Houston by facts and figures (Information from Wikipedia)

Houston was founded on August 30, 1836 by brothers Augustus Chapman Allen and John Kirby Allen on land near the banks of Buffalo Bayou.

  • Houston is the fourth most populous city in the nation (trailing only New York, Los Angeles and Chicago), and is the largest in the southern U.S. and Texas.
  • Founded in 1836, the City of Houston has a 2014 population of 2.2 million.
  • The metro area’s population of 6.6 million in 2014 is 6th largest among U.S. metropolitan statistical areas.
  • Houston is 43 feet above sea level
  • If Houston were an independent nation, it would rank as the world’s 30th largest economy.
  • Houstonians eat out more than residents of any other city. While here you can choose to indulge in one of the more than 11,000 restaurants ranging from award-winning and upscale to memorable deli shops.
  • Houston has a Theater District second only to New York City with its concentration of seats in one geographic area. Located downtown, the 17-block Theater District is home to eight performing arts organizations with more than 12,000 seats.
  • Houston has a unique museum district offering a range of museums, galleries, art and cultural institutions, including the City’s major museums.
  • Houston has more than 500 cultural, visual and performing arts organizations, 90 of which are devoted to multicultural and minority arts and is one of five U.S. cities that offer year-round resident companies in all major performing arts
  • More than 90 languages are spoken throughout the Houston area.
  • 92 countries have consular offices in Houston, the third highest in the nation
  • Houston has professional teams representing football, baseball, mens basketball, soccer, and AHL hockey.
  • Houston is home to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. The world’s largest livestock show and rodeo attracts more than 2.2 million visitors each year.
  • Houston has among the youngest populations in the nation. The city has the third-largest Hispanic and third-largest Mexican population in the United States
  • Houston boasts more than 40 colleges, university and institutions – offering higher education options to suit all interests.
  • Houston is home to the Texas Medical Center, the largest medical center in the world, with a local economic impact of $10 billion. More than 52,000 people work within its facilities, which encompass 21 million square feet. Altogether 4.8 million patients visit them each year.
  • Home to and more than 5,000 energy related firms, Houston is considered by many as the Energy Capital of the world.
  • Houston’s economy has a broad industrial base in the energy, aeronautics, and technology industries: only New York City is home to more Fortune 500 headquarters.
  • 23 Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in Houston of the world’s largest non-U.S. Corporations, 63 have a presence in Houston.
  • The Port of Houston ranks first in the United States in international waterborne tonnage handled and second in total cargo tonnage handled. It is the tenth largest port in the world.

Houston

Overview

Houston is the most populous city in Texas and the fourth most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2014 population of 2.239 million people.

Houston’s economy has a broad industrial base in energy, manufacturing, aeronautics, and transportation. It is also leading in health care sectors and building oilfield equipment; only New York City is home to more Fortune 500 headquarters within its city limits.

The Port of Houston ranks first in the United States in international waterborne tonnage handled and second in total cargo tonnage handled. Nicknamed the Space City, Houston is a global city, with strengths in business, international trade, entertainment, culture, media, fashion, science, sports, technology, education, 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 city in Texas and has been described as the most diverse in the United States.

Geography

The city has a total area of 656.3 square miles (1,700 km2); this comprises 634.0 square miles (1,642 km2) of land and 22.3 square miles (58 km2) of water.

Houston has four major bayous passing through the city. Buffalo Bayou runs through downtown and the Houston Ship Channel, and has three tributaries: White Oak Bayou, which runs through the Houston Heights community northwest of Downtown and then towards Downtown; Brays Bayou, which runs along the Texas Medical Center; and Sims Bayou, which runs through the south of Houston and downtown Houston. The ship channel continues past Galveston and then into the Gulf of Mexico.

Houston’s climate is classified as humid subtropical which is typical of the lower South. During the summer months, it is common for temperatures to reach over 90 °F (32 °C), with an average of 106.5 days per year, including a majority from June to September, with a high of 90 °F or above and 4.6 days at or over 100 °F (38 °C). However, humidity usually yields a higher heat index. Summer mornings average over 90 percent relative humidity.

Houston has mild winters in contrast to most areas of the United States. In January, the normal mean temperature at Intercontinental Airport is 53.1 °F (11.7 °C), while that station has an average of 13 days with a low at or below freezing. Snowfall is rare.

Houston has excessive ozone levels and is routinely ranked among the most ozone-polluted cities in the United States. Ground-level ozone, or smog, is Houston’s predominant air pollution problem, with the American Lung Association rating the metropolitan area’s ozone level 6th on the “Top 10 Most Ozone-Polluted Cities” in 2014. The industries located along the ship channel are a major cause of the city’s air pollution.

Locations in Houston are generally classified as either being inside or outside the Interstate 610 Loop. The inside encompasses the central business district and many residential neighborhoods. More recently, high-density residential areas have been developed within the loop. The city’s outlying areas, suburbs and enclaves are located outside of the loop. Beltway 8 encircles the city another 5 miles (8.0 km) farther out.

Houston Skyline

Houston has the fourth tallest skyline in North America (after New York City, Chicago and Toronto) and twelfth tallest in the world[update]. A seven-mile (11 km) system of tunnels and skywalks link downtown buildings containing shops and restaurants, enabling pedestrians to avoid summer heat and rain while walking between buildings.

A succession of skyscrapers were built throughout the 1970s—many by real estate developer Gerald D. Hines—culminating with Houston’s tallest skyscraper, the 75-floor, 1,002-foot (305 m)-tall JPMorgan Chase Tower (formerly the Texas Commerce Tower), completed in 1982. It is the tallest structure in Texas, 15th tallest building in the United States, and the 85th tallest skyscraper in the world, based on highest architectural feature. In 1983, the 71-floor, 992-foot (302 m)-tall Wells Fargo Plaza (formerly Allied Bank Plaza) was completed, becoming the second-tallest building in Houston and Texas.

Centered on Post Oak Boulevard and Westheimer Road, the Uptown District boomed during the 1970s and early 1980s when a collection of mid-rise office buildings, hotels, and retail developments appeared along Interstate 610 west. The tallest building in Uptown is the 64-floor, 901-foot (275 m)-tall, Philip Johnson and John Burgee designed landmark Williams Tower (known as the Transco Tower until 1999). At the time of construction, it was believed to be the world’s tallest skyscraper outside of a central business district.

Economy

Houston is recognized worldwide for its energy industry—particularly for oil and natural gas—as well as for biomedical research and aeronautics. The Houston–The Woodlands–Sugar Land MSA’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2012 was $489 billion, making it the fourth-largest of any metropolitan area in the United States and larger than Austria‘s, Venezuela‘s, or South Africa‘s GDP. Only 26 countries other than the United States have a gross domestic product exceeding Houston’s regional gross area product (GAP). In 2010, mining (which consists almost entirely of exploration and production of oil and gas in Houston) accounted for 26.3% of Houston’s GAP up sharply in response to high energy prices and a decreased worldwide surplus of oil production capacity, followed by engineering services, health services, and manufacturing.

Culture

Located in the American South, Houston is a diverse city with a large and growing international community. The metropolitan area is home to an estimated 1.1 million (21.4 percent) residents who were born outside the United States, with nearly two-thirds of the area’s foreign-born population from south of the United States–Mexico border. The city is home to the nation’s third-largest concentration of consular offices, representing 86 countries.

Many annual events celebrate the diverse cultures of Houston. The largest and longest running is the annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, held over 20 days from early to late March, is the largest annual livestock show and rodeo in the world. Another large celebration is the annual night-time Houston Pride Parade, held at the end of June. Other annual events include the Houston Greek Festival, Art Car Parade, the Houston Auto Show, the Houston International Festival, and the Bayou City Art Festival, which is considered to be one of the top five art festivals in the United States.

The Houston Theater District, located downtown, is home to nine major performing arts organizations and six performance halls. It is the second-largest concentration of theater seats in a downtown area in the United States. Houston is one of few United States cities with permanent, professional, resident companies in all major performing arts disciplines: opera (Houston Grand Opera), ballet (Houston Ballet), music (Houston Symphony Orchestra), and theater (The Alley Theatre).

Houston is home to 337 parks including Hermann Park, Terry Hershey Park, Lake Houston Park, Memorial Park, Tranquility Park, Sesquicentennial Park, Discovery Green, and Sam Houston Park. Within Hermann Park are the Houston Zoo and the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Sam Houston Park contains restored and reconstructed homes which were originally built between 1823 and 1905. There is a proposal to open the city’s first botanic garden at Herman Brown Park.

Of the 10 most populous U.S. cities, Houston has the most total area of parks and green space, 56,405 acres (228 km2

Sports

Houston has sports teams for every major professional league except the National Hockey League (NHL). The Houston Astros are a Major League Baseball (MLB) expansion team formed in 1962 (known as the “Colt .45s” until 1965) that made one World Series appearance in 2005. The Houston Rockets are a National Basketball Association (NBA) franchise based in the city since 1971. They have won two NBA Championships: in 1994 and 1995 under star players Hakeem Olajuwon, Otis Thorpe, Clyde Drexler, Vernon Maxwell, and Kenny Smith. The Houston Texans are a National Football League (NFL) expansion team formed in 2002. The Houston Dynamo are a Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise that has been based in Houston since 2006 after they won two MLS Cup titles in 2006 and 2007. The Houston Dash play in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL). The Scrap Yard Dawgs, a women’s pro softball team, is expected to play in the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) from 2016.

Minute Maid Park (home of the Astros) and Toyota Center (home of the Rockets), are located in downtown Houston. Houston has the NFL’s first retractable-roof stadium with natural grass, NRG Stadium (home of the Texans). Minute Maid Park is also a retractable-roof stadium. Toyota Center also has the largest screen for an indoor arena in the United States built to coincide with the arena’s hosting of the 2013 NBA All-Star Game. BBVA Compass Stadium is a soccer-specific stadium for the Dynamo, the Texas Southern University football team, and Dash, located in East Downtown. In addition, NRG Astrodome was the first indoor stadium in the world, built in 1965. Other sports facilities include Hofheinz Pavilion (Houston Cougars basketball), Rice Stadium (Rice Owls football), and Reliant Arena. TDECU Stadium is where the University of Houston Cougars football team plays. Houston has hosted several major sports events: the 1968, 1986 and 2004 Major League Baseball All-Star Games; the 1989, 2006 and 2013 NBA All-Star Games; Super Bowl VIII and Super Bowl XXXVIII, as well as hosting the 2005 World Series and 1981, 1986, 1994 and 1995 NBA Finals, winning the latter two. Super Bowl LI is currently slated to be hosted in NRG Stadium in 2017.

Education

Seventeen school districts exist within the city of Houston. The Houston Independent School District (HISD) is the seventh-largest school district in the United States. HISD has 112 campuses that serve as magnet or vanguard schools—specializing in such disciplines as health professions, visual and performing arts, and the sciences. There are also many charter schools that are run separately from school districts. In addition, some public school districts also have their own charter schools.

The Houston area encompasses more than 300 private schools, many of which are accredited by Texas Private School Accreditation Commission recognized agencies.

Four separate and distinct state universities are located in Houston. The University of Houston is a nationally recognized Tier One research university, and is the flagship institution of the University of Houston System. The third-largest university in Texas, the University of Houston has nearly 40,000 students on its 667-acre campus in southeast Houston. The University of Houston–Clear Lake and the University of Houston–Downtown are stand-alone universities; they are not branch campuses of the University of Houston. Located in the historic community of Third Ward is Texas Southern University, one of the largest historically black colleges and universities in the United States.

Several private institutions of higher learning—ranging from liberal arts colleges, such as The University of St. Thomas, Houston’s only Catholic university, to Rice University, the nationally recognized research university—are located within the city. Rice, with a total enrollment of slightly more than 6,000 students, has a number of distinguished graduate programs and research institutes, such as the James A. Baker Institute for Public Policy.

Three community college districts exist with campuses in and around Houston. The Houston Community College System serves most of Houston. The northwestern through northeastern parts of the city are served by various campuses of the Lone Star College System, while the southeastern portion of Houston is served by San Jacinto College, and a northeastern portion is served by Lee College. The Houston Community College and Lone Star College systems are within the 10 largest institutions of higher learning in the United States.

Infrastructure

Houston is the seat of the internationally renowned Texas Medical Center, which contains the world’s largest concentration of research and healthcare institutions. All 49 member institutions of the Texas Medical Center are non-profit organizations. They provide patient and preventive care, research, education, and local, national, and international community well-being. Employing more than 73,600 people, institutions at the medical center include 13 hospitals and two specialty institutions, two medical schools, four nursing schools, and schools of dentistry, public health, pharmacy, and virtually all health-related careers. It is where one of the first—and still the largest—air emergency service, Life Flight

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