E.g., 02/29/2024
E.g., 02/29/2024
Immigration and Integration in the Ever More Diverse Houston Area

Immigrants in the Houston metropolitan area, who comprise nearly one-quarter of all residents, have contributed greatly to the region’s dynamic economy and vibrant communities. The foreign-born population in the nine-county metro area has grown considerably over the last decade, reaching nearly 1.7 million. Today, nearly half of Houston children live in a household with at least one immigrant parent, and immigrants are well represented in high-demand industries ranging from construction to medicine to engineering.

This report uses data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey and other sources to provide insight into the composition of and issues relevant to Houston’s immigrant population. It begins by providing a snapshot of the immigrant population’s nationalities, race/ethnicity, legal status, educational attainment, industries of employment, proficiency in English and languages spoken, poverty levels, home ownership, and employment/underemployment levels. It then looks closer at the size and characteristics of immigrants eligible to naturalize. The final section provides an overview of humanitarian populations and immigrants holding temporary or "liminal" statuses that do not offer a clear pathway to a long-term status, including humanitarian parolees and recipients of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

Table of Contents 

1  Introduction

2  Characteristics of Houston’s Immigrant Population
A. Top Countries of Origin
B. Citizenship and Legal Status
C. Race and Ethnicity
D. Immigrant Families
E. Educational Attainment
F. English Proficiency and Languages Spoken
G. Employment and Industries of Work
H. Employment and Underemployment of College-Educated Immigrant Workers
I. Poverty Levels
J. Home Ownership

3  Immigrants Eligible to Naturalize
A. Top Countries of Origin
B. English Proficiency and Languages Spoken
C. Length of U.S. Residence
D. Educational Attainment
E. Income and Poverty
F. Labor Force Participation

4  Recent Border Arrivals, Humanitarian Protection Seekers and Recipients, and Liminal Status Holders
A. Refugees
B. Asylum Seekers and Asylees
C. Unaccompanied Children
D. SIV Holders
E. Humanitarian Parolees
F. TPS Holders
G. DACA Active Recipients and Potentially Eligible

5  Conclusion