Major Survey Shows Young Houstonians More Casual About Race & Ethnicity Than the Olds Are

Rice's Stephen Klineberg has again assayed the attitudes of Houstonians on a myriad of subjects, and as usual he's come up with some interesting results.

The 30th annual survey, released today, shows we are generally happy in Houston and think the worst of the financial crisis is over, although we're still worried about the long term.

It also looked at race and ethnic matters and found that increasingly, younger people are cooler with things than the older part of the population.

Asked how they would feel if a close relative of theirs wanted to marry a non-Anglo, just 8 percent of the Anglo respondents this year said they would disapprove, down from 13 percent in 2002 and 23 percent in 1995. Among the Anglo respondents under the age of 30, 93 percent said they would approve of such intermarriage, compared with 69 percent of those 60 or older.

Asked if "the increasing immigration into this country today mostly strengthens American culture," 70 percent of the Anglos under 30 years old said yes while only 35 percent of the Anglos over 60 did.

And 73 percent of the young group favor "granting illegal immigrants a path to legal citizenship if they speak English and have no criminal record," while only 52 percent of the older group did (although 52 percent's not bad).

"Houston is where America's four major ethnic communities -- Anglos, Asians, blacks and Latinos - meet in more equal numbers than almost anywhere else in the country," Klineberg said. "The challenges and opportunities of creating a more unified and inclusive multiethnic society will be seen here first."

And you know what will happen with those young people -- they eventually will get old, and when you get old you vote.

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Richard Connelly
Contact: Richard Connelly