About Houston

10 Fast Facts & Figures about Houston

Houston’s mix of international appeal and Southern charm have captured the imagination of tastemakers from all over the world. Read on for a few insider facts on the nation’s fourth largest city.

1. POPULATION/DEMOGRAPHY

Houston, with 2.3 million residents, is the fourth most populous city in the United States, trailing only New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. The city is the largest in the South and the Southwest.

2. BUSINESS/VALUE

Houston ranks first among U.S. cities where paychecks stretch the furthest, according to Forbes.

Houston is home to the second largest concentration of Fortune 1,000 companies in the country (49) behind New York (72).

3. OVERALL CULTURE

Insider magazine ranked Houston among top 20 U.S. cities every foodie needs to visit in their lifetime (2017).

Thrillist ranked Houston among the seven most impressive American cities of 2017.

Upscale magazine rated Houston among the top 10 coolest cities for Millennials to love (2017).

4. GREEN SPACE

Houston rates first in total park acreage among U.S. cities with more than 1 million residents.

Of the 50 largest parks located within U.S. cities, the city of Houston contains four: Cullen Park (#12) with 9,270 acres, George Bush Park (#16) with 8,043 acres, Lake Houston Wilderness Park (#25) with 4,787 acres, and Bear Creek Pioneers Park (#48) with 3,067 acres.

There are 198 golf courses within a 50-mile radius of downtown Houston, according to Golflink.com.

5. INTERNATIONAL CONNECTIONS

More than 3.5 million foreign travelers came to Houston in 2017, the most recent year for which data exists.

International trade directly or indirectly supports more than one-third of all jobs in the Houston metropolitan area.

Ninety-one nations have consular representation in the city, ranking Houston’s consular corps third largest in the nation.

6. THE ARTS

Texas has 20 cultural districts, of which five are in Houston (Texas Commission on the Arts).

Houston’s cultural events and exhibitions report 9.2 million visits per year.

Houston is one of only a few U.S. cities with resident professional companies in the four disciplines of the performing arts: ballet, opera, symphony and theater.

7. EDUCATION

The Greater Houston area has 14 major institutions of higher learning and more than 60 degree-granting colleges, universities and technical schools.

Tier One research universities in the Houston region include Rice University, the University of Houston and Texas A&M University.

8. FOOD

Houston is considered to have one of the best culinary scenes in the country, with cuisine from around the world. There are more than 10,000 restaurants in the Houston area with culinary choices that represent more than 70 countries and American regions.

Houstonians dine out nearly more than residents of any other city—6.9 times per week, compared with the national average of 4.9. The average meal in Houston—$35.57—is less than the national average of $36.40, according to Zagat.

9. SPACE

Houston is home to Johnson Space Center, the training base and home for our nation’s astronauts and the site of Mission Control. For more than three decades, the Johnson Space Center has been the world leader in human space flight operations for NASA. Over 3,000 men and women began their careers in this facility.

10. MEDICINE

Texas Medical Center (TMC) with 21 renowned hospitals—including M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, the No. 1 cancer hospital in the country — 13 support organizations, eight academic and research institutions, six nursing programs, three public health organizations, three medical schools, two universities, two pharmacy schools and dental school—is the largest medical complex in the world.

The TMC handles approximately 7.2 million patient visits annually and 106,000 employees.

More heart surgeries are performed in the Texas Medical Center than anywhere else in the world.