Ditto/Image Source via Getty Images
Ditto/Image Source via Getty Images
Ditto/Image Source via Getty Images
The United States is known as a “melting pot” of nationalities, ethnicities, cultures and backgrounds. And the U.S. is becoming more and more diverse — census projections estimate that there will be more racial and ethnic minorities than white Americans by 2045. While many people might think of a few bustling metropolises as hubs of diversity, however, there are cities big and small across the country that exemplify being melting pots. Here are the 30 cities that are the most diverse in the country, according to personal finance website WalletHub.
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WalletHub compared more than 500 of the largest U.S. cities using three main indicators of ethnic diversity: ethnicity and race, languages spoken and birthplace of residents. Birthplace diversity includes people born in foreign nations and U.S. territories and those born abroad to American parents as well as people born in different regions of the U.S. or outside their state of residence. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with 100 representing the most ethnic diversity. Read on to see the results.
Yonkers, New York’s fourth-largest city, is one of the most diverse places in the state. More than 30% of its residents are foreign-born, 46% of households speak a foreign language and students in the school district represent 100 different cultures and nationalities.
On top of being home to one of the most beautiful college campuses in the country, New Haven, Connecticut, ranked high in WalletHub’s findings thanks to its ethnoracial diversity score. According to 2019 census data, New Haven is 30.5% white, 33% Black and 30% Hispanic or Latino.
Known as the home of NASA's Johnson Space Center and a hub for many industries, Houston attracts people from across the country and around the world. This Lone Star state city ranked best in linguistic diversity. More than 145 different languages are spoken in Houston, which is the third-highest in the country behind New York and Los Angeles.
Lowell, Massachusetts, might look like a town that’s stuck in time, but the town’s industry has long been a draw for immigrants and people from different states. Lowell has high linguistic diversity, with almost 44% of people 5 and older speaking a language other than English at home.
Clifton, New Jersey, ranked fourth-highest in the category of linguistic diversity, according to WalletHub, landing it at No. 26 overall. More than 65 different languages are spoken in Clifton, and about half of Clifton’s residents are speakers of a non-English language, much higher than the national average of about 20%.
The city of Long Beach, California, is proud of its diversity and its vibrant immigrant communities. While making up 26.6% of the Long Beach population, immigrants account for 35.9% of entrepreneurs and business owners and generate hundreds of millions of dollars in business income for the community.
Lynn, Massachusetts, is a charming coastal town with the ninth-highest linguistic diversity in the country. More than 50% of residents 5 and older speak a language other than English at home and the Hispanic population is more than three times that of the state average.
Up to one-third of the residents of Federal Way, Washington, are of Asian American, African American or Hispanic American background, ranking it highly in ethnoracial diversity.
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The home of Hollywood and countless movie locations you can visit, Los Angeles ranks No. 6 in the country for linguistic diversity. Besides English, there are more than 220 languages spoken in Los Angeles, with the most frequently spoken languages being Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Korean, Armenian, Vietnamese, Farsi, Japanese and Russian.
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Because of its proximity to Mexico and job opportunities, San Diego attracts a diverse population. Nearly 41% of residents 5 or older speak a language other than English at home, and almost 27% of the population is foreign-born.
Orlando, Florida, has often been described as a multicultural crossroads. The city ranks No. 22 for both ethnoracial and birthplace diversity, attracting people from across the country and around the world.
Although it's the site of many historic American buildings, Boston is a vibrant, evolving city with high ethnoracial diversity. In 1970, close to 70% of Boston’s population was white, however, today, white people make up less than 50% of the city’s population.
One of the most photogenic cities in the country, Providence, Rhode Island, is also the 18th-most diverse. More than 40% of the population is Hispanic or Latino and 16% is Black or African American.
After experiencing a dramatic population boom, Renton, Washington, has high ethnoracial diversity. Asian, Latino, Black and other non-White groups account for more than 50% of the population.
San Francisco ranks No. 15 overall behind its high linguistic diversity. More than 112 languages are spoken there, and city departments that interact with the public are required to provide services in Chinese, Spanish and Tagalog.
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Bridgeport, Connecticut, the state’s largest city, ranks highly in the linguistic diversity category. Almost 50% of residents speak a language other than English at home.
In Sacramento, California, white people are the minority. The population is about 29% Latino or Hispanic, 19% Asian and 13% Black or African American.
Paradise, Nevada, part of the greater Las Vegas area, ranks highly in birthplace diversity, coming from across the country or around the world. Almost 27% of the population is foreign-born.
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Enterprise, Nevada, ranks in the top 10 for both ethnoracial diversity and birthplace diversity, earning it the No. 11 spot overall.
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An industrial center outside of Seattle, Kent, Washington, has a population that’s 20% Asian, 16% Latino or Hispanic and almost 13% Black, according to census data.
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San Jose, California, cracks the top 10 most diverse cities thanks to its linguistic diversity, ranking second-highest in the country. Languages other than English are spoken in 57% of homes.
In Oakland, California, non-white residents make up 72% of the population and 28% of residents are foreign-born.
One of the oldest cities in Maryland, the historic town of Rockville ranks highly in linguistic diversity. Almost 45% of residents speak a language other than English at home.
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New York City is known for attracting residents from all over the world. The Big Apple ranks within the top six for both ethnoracial and linguistic diversity. According to data from the Endangered Language Alliance, more than 600 languages are spoken in NYC.
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Silver Spring, Maryland, comes in as the fifth-most diverse city in the country, in part because it ranks especially high in ethnoracial diversity. It has a significantly higher Black or African American population than the national average, according to U.S. census data.
Located just a couple miles from the Las Vegas strip, Spring Valley, Nevada, also offers access to natural beauty as well as the fourth-most diverse community in the country. Roughly 30% of the population is foreign-born, according to census data.
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Though it originally earned its name thanks to its German immigrant population, Germantown, Maryland, today is the third-most diverse city in the country.
Narrowly beating out other cities in Maryland and claiming the second-highest ranking in the country is Gaithersburg, Maryland. The city of almost 70,000 people has significant Asian, Hispanic or Latino, and Black or African American populations with 50% of residents 5 years and older speaking a language other than English at home.
Jersey City, New Jersey, is both the most diverse city in the state as well as the whole country. It has been referred to as America's "Golden Door," a gateway for immigrants around the world located not far from the symbolic locations of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. About 75 different languages are spoken in Jersey City schools and more than 40% of residents are foreign-born to this day.
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