Houstonians are more optimistic about the impact of immigration than they were just two years ago. That's one conclusion of the latest Houston Area Survey, conducted every year by Rice University's Kinder Institute.
In 2013, 61 percent said immigration "mostly strengthens" American culture. Twenty-four months ago, back in 2011, only 47 percent agreed with that assessment.
To Rice Univ. sociologist Dr. Stephen Klineberg, this shows Houstonians are coming to terms with a younger generation that is far more diverse than its elders.
"It's not the decline of the West, it's the rise of the rest," said Klineberg, quoting author Fareed Zakaria. "We are in a global economy. Companies can produce goods anywhere, sell them everywhere."
Klineberg found Houstonians also tend to be more accepting of gay rights than in years past, although this attitude diminishes substantially among older generations.