Houston is the most highly populated city in Texas, with an estimated 2.3 million people in 2017, and it ranks as the fourth most populous in the U.S. It serves as the seat of Harris County.
The Greater Houston metropolitan area is the fifth-most populous in the nation, with over 6 million people.
Houston is on the Mexico Gulf and is the busiest U.S. port in terms of foreign tonnage. The Houston Ship Channel greatly assists its economy.
The city is famous as a space exploration center, and on account of this is sometimes called Space City.
Houston’s transportation options, its connections to the oil business and its other thriving industries means that it is often considered the economic center of the South.
Residents are proud that their city was named after Sam Houston, a leader of the Texas revolution and a president of the Republic of Texas.
Houston is a spacious city, and as well as tower blocks there are some historic neighborhoods and many detached houses for potential buyers to choose from.
Nickname(s): "Space City"
Population: 2,312,717 (2017 estimated)
Land: 599.59 sq. miles
Urban: 627 sq. miles
Metro: 1,062 sq. miles
In terms of its people, Houston has more diversity than any other metropolitan area in Texas, and by some criteria it may be even more ethnically disparate than New York City. These different cultures are celebrated in the variety of music and cuisine that can be enjoyed here.
Houston is large and is known as a city for drivers. There is, however, a good and inexpensive bus service and also the MetroRail train system which links Downtown to NRG Park, Texas Medical Center and other important places. The city has professional men’s sports teams in the major baseball, basketball and football leagues.
Houston sees more than seven million visitors every year. The Museum District, in Downtown, has a large number of major museums, including the Houston Museum of Natural Science and the Children's Museum of Houston. In addition, there are art galleries such as the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, and the Cullen Sculpture Garden.
The Downtown area known as the Theater District sells more seats than any U.S. city except New York. Houston’s opera, ballet company and symphony orchestra are all well-renowned. Tourists head to Space Center Houston, which was the ‘Mission Control’ famous from the USA’s space missions. It has many fascinating exhibits including space rockets and moon rocks.
Houston has 88 ‘super neighborhoods.’ The city can also be divided into geographical areas such as Downtown, South Side, Southwest, Southeast, Northside, Midtown, Uptown, and Neartown—we present four of the most important here.
As well as museums, theaters and other venues, Downtown has a large number of bars and restaurants and also one of the city’s two Chinatowns. As you would expect, many businesses and financial institutions are based here, particularly in the blocks collectively known as The Skyline District. Taking the light rail from Downtown makes attending the nightclubs on Main Street all the more possible.
South Side is an area considered to be east of the communities of Meyerland and Fondren, and some way south of Downtown. Many of the neighborhoods here, for example Sunnyside, Hiram Clarke, and South Park, have communities with large African-American and Latino populations, though the area was largely rural not too long ago.
Northside is an area north of Downtown and some of the neighborhoods such as Houston Heights, Near Northside, and Kashmere Gardens are largely within the 610 Loop road. Others such as Trinity Gardens, Acres Homes, Aldine and Greenspoint are outside it. Some neighborhoods date from the 19th century. Houston Heights was one Texas’s earliest planned communities and, like several others inside the 610, has experienced gentrification in recent years.
Uptown is a region west of Downtown and is often called The Galleria Area. It is just outside the 610 Loop and is also bounded by Woodway Drive to the north, Yorktown Street to the west and Richmond Avenue to the south. It includes one of the city’s business districts and hosts no fewer than 2,000 companies, many hotels, and several diplomatic missions. As you might expect, some of the architecture is modern and quite impressive.
Northside properties in the historic neighborhoods are often detached, and there are many attractive homes for sale in the middle-income bracket. Uptown is an area with a wide diversity of different properties, from smart condos costing less than $150,000 to mansions and luxury penthouses costing millions. Surprisingly for a central district, Houston’s Downtown has both apartments and houses available at reasonable prices. Southside has properties of various types which are often more economically priced than most.
2018 was a record-breaking year in the Houston housing market, even when other formerly hot markets in the country were slackening off. The damage caused by Hurricane Harvey the previous year was still evident in some quarters, and mortgage rates rose, but homes sales in the city were still 4% higher than the figure for 2017, while the median sale price exceeded the previous record by 3%.
Most recently, however, activity has been cooling somewhat, with falling sales volume, although the rental sector is still lively. Houston’s housing market is resilient, surviving both weather and oil price drops, but some predict that no more records will be broken soon. This is due to factors such as mortgage rates that continue to rise, a relatively low home inventory, and some new tax laws.
Property sales figures source: the Houston Association of REALTORS®, February 2019.
The city of Houston has seventeen school districts. The largest of these is the Houston Independent School District, with schools on 112 different campuses, and it is also the largest in Texas and the seventh-largest in the United States. In addition, there are no fewer than 300 private schools in the Houston area, including many that are accredited.
There are four distinct state universities established in Houston: the University of Houston, the University of Houston-Clear Lake, the University of Houston-Downtown and Texas Southern University. Several private universities also exist in the city, probably the most famous being Rice University. Higher education is also provided at Houston Community College, San Jacinto College and the Lone Star College System.
Long known for its oil and natural gas, Houston secured itself a position as a leading builder of oilfield equipment. Partly thanks to the 2.1-square-mile Texas Medical Center district, it is also pre-eminent in healthcare research. In 2013 it was the no. 1 city in the U.S. for job creation, and the area surpassed New York City as the top U.S. market for exports. After then the economy struggled more than usual for a few years, partly because of oil price fluctuations, but it has bounced back. The city’s unemployment rate is currently about the same as the national average.
Due to its economic strengths, Houston has been designated as a global city. While oil prices and hurricanes are still factors in Houston’s fortunes, its positive inertia and economic base are probably enough to see it through difficulties. It is interesting to note that there are more Fortune 500 companies headquartered here than in any U.S. municipality except New York City. Latest indicators suggest that the city’s economy is currently growing at a healthy rate.