Whites in the Heights: The Big Flip

One of the big local stories of the 2010 Census was the decline in the number of majority-Anglo areas throughout Harris County. This map from consultant and Census obsessive Greg Wythe diagrams the trend pretty clearly. The areas colored red are where the portion of the local population identifying itself as Anglo dropped 10 percent or more; the areas where that group’s share of the population dropped by less than 10 percent are marked brown (Wythe says he started out painting them orange, but the satellite photo in the background made it darker). Areas marked a light blue are where the percentage of Anglos increased by less than 10 percent. And the dark blue (okay, purplish) areas show where Whites have been rushing in: Anglos’ share of the total population jumped by more than 10 percent in those areas.

“If you were to measure solely on the basis of the number of Anglos,” he explains, “you’re likely to see a lot of growth in areas where there’s growth in general. Cypress is an example — they grew in every demographic because they grew a lot, period.” But Wythe’s map tracks the changes in percentage of the population, not population growth.

The big exception to the overall trend of declining percentages of Anglos? The Heights.


The Heights was one of the few areas in the county (another was the East End) that experienced a net loss of Hispanic population. But with all the Anglos moving in, the population of the area grew by about 11 percent — “nothing to sneeze at for an area without the space to develop that a Cypress or Pearland has,” Wythe comments. (Wythe admits he’s defining “the Heights” somewhat broadly here — he uses the label to describe the Inner Loop area west of 45 and north of Buffalo Bayou, plus one north-of-the-loop tract.)

in many of the areas where Anglo population is growing [in an area that has a large] African-American or heavily Hispanic population, the growth is from one small number to another small number –– like from 1 percent to 2 percent. The Heights is another animal altogether, as Anglo population in many of the tracts grows from more along the lines of 40-something percent to 60-something percent. . . .

East End has some minor loss in terms of count and share, but even there … the share tends to go some something like 80%-ish to 70%-ish, so it still maintains much of its traditional character. By comparison, the Heights legitimately flipped from majority-Hispanic to majority-Anglo.

Maps: Greg Wythe

27 Comment

  • Um, duh?

  • And the Asian population tripled!

  • This trend has been predicted over 2 decades ago, someone called it the Inverse Doughnut or something. Basically once an urban area reaches a certain threshold (of crappiness), more affluent white people move back in from the suburbs to take advantage of low pricing and short commute, pushing the minorities out to suburbs.

  • The Anglo just trying to get away from the “others”.

  • The East End is not historically Hispanic, it was settled by working class Germans.

  • How dare you miss!

    All of Texas is historically hispanic. And before that, historically native. And before that, historically dinosaur.

  • Mel, bless your soul, before 1836, Houston was historically swamp. It pretty much still is.

  • Wait a minute Miss and Mel: Hold up on calling Houston historically anything.

    I demand you mail out a survey requiring 51% or more of the Hispanics, Indians, Germans, and the Swamp to support the repeal of so-called and aforementioned “historically” designations, prior to making any such designations.

    I hear the Realtorsauruses have a good field campaign…

  • Bobby, never forget the dinosaurs. Viva la razasaurus!

  • Fiddle-dee-fee, miss miss_msry, your dear little eyes betray you as I was speaking to Texas, not Houston. Thus, we each have the distinction of being right. Simultaneously.

  • #9

    hahahahaha. best laugh I’ve had today.

    And I’m historically an east ender.

  • It appears Midtown (East of Main), down to the Museum District saw the same kind of growth.

  • I was born and raised in the Heights, and I have seen the neighborhood change a few times in the last 3.5 decades. Its very strange but the neighborhood was so infested with gangs, but the city/area was successful in cleaning up the area. The Heights is a wonderful place to live because of the “no deed restrictions”… You can do whatever you want to your home, it gives you freedom. But then it can be a double edge sword, your neighbor can open up a Body Shop right next to you. Go figure :)

  • Thanks for the lovely cup of “duh” swamplot.

  • texasrealtypros.com,

    You don’t seem like too much of a “pro” with that comment considering many sections of the Heights do have deed restrictions, including almost, if not totally, all of Woodland Heights and Norhill.

  • I was talking about the Houston Heights my apologies.

  • @ The Heights Life — Oh by the way I love your blog… I would love for you to take over are Heights section at http://www.texasrealtypros.com/Houston-Neighborhoods/Houston+Heights.aspx

    We need more community involvement.

  • Yes, we’ve invaded…soon there will be a Starbucks on every corner.

  • Wake up folks! Do you really think the large number of illegals in the area completed the census forms? If they are going to live in our area, not pay taxes, and send their earnings back to Mexico at the very least they should volunteer to be counted. Nothing will happen to them anyway as “illegal” means nothing these days. This would at least provide some estimate of how much of a drain they are on the working class in the area. At least we might be able to receive some funding for our area.

  • JSM, it sounds like you made that statement sitting on your inflatable NASCAR furniture inside your single wide trailer while your wife/daughter (same person) is cooking the next batch of meth.

  • YOU guys are hilarious !! oh my gosh

  • ah stereotypes, gottta love ’em.

    Anyhoo, I just got home from the grocery, where Easter merchandise already abounds, and I realized nobody makes a big deal about St. Patrick’s Day anymore, like back home in the everybody’s-got-some-irish-in-them northeastern US (and Savannah GA.)

    One day, Houston will be 55% Chinese and there’ll be a huge Cinco de Mayo festival with parade, school closures and everything. Just for the cultural awareness.

  • Looks like River Oaks can’t get any whiter. What a shame.

  • This explains the bad Mexican food in the Heights

  • ^^^^ LOL ^^^^ Mexican Food is bad in the Heights…. ahahahhaha wow

  • Sacrilege, EC. That’s like saying the Chinese food in Bellaire is bad.