Welcome to Houston

Houston is one of the largest metropolitan areas in Texas and as the fourth largest city in the country is the fastest growing metropolitan area in the United States. Its central location, transportation infrastructure, young and educated labor force, diverse collection of industries and pro-business atmosphere foster a prosperous economic environment that provides an outstanding base for future growth. In addition, Houston offers its residents and tourists numerous cultural and recreational opportunities.

Houston benefits from its central U.S. geographic location, roughly equidistant from the three largest metropolitan areas in North America: New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Additionally, the central time-zone, low cost of doing business, highly educated work force and pro-business environment have contributed to the economic success of Houston.  As a result of these characteristics, numerous Fortune 500 firms including ConocoPhillips, Marathon Oil, Sysco Corporation, Halliburton and Waste Management have chosen Houston to become the center of their corporate and regional headquarters. The economy is well diversified, thereby minimizing the market risk against a downturn in any particular industry.

Houston–SugarLand–Baytown is the sixth largest metropolitan area in the United States with a population of 5.9 million. The population of the metropolitan area is centered in the city of Houston, the largest economic and cultural center of the American South with a population of 2.3 million. The area grew 25% percent since 2000, by 912,994 people.  From 2000 to 2030, the metropolitan area is projected to rank fifth in the nation in population growth, adding 2.66 million people. As a result of the many advantages offered in the region, population growth is projected to outpace both the state and national average.

Houston residents have access to a broad range of cultural, educational and recreational facilities.  Houston’s cultural events and exhibitions report 9.2 million visits per year. It has the fourth largest museum district in the country with 18 museums including the Houston Museum of Natural Science, Contemporary Arts Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts.  In addition, it is one of only a few U.S. cities with resident professional companies in the four disciplines of the performing arts: ballet (Houston Ballet), opera (Houston Grand Opera), symphony (Houston Symphony) and theater (Theatre Under the Stars). Houston is also home to several major league sport franchises, including the Texans, Astros, Rockets, Aeros, and Dynamo.

Two Houston based facilities with worldwide impact are the Texas Medical Center and NASA’s Johnson Space Center. As the largest medical complex in the world, the Texas Medical Center facilities include M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, the number one cancer hospital in the country.   Johnson Space Center is home to the United States astronaut corps and is responsible for training astronauts from both the U.S. and its international partners and technological research. It is often popularly referred to by its central function, "Mission Control". 

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