Greater Houston Partnership (GHP)

Industry Sectors

Houston's Top Industries

Industry Sectors

The Houston region is one of the most important industrial bases in the world and was recently ranked No. 1 among the top U.S. manufacturing cities (Manufacturers' News Inc., January 2013). Houston is also home to the largest medical complex in the world - the Texas Medical Center - and provides clinical health care, research and education at its 54 institutions at TMC. The first words spoken from the moon also define Houston's industry and workforce. NASA's Johnson Space Center is an aerospace hub and transfer site for NASA-developed technology. And as the Energy Capital of the Future, Houston is growing its presence in both traditional and renewable forms of energy technology.

Advanced Manufacturing and Technology

Houston is home to 6,063 manufacturers who employ almost a quarter of a million skilled workers. Houston has one of the largest concentrations of industrial space in the nation and the area has room to meet future demand. The region also is home to more than 400 software development companies tapping into a large customer base in areas of energy, space science, biotechnology and leading technology research and development operations. Business accelerators such as the Houston Technology Center work to facilitate technology entrepreneurship in the area. Manufacturing Data

Aerospace & Aviation

Houston is home to Johnson Space Center, a $1.5 billion complex housing one of NASA's largest R&D facilities and a source of the nation's best high-tech professionals in science and engineering. Houston's aviation community includes more than 150 companies involved in aircraft or space vehicle manufacturing, space research and technology.

Nasa has developed technologies for space exploration that also have applications in other industries, such as in energy.

Biotechnology & Life Sciences

Houston has more than 190 life sciences and biotechnology companies as well as academic partnerships; more than 130 cutting edge hospitals and health clinics, and some of the country’s top research facilities. In addition, the 2014 Issue of Business Facilities ranks Texas as the fourth strongest state in biotechnology growth due to strong technology infrastructure, research facilities, commercial company presence and financing. Houston is the birthplace of nanotechnology and ranks as one of the top ten metro areas handling significant research and commercialization. Life Science Data

Distribution & Logistics

Houston is a gateway for trade to Mexico, Canada and the enormous expanding markets of Latin America. The region also is a transportation hub to the U.S. heartland due to its equidistant location between the U.S. East and West coasts. Houston’s geographic advantages and proximity to major population centers throughout the U.S. Midwest makes it an ideal venue to set up manufacturing and logistics facilities with fewer supply chain costs.

Since 1986, the number of businesses in Houston engaging in international trade has grown from 1,963 to more than 3,250. Distribution & Logistics Data


Houston is the U.S. energy headquarters and a world center for virtually every segment of the oil and gas industry including exploration, production, transmission, marketing, supply and technology. While Houston is recognized for its petrochemical industry technology and advancements, non-hydrocarbon based fuels is a growing sector in large part due to the critical mass of energy talent produced by decades of research and innovation. Houston employs 89,620 engineering and architecture professionals many of which are involved in the energy industry. Energy Data


Of the twenty-five (25) largest private employers in the Houston region, thirteen (13) are headquartered in the Houston metro, including: Memorial Hermann Healthcare System, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Schlumberger, Shell Oil Company, The Methodist Hospital System, National Oilwell Varco, BP America, UTMB Health, Baylor College of Medicine, Pappas Restaurants, Baker Hughes Incorporated, Saint Luke’s Episcopal Health System, and Texas Children’s Hospital. Additionally, Houston ranks third among areas in Fortune 500 headquarters. Twenty-six Fortune 500 companies base their operations in the MSA. Headquarters Data

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