The 10 Most Diverse Cities in America (and the 10 Least Diverse)

The 10 Most Diverse Cities in America (and the 10 Least Diverse)

most diverse cities in america

If you live in one of these places, you live in three of the most diverse cities in America: Jersey City, NJ; Houston, and New York. That ranking is from a new report from WalletHub, a personal finance and credit website. Jersey City is the most diverse city in the country with New York City and Houston; the 2nd and 3rd most diverse.

The other most cities on the top 10 list of most diverse cities in America (in descending order) are:

Silver Spring, Maryland

Dallas, Texas

Gaithersburg, Maryland

Los Angeles, California

Germantown, Maryland

Long Beach, California

Arlington, Texas

The study looked at five key diversity factors for cities to determine rankings: socioeconomic diversity; cultural diversity; economic diversity; household diversity; and religious diversity. A city’s population, number of educated residents, and age of residents were some of the other weighing factors in the rankings.

WalletHub also asked several diversity experts to provide insight on the pros and cons of living in a very diverse city.

“Job opportunities,” was one of the benefits cited by Hilary Green, an associate professor of history in the department of gender and race studies, at the University of Alabama.

“Second, there is an increased quality of life through schools, jobs, green spaces, and cultural events,” stated Green. She said there are no cons to living in a diverse city, “except if the city structure does not embrace the diversity of its populace and [in] providing services and housing for all.”

Shari L. Parks, vice president for strategic initiatives at the Maryland Institute of Art (MICA) in Baltimore said, “Historically, racial and ethnic diversity has been tied to economic growth as people moved from monolithic communities to work in industrial places in the city.” Parks also commented, “Diversity drives innovation.”

However, “forced assimilation is very unhealthy for any community,” cautions Chiquita Howard-Bostic, chair of the department of sociology and geography and associate professor of sociology at Shepard University.

“When one expects another person to merge their cultural identity and divorce their own, there are a series of psychological and emotional events that follow,” says Howard-Bostic. She says “the pace for progress can never be predetermined.”

On the flip side, WalletHub also ranked the least diverse cities in America. They are, in descending order:

Huntington, West Virginia

Morgantown, West Virginia

Lewiston, Idaho

Kalispell, Montana

Barre, Vermont

Keene, New Hampshire

Rochester, New Hampshire

Orem, Utah

Provo, Utah

Bangor, Maine

Other key findings from the study:

  • Badger, Alaska, has the highest income diversity, which is 2.7 times higher than in Youngstown, Ohio, the city with the lowest.
  • Oakland, California, has the highest racial and ethnic diversity, which is four times higher than in Hialeah, Florida, the city with the lowest.
  • Thornton, Colorado, has the highest industry diversity, which is 2.7 times higher than in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the city with the lowest.
  • Hobbs, New Mexico, has the highest occupational diversity, which is 2.6 times higher than in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the city with the lowest.


See how your city ranks by viewing the entire list of rankings; read more expert analysis; and key findings from the report at WalletHub.