New Mexico is 2021’s 6th Most Diverse State in America


With Hispanic Heritage Month in full swing and women holding a record number of Fortune 500 CEO positions (still only 8.1% of the total), the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2021’s Most & Least Diverse States in America,  and expert commentary.

To determine where the most idea and identity exchanges have occurred at the highest level in the U.S. — and where the population is relatively more homogeneous — WalletHub compared the 50 states across six key categories: socio-economic, cultural, economic, household, religious and political diversity.

Diversity in New Mexico (1=Most Diverse, 25=Avg.):

  • 19th – Educational-Attainment Diversity
  • 10th – Racial & Ethnic Diversity
  • 4th – Linguistic Diversity
  • 14th – Birthplace Diversity
  • 25th – Occupational Diversity*
  • 2nd – Worker-Class Diversity*
  • 4th – Marital-Status Diversity
  • 29th – Generational Diversity
  • 2nd – Household-Type Diversity
  • 22nd – Religious Diversity

*Includes civilian employed population aged 16 and older

For the full report, please visit:

More from WalletHub

Expert Commentary

What are the pros and cons of living in a diverse state?

“As the nation is rapidly diversifying, more exposure to and familiarity with citizens of different backgrounds can help foster a competitive advantage on many fronts, particularly in the workplace. Unfortunately, at the neighborhood level, we know that many communities remain racially segregated, which contributes to economic, educational, and occupational inequality.”
Adia Harvey Wingfield – Vice Dean and Professor, Washington University in St. Louis

“There are few negatives about living in a diverse state for those who live practical, welcoming, and tolerant lives that can be further enriched by their local wanderlust. In this regard, diverse cities that express all aspects of culture will be able to shine: different foods, neighborhoods, festivals, among other things, become welcoming beacons of accepting difference, and all represent important dynamics of diversity when it is not politicized. Until diversity becomes politicized, the rich tapestry of different peoples living in proximate communities in the name of exchange is a very old pattern of social existence. This diverse pattern still typifies the cosmopolitan character of cities, for example.”
Jack Fong, Ph.D. – Professor, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

What can policymakers do to encourage integration across neighborhoods?

“Research shows that most families move to secure educational opportunities for their children and that Whites are aided in this process by their access to ‘transformative assets’— intergenerational wealth that they can use to broaden their access to neighborhoods that they believe will secure this educational advantage. Thus, policies that seek to level the playing field when it comes to wealth inequality and homeownership — access to baby bonds, reforming income, and estate taxes — can potentially create more racial integration at a residential level and shrink the racial wealth gap.”
Adia Harvey Wingfield – Vice Dean and Professor, Washington University in St. Louis

“Policymakers can encourage integration across neighborhoods by facilitating ways to bring people together. Health fairs are very popular right now — they provide much-needed contact between residents and police, firefighters, and other community helpers. Plus they can bring people from different neighborhoods together, highlighting how many of us are focused on similar issues, including health and safety in our schools, workplaces, and community gathering spots like parks and restaurants.”
Meera E Deo, JD, Ph.D. – Professor of Law, Southwestern Law School

There is strong evidence that certain racial and ethnic minority groups have been affected differently by COVID-19. What can local governments do to ensure health equity?

“Local governments can raise revenues that support public health care facilities, which have seen declining investments over the past few decades even though they often serve communities of color. They can also institute measures that offer paid sick leave, which would reduce the pressure on workers to work while ill and would have a significant impact on workers of color who are disproportionately affected by COVID.”
Adia Harvey Wingfield – Vice Dean and Professor, Washington University in St. Louis

“Local governments need to recognize that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to health policy. We can learn from the many Native American tribes that quickly and successfully vaccinated members and others in the community by relying on social networks, trust in elders, personal encouragement, and highlighting the community (not just individual) benefits of getting vaccinated. Those messages and the personal strategy were most effective in that community. Different communities will need different approaches — whether we partner with churches and mosques or send mobile clinics through neighborhoods where parents are less likely to have childcare or transportation access.”
Meera E Deo, JD, Ph.D. – Professor of Law, Southwestern Law School

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