Surprise! Missoula Rated as One of the Least Diverse Towns in US
Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - Missoula, the one bright blue spot in a very red state, is not as ‘liberal’ as you might think, according to the personal finance website WalletHub.
KGVO News reached out to WalletHub chief analyst Jill Gonzalez after the website released its study on Monday that Missoula is actually one of the LEAST diverse towns in the entire USA.
Uh, oh! Looks like Missoula is one of the LEAST Diverse Cities in the U.S.
Gonzalez laid out the parameters of the survey in which Missoula fared poorly compared to the rest of the United States.
“We look at all types of diversity here,” began Gonzalez. “So, we included household diversity, religious diversity, socio-economic, cultural, and economic diversity. Those were the five major categories that we looked at in 500 of the largest cities in the USA. Number one would be the most diverse, and 500 would be the least diverse. Missoula, is actually one of the least diverse cities in the country, ranking 479.”
The Survey said Missoula has a lack of Religious Diversity
Gonzalez said Missoula may be wildly liberal in a small population pond like Montana, with just over 1 million people, but among its failings in diversity is included a lack of religious diversity.
“I think this is why one of the reasons we do studies like this,” she said. “I think it's one thing to be more diverse for your area or your state, but putting that in the domestic context of other states and other cities, I think it's very eye-opening. So Missoula ranked towards the bottom here when it comes to religious diversity, where most people have the same religion, as well as cultural diversity, as far as you know, where people are from and where they've moved in from.”
Gonzalez said Missoula did actually score in the top 10 percentile (in the country) when it came to ‘household diversity’.
“For household diversity, Missoula ranked in the top 10 percent (in the USA),” she said. “When we're talking about household diversity, we're talking about people and households being made up of different marital statuses from never married to married or divorced or widowed, and we're talking about some age diversity, everything from age 19 and younger to age 65 and up. We're looking at both male-headed family households and female-headed households, along with the size. Everything from a two-person family all the way up to seven persons or more. So that's what we're looking at when we talk about household makeup. That's where Missoula is doing the best; however, it could use improvement when it comes to religious diversity and cultural diversity.”
Gonzalez named the Most Diverse Cities in the U.S. and None are in Montana
If Missoula was rated so low in diversity, KGVO asked Gonzalez which communities were the most diverse in the U.S.
“As far as some of the most diverse in the country, a lot of different places both in the northeast and then even down south scored well,” she said. “Gaithersburg, Germantown, and Silver Spring Maryland, all DC suburbs, were numbers one, two, and three. Houston and Arlington, Texas were four and five then New York City came in at number six as far as some of the most diverse cities in the country.”