Ethnic Diversity in Houston

Ethnic Diversity in Houston

Teach students about the spread of diversity by looking at the patterns of Houston, Texas, United States, and then branching out to explore other cities.


5 - 8


Geography, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Human Geography

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Have students consider the population of Houston, Texas, United States, over time by viewing the maps. As a class, compare the two maps and pinpoint key patterns in the population differences. Have students discuss what the changes show about immigration in this United States city and make connections more broadly to immigration in the country.

Next, have students select a U.S. city to research to discover immigration patterns, using available research tools in the library or classroom. (Some available online research tools include The National Historical Geographic Information System (NHGIS) for historical data or The U.S. Census Bureau’s Geographic edition for more current maps and data.) Encourage students to further explore reasons for population increases or decreases at any particular time period. Ask: What brings people to their chosen city? How has immigration added to the culture of the city? Have students create a visual depiction of their findings regarding immigration patterns and the effects of immigration on their chosen city. Students can create a timeline, their own map, or a bar graph to present to the class. (Timeline JS and StoryMap JS are some online resources that can help students create effective presentations with their findings.)

Following each presentation, have students ask questions and make connections to present-day immigration issues, considering what continues to bring new people to the United States. As students see the changing populations of cities across the U.S., they will develop a deeper understanding of what shapes American diversity.

Media Credits

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Tyson Brown, National Geographic Society
National Geographic Society
Production Managers
Gina Borgia, National Geographic Society
Jeanna Sullivan, National Geographic Society
Program Specialists
Sarah Appleton, National Geographic Society, National Geographic Society
Margot Willis, National Geographic Society
Clint Parks
Roza Kavak
Last Updated

January 22, 2024

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