Just the facts: 31 facts and figures show just how impressive the Greater Houston area is

Houston (Pixabay)

HOUSTON – The Greater Houston Area is one of the country’s largest, most culturally diverse, and economically dynamic places in the country. Need proof?

Here you go:

  1. The Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) contains nine Texas counties: Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery and Waller. 124 incorporated cities and 33 census designated places are located within these counties.
  2. The Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land MSA covers 9,444 square miles, an area larger than five other U.S. states: New Hampshire, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware and Rhode Island.
  3. Harris County covers 1,778 square miles. That’s enough space to fit the cities of Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, New York City and Seattle with room to spare.
  4. At 665 square miles, the City of Houston is larger than the cities of Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix and San Diego.
  5. If Houston were a country, it would rank as the 26th largest economy in the world
  6. Metro Houston has the third-largest number of Fortune 1000 companies in the nation.
  7. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land MSA’s GDP at $490.1 billion in 2017, making it the seventh-largest U.S. metro economy.
  8. If Houston were a state, its GDP would rank 15th, behind Michigan ($508.9 billion) and ahead of Maryland ($399.5 billion).
  9. If the MSA were an independent nation, it would rank as the world’s 26th largest economy, behind Belgium ($495.8 billion) and ahead of Thailand ($455.3 billion) and Iran ($430.7 billion), according to the International Monetary Fund.
  10. Ninety nations have consular representation in the city, ranking Houston’s consular corps the third largest in the nation.
  11. Among the nation’s ports, the Port of Houston ranks second in total tonnage (domestic and foreign).
  12. With the addition of international air service at Hobby Airport in 2015, Houston became the only city in Texas with two airports offering international service and one of only eight such cities nationwide.
  13. In 2018, the Houston Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service recorded closings on 98,348 properties (includes single-family homes, townhomes, condos, high rises, etc.), an average of one every 5.3 minutes.
  14. The Houston Airport System handled 58,284,008 passengers, an average of 111 passengers per minute, in 2018.
  15. Houston MSA automobile dealers sold 303,417 new cars, trucks and SUVs, an average of one every 1.7 minutes, in 2018.
  16. In 2018, the City of Houston issued building permits for construction valued at $6.1 billion, an average of $11,587 per minute.
  17. The Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land MSA’s population ranks fifth among the nation’s metropolitan areas.
  18. Metro Houston ranks fourth in the nation in Fortune 500 headquarters.
  19. Founded in 1837, HCSO is the largest sheriff’s office in Texas and the third-largest in the country.
  20. HFD is the largest fire department in the U.S. to possess a class 1 rating from the Insurance Service Organization and is the world’s largest fire department to receive accreditation from the Commission on Fire Service International.
  21. Houston Ballet’s Center for Dance is the largest professional dance company facility of its kind in the U.S.
  22. The Texas Medical Center is the largest medical center in the world. All in all, the medical complex boasts more square footage than downtown Dallas.
  23. The Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land MSA contains 63 school districts and 49 charter schools. Houston Independent School District (HISD) is the seventh-largest public school system in the nation and the largest in Texas.
  24. According to Yelp.com, Houston has nearly 160 categories of cuisine, including Afghan, Georgian and Polish restaurants.
  25. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston was the first art museum in Texas, opened in 1924. The museum is among the 10 largest art museums in the U.S. with more than 65,000 works of art.
  26. Houston leads the Southwest U.S. with 19 foreign banks from 10 nations.
  27. The region has 44.2 percent of the nation’s overall base petrochemicals manufacturing capacity which includes 48.7 percent of butadiene produced in the country, 48.1 percent of ethylene, 47.0 percent of propylene, 39.1 percent of benzene, 33.2 percent of xylenes and 33.3 percent of toluene.
  28. Houston has the 12th largest tech sector in the U.S., according to the Computing Technology Industry Association.
  29. Houston is home to 44 of the nation’s 128 publicly traded oil and gas exploration and production firms, including 8 of the top 25.
  30. The Astrodome, which opened in 1965, was the first full-enclosed sports stadium.
  31. The Houston Zoo, founded in 1922, receives 2.4 million visitors per year and is among the most-visited zoos in the U.S.


Sources: City of Houston, Greater Houston Partnership