21 interesting things you didn't know about Houston's population, economy and housing


HOUSTON – The Greater Houston Partnership’s research team recently published the 2019 edition of “Houston Facts.”

This publication annually provides data and information on Houston's population,  demographics, economy, industries and sectors.

Here are 21 interesting things we didn’t know about Houston, according to “Houston Facts”:

1.6: More than 1.6 million Houstonians, around one in four, were born outside the US.

26: If Houston were to be a country, it would rank as the 26th largest economy in the world. This would exceed Thailand and Iran’s Gross Domestic Product.

1,778: Harris County covers 1,778 square miles. This is enough space to fit the cities of Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, New York City and Seattle with extra room to spare. 

6,997,384: In 2018, Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), had a population of 6,997,384 residents. Harris County had a population of 4,698,619. 

34,460: Among all U.S. counties, Harris County had the third-highest numeric increase between July 2016 and 2017. Houston gained 34,460 new residents.

34.3: The median age in Houston 34.4

2,234,758: There are 2,234,758 households in the Houston area.

32.4: A total of 32.4 percent of Houstonians have graduated with a bachelor’s degree or higher.

83.5: A total of 83.5 percent of Houstonians have a high school diploma or higher.

523: Metro Houston accepted 523 refugees in 2018 from 18 different countries. 

29.9: It takes the average Houstonian 29.9 minutes to commute to work. 

2.1: Around 2.1 percent of the population takes public transportation to work and around 1.4 percent of Houston residents walk to work.

467,400: The most popular occupation in Houston is office and administrative support, which constitutes around 467,400 people.

21: In 2018, Houston had 21 Fortune 500 companies. 

20,000: H-E-B, Houston Methodist, Memorial Hermann Health System, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center and Walmart are Houston's top employers, with over 20,000 employees.

13: One in 13 Houston area workers worked in manufacturing in 2018.

281: Houston ISD has 281 campuses, and in fall 2017 it had 213,528 total students.

7. According to Nielsen, the Houston television market was the seventh-largest in the nation in 2018.

26.3: Houston’s living costs are 26.3 percent below the average of the U.S. top 20 most populous metropolitan areas, which makes it the third-most affordable, according to the Cost of Living Index from the Council for Community and Economic Research.

20: The normal annual high temperature is 80.1 degrees, and the normal annual low temperature is 61.4 degrees. 

924: According to CBRE Hotels, in Q4 of 2018, the Houston MSA had 924 major hotels and motels.