Houstonians less optimistic about crime and economy: Annual Kinder survey

Houstonians Concerned About Crime and Cost of Living, According to Rice University Survey

According to a recent survey conducted by Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research, Houstonians are most concerned about crime and the cost of living. The survey, which is conducted annually, provides insight into the thoughts and feelings of people in and around Houston. The results of this year’s survey are particularly interesting as they come just after the pandemic that has altered the city’s economic and metaphorical landscape.

The survey found that crime was the top concern for Houstonians, followed closely by pessimism about the area’s economy. While buying a home remains a goal for many people in southeast Texas, the median price for a home in Texas has tripled over the last 10 years while wages have remained relatively flat. As a result, the cost of housing has become a top concern, despite never appearing as a concern in previous surveys.

The survey also found that economic inequality continues across Houston, with half of Houstonians making $50,000 or less each year. Of those, 67% of Black residents and 65% of Hispanic residents make less than $50,000. Additionally, 43% of respondents said they did not have $400 in savings for an emergency. Black residents were the most unlikely to have $400 in savings, with 67% saying no, and 53% of Hispanic respondents saying no. Just 23% of white respondents said they didn’t have $400 in savings.

In terms of political views, more than 78% of Houstonians said they have some support for the Second Amendment and the right to have guns. However, of those who say the right to bear arms is “very important,” 86% support background checks for all gun sales, and 65% favor federal handgun registration laws. This is a uniquely “purple” political position in a very red state and a very blue city.

Finally, the survey asked about exercise habits and found that one in five residents never exercises, while half say they never engage in “vigorous” exercise. Despite efforts to improve accessibility to bikes and parks, the city’s infrastructure continues to favor cars more than two legs.

Overall, the survey provides valuable insight into the concerns and thoughts of Houstonians. While crime and the cost of living remain top concerns, there are also concerns about economic inequality, savings, and exercise habits. The full report can be found on Rice University’s website.