About Houston

Klein Arbor

Houston is one of the fastest growing major metropolitan areas in the nation and is currently ranked the fourth largest city in the United States. Houston has grown into an indisputably cosmopolitan city, and offers some of the best restaurants, shopping, hospitals and cultural attractions in the world. As far as ratings and rankings versus other metropolitan areas in the United States, Houston tops the list as #1 in each of the following:

Nominal Job Growth (01/08 to 01/09)
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment - April, 2009

Top Metro in the Nation
Site Selection Magazine - March, 2009

Nation's Healthiest Housing Market
Builder and Hanley Wood Market Intelligence - February, 2009

Hottest Labor Market
Bizjournals.com - September, 2008

Best U.S. City to Earn a Living
Forbes.com - August, 2008

Best City to Live, Work and Play
Kiplinger's Personal Finance - July, 2008

Best City to Buy a Home
Forbes.com - July, 2008

Top Local Government Green Power Purchaser
Environmental Protection Agency - July, 2008

America's Best Hospitals - Cancer, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
U.S News & World Report - July, 2008

Highest Population Growth in the Nation
U.S. Census Bureau (as reported in the Houston Business Journal) - July, 2008

Best City for Recent College Grads
Forbes.com - June, 2008

Best City for Your Job
Business Week - June, 2008

Top U.S. Manufacturing Cities
Manufacturers' News Inc. (as reported in the Houston Business Journal) - May, 2008

Most Accessible City for the Disabled
The National Organization on Disability - February, 2008

  • 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.
  • The Houston CMSA covers 8,778 square miles, an area slightly smaller than Massachusetts but larger than New Jersey.
  • If Houston were an independent nation, it would rank as the world's 30th largest economy
  • The Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown MSA's Gross Area Product (GAP) in 2006 was $325.5 billion, slightly larger than Austria's, Poland's or Saudi Arabia's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
  • When comparing Houston's economy to a national economy, only 21 countries other than the United States have a gross domestic product exceeding Houston's regional gross area product.
  • Houston ranks second in employment growth rate and fourth in nominal employment growth among the 10 most populous metro areas in the U.S.
  • The ACCRA Cost of Living Index shows that Houston's overall after-taxes living costs are 12 percent below the nationwide average