According To Survey, Houstonians' Perception Of Economy Differs From Personal Experiences

Stephen Klineberg, co-director of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research.
Rice University's Kinder Institute for Urban Research has published its newest Houston Area Survey. Among the most significant findings is the discrepancy between Houstonians' perception of the local economy and their own financial situations.

While last year 37 percent of Harris County residents named the economy as their biggest concern, only about a quarter say so in this year’s survey. Fifty-eight percent say job opportunities in the Houston area are good or excellent, up from 35 percent two years ago.

At the same time, only a quarter say their personal financial situation has improved, practically unchanged from the previous two years.

This is Stephen Klineberg, co-director of the Institute for Urban Research.

“Growing inequalities, rising tide no longer lifts all boats. Macroeconomic indicators no longer tell you how are ordinary people experiencing the world.”

Klineberg says other noteworthy developments are the shifting attitudes toward immigrants, gays and members of a different race.

“We’re watching the general public coming gradually, reluctantly but unmistakably to grips with the realities of the 21st century.”

The number of Harris County residents who say homosexuality is something people cannot change stands at 52 percent and is up from 46 percent last year and 39 percent in 2009.

Eighty-three percent are in favor of granting unauthorized immigrants a path to citizenship “if they speak English and have no criminal record.”

Also noteworthy: About 9 in 10 support universal background checks for all gun sales.

Click here for graphs on select Houston Area Survey findings.

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Florian Martin

Reporter/NewsLab Coordinator

Florian Martin is the KUHF NewsLab Coordinator. While guiding and overseeing interns, he works on his own stories and is always on call to cover breaking news and other media events...