Houston, Texas
City of Houston
Space City (official) more ...
Location within and around Harris County
Location within and around Harris County
Houston is located in Texas
Location within Texas
Houston is located in the United States
Location within the United States
Houston is located in North America
Location within North America
Coordinates: 29°45′46″N 95°22′59″W / 29.76278°N 95.38306°W / 29.76278; -95.38306Coordinates: 29°45′46″N 95°22′59″W / 29.76278°N 95.38306°W / 29.76278; -95.38306
Country United States
CountiesHarris, Fort Bend, Montgomery
IncorporatedJune 5, 1837
Named forSam Houston
 • TypeStrong Mayor-Council
 • BodyHouston City Council
 • MayorSylvester Turner (D)
 • City671.70 sq mi (1,739.69 km2)
 • Land640.47 sq mi (1,658.80 km2)
 • Water31.23 sq mi (80.88 km2)
 • Metro
10,062 sq mi (26,060 km2)
80 ft (32 m)
 • City2,316,797
 • RankUS: 4th
 • Density3,622.77/sq mi (1,398.76/km2)
 • Urban
4,944,332 (7th U.S.)
 • Metro
7,066,141 (5th U.S.)
 • Demonym
Time zoneUTC−6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
770xx, 772xx (P.O. Boxes)
Area codes713, 281, 832, 346
FIPS code48-35000[4]
GNIS feature ID1380948[5]
Major airportsGeorge Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), William P. Hobby Airport (HOU)
InterstatesI-10 (TX).svg I-45 (TX).svg I-69 (TX).svg I-610 (TX).svg
U.S. routesUS 59.svg US 90.svg US 290.svg
State routesTexas 3.svg Texas Spur 5.svg Texas 6.svg Texas Beltway 8.svg Texas 35.svg Texas 99.svg Texas 146.svg Texas 225.svg Texas 249.svg Texas Spur 261.svg Texas 288.svg Texas Spur 330.svg Texas Spur 527.svg
Rapid transitHouston Metro
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Houston (/ˈhjuːstən/ (About this soundlisten) HEW-stən) is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Texas, fourth-most populous city in the United States, most populous city in the Southern United States, as well as the sixth-most populous in North America, with an estimated 2019 population of 2,320,268.[6] Located in Southeast Texas near Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, it is the seat of Harris County and the principal city of the Greater Houston metropolitan area, which is the fifth-most populous metropolitan statistical area in the United States. Houston is the southeast anchor of the greater megaregion known as the Texas Triangle.[7]

Comprising a total area of 637.4 square miles (1,651 km2),[8] Houston is the eighth-most expansive city in the United States (including consolidated city-counties). It is the largest city in the United States by total area, whose government is not consolidated with that of a county, parish, or borough. Though primarily in Harris County, small portions of the city extend into Fort Bend and Montgomery counties, bordering other principal communities of Greater Houston such as Sugar Land and The Woodlands.

The city of Houston was founded by land investors on August 30, 1836,[9] at the confluence of Buffalo Bayou and White Oak Bayou (a point now known as Allen's Landing) and incorporated as a city on June 5, 1837.[10][11] The city is named after former General Sam Houston, who was president of the Republic of Texas and had won Texas's independence from Mexico at the Battle of San Jacinto 25 miles (40 km) east of Allen's Landing.[11] After briefly serving as the capital of the Texas Republic in the late 1830s, Houston grew steadily into a regional trading center for the remainder of the 19th century.[12]

The arrival of the 20th century had a convergence of economic factors that fueled rapid growth in Houston, including a burgeoning port and railroad industry, the decline of Galveston as Texas's primary port following a devastating 1900 hurricane, the subsequent construction of the Houston Ship Channel, and the Texas oil boom.[12] In the mid-20th century, Houston's economy diversified, as it became home to the Texas Medical Center—the world's largest concentration of healthcare and research institutions—and NASA's Johnson Space Center, where the Mission Control Center is located.

Houston's economy since the late 19th century has a broad industrial base in energy, manufacturing, aeronautics, and transportation. Leading in healthcare sectors and building oilfield equipment, Houston has the second-most Fortune 500 headquarters of any U.S. municipality within its city limits (after New York City).[13][14] The Port of Houston ranks first in the United States in international waterborne tonnage handled and second in total cargo tonnage handled.[15]

Nicknamed the "Bayou City", "Space City", "H-Town", and "the 713", Houston has become a global city, with strengths in culture, medicine, and research. The city has a population from various ethnic and religious backgrounds and a large and growing international community. Houston is the most diverse metropolitan area in Texas and has been described as the most racially and ethnically diverse major metropolis in the U.S.[16] It is home to many cultural institutions and exhibits, which attract more than 7 million visitors a year to the Museum District. The Museum District is home to nineteen museums, galleries, and community spaces. Houston has an active visual and performing arts scene in the Theater District, and offers year-round resident companies in all major performing arts.[17]

  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  2. ^ Reiss, Aaron (June 17, 2014). "Top 10 Ways to Identify a Native Houstonian". Houston Press. Archived from the original on September 2, 2017. Retrieved September 2, 2017.
  3. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 16, 2015.
  4. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  5. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Archived from the original on February 4, 2012. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  6. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places of 50,000 or More, Ranked by July 1, 2019 Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2019". United States Census Bureau, Population Division. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  7. ^ "The Texas Triangle Megaregion Nears 21 Million Residents". Texas News Express. October 6, 2020. Retrieved November 2, 2020.
  8. ^ "Houston Texas Geography Profile". data.census.gov. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  9. ^ "Facts and Figures". www.houstontx.gov. Archived from the original on February 21, 2019. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  10. ^ Kleiner, D.J: Allen's Landing from the Handbook of Texas Online (February 3, 2005). Retrieved 2007-06-10.
  11. ^ a b McComb, David G. (January 19, 2008). "Houston, Texas". Handbook of Texas Online. Archived from the original on April 12, 2011. Retrieved June 1, 2008.
  12. ^ a b Gray, Lisa (May 19, 2016). "Promise – and a few fibs – launched this city's destiny". Houston Chronicle. Archived from the original on July 4, 2018. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  13. ^ Fortune 500 2010: Cities Archived August 24, 2011, at the Wayback Machine Accessed May 25, 2011
  14. ^ "A.T. Kearney Global Cities Index 2019" (PDF). A.T. Kearney. Archived (PDF) from the original on September 28, 2011. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  15. ^ "2010 Port Industry Statistics, American Association of Port Authorities" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on January 17, 2013. Retrieved November 2, 2012.
  16. ^ "Houston Surpasses New York And Los Angeles As The 'Most Diverse In Nation'". Huffington Post. March 5, 2012. Archived from the original on July 9, 2018. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  17. ^ ""Museums and Cultural Arts" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on July 11, 2010. (31.8 KB)", Greater Houston Partnership. Retrieved on March 21, 2009.