With a population of 2.2 million and an area of 600 square miles, Houston is the largest city in Texas and the 4th-largest in the USA.
Houston's economy has a broad industrial base in the energy, manufacturing, aeronautics, transportation, and health care sectors and is a leading center for building oilfield equipment; only New York City is home to more Fortune 500 headquarters in the city limits. The Port of Houston ranks first in the United States in international waterborne tonnage handled and second in total cargo tonnage handled.
Today, energy is still a key part of Houston’s economy, but to a lesser extent than in the past. The city is an industrial, commercial, educational and financial center. Its diverse economy comprises space and science research firms, universities, leading medical facilities, technology companies, telecommunications, shipyards, grain elevators and a wide range of other businesses. The emphasis on international trade is expanding every year, and will be a prominent theme in the city’s continued economic development.
Houston is a diverse and international city, in part because of its many academic institutions and strong industries. Houston has among the youngest populations in the nation. The city has an active visual and performing arts scene. The Theater District, located downtown, is home to nine major performing arts organizations and six performance halls. It is second only to New York in the number of theater seats in a downtown area. Houston is one of few American cities with permanent, professional, resident companies in all major performing arts disciplines: opera , ballet, music and theater.
Houston has teams for nearly every major professional sport. The Houston Astros (MLB), Houston Texans (NFL), Houston Rockets (NBA), Houston Dynamo (MLS), Houston Aeros (AHL), Houston Wranglers (WTT), Houston Takers (ABA), Houston Energy (IWFL), Houston Leones (PDL), and the H-Town Texas Cyclones (NWFA) all call Houston home.
Kiplinger's Personal Finance named Houston the No. 1 city in the country to live and work, based on its strong economy, abundant jobs, reasonable living costs and fun things to do. (2008)
Forbes.com named Houston one of the top 10 up-and-coming tech cities and as the No. 7 city in the country for jobs. Houston ranked third in income growth and fourth in job growth. (2008)
Houston ranked as the No. 3 city for Fortune 500 headquarters in Fortune magazine (2008)