45,000 students enrolled. renowned for its research facilities and pleasant campus, the student body here is among the most diverse in the country with nearly 59% identifying as non-white. The city’s Hispanic and African-American communities make up more than half of the approximately 394,000 residents of Texas’ seventh-largest city. As with much of the state, Latin customs are an essential part of Arlington’s identity, and Tejano culture and cuisine can be enjoyed throughout the city.
The “Windy City” is one of the most diverse metropolises in the United States. Of its 2.7 million residents, 32% identify as black, while 28% are Hispanic; among the largest LGBT populations in the country, the city is home to a wide range of cultural institutions (museums, galleries, concert halls and places of worship) and great places to sample cuisine from around the world. Chicago is not only a sophisticated place, but also extremely diverse. From Little Italy and Chinatown to the historic East Side, Illinois’ largest city is never in short supply as a diverse section of America.
The ninth most populous city in the United States, Dallas is not only an ethnically diverse hub, but also an economic hub. Known for sectors such as transportation, defense, and information technology, Dallas has some 41 institutions of higher education in its metro area. With a population of 1.3 million, Texas’ largest city has a predominantly Hispanic community and is among the largest LGBT populations in the country, especially in the Oak Lawn neighborhood.
Just a 26-minute drive from Washington, DC, Silver Spring may be a residential extension of the nation’s capital, but it’s also rich in cultural and socioeconomic diversity. With just over half of the population identifying as female, 47% of the total population is non-white. Indeed, according to recent data, up to 38% of the inhabitants of this peripheral city of 81,000 inhabitants were born abroad. Home to many cultural events throughout the year, including the AFI Docs Film Festival and the Silver Spring Jazz Festival, this city allows tourists to experience a wide variety of international cuisines. From Europe to Asia, to Africa, to the South Pacific, all of these regional cuisines can be enjoyed in an assortment of high quality restaurants near Washington.
Once the center of America’s hat-making industry in the early 20th century, the town of Danbury is about 80 miles from New York City. This city is the seventh largest metropolis in Connecticut. According to census data, its linguistic diversity of 86,000 is significant, with at least 45% speaking a language other than English. About 39% of the total population identifies as non-white, with people of Hispanic origin making up 25%. A stroll through Danbury’s residential neighborhoods is a pleasant mosaic of multiculturalism, with synagogues, churches and mosques across the city. Home to 12 sites on the National Register of Historic Places, this city is a charming mid-sized settlement with great cultural, linguistic, and religious diversity.
A major center of culture, finance, the arts, and international business, the city of Miami is a hot, attractive, fun, and diverse destination that’s a must-see for any visitor to Florida. Miami is home to the largest Hispanic population in the United States (up to 70%) and the Port of Miami (the busiest cruise port in the world). Its cultural richness is matched only by its splendid beaches and its sunshine. Sometimes known as the “Gateway to Latin America,” Miami’s many museums, festivals, restaurants, and other cultural activities make it a vacation destination rich in diversity and intrigue.
Case, New Jersey
Home to a large population of Sephardic Jews, over 80% of Deal’s population can be attributed to this ethnic group. With a population of just 750, this makes the demographics even more striking! Visitors to Deal will find a small town with a strong sense of cultural identity and a beautiful beachfront area perfect for leisurely walks. For visitors looking to experience unique Jewish-American cuisine, an assortment of kosher restaurants populate the town, while six synagogues operate within the community. Deal is the perfect place to experience the rich cultural diaspora of New Jersey and America.
In a country as large as the United States, ethnic and cultural diversity is on open display across the country; Always touted as the land of opportunity and the pursuit of happiness, America’s demographic diversity continues to grow and reflect the ever-changing globalized world. From meccas like New York to smaller cities like Danbury, some of the country’s most diverse cities are great examples of how cultural differences can enrich our communities and daily lives.