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Economy at a Glance

January edition: In-depth analysis of the state and region's GDP and energy's contribution. 
Published on 1/13/20
Economy at a Glance - January '20

This month’s edition of the Greater Houston Partnership's Houston: The Economy at a Glance provides an in-depth analysis of the state and region's GDP and energy's contribution. 

Houston: The Economy at a Glance is a free monthly publication, which offers the latest data along with expert commentary on the Houston region’s economy.

To subscribe to Glance, please click here.



Houston’s gross domestic product (GDP), the broadest measure of local economic activity, reached $478.8 billion in ’18, according to data recently released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). That ranks the nine-county metro as having the seventh largest economy in the U.S., behind Dallas-Fort Worth but ahead of Boston.

As recently as ’15, Houston’s economy ranked as the fifth largest in the U.S., but the ongoing woes of the energy industry and recent slowing in construction have allowed Washington and Dallas-Ft. Worth to overtake Houston. Boston is not far behind.

Adjusted for inflation, Houston’s economy has shown little growth over the past five years, according to BEA. The agency estimates that output in the utility, finance, real estate, professional services, health care and government sectors has grown while activity in energy, construction, manufacturing and the other services sectors has shrunken.

Harris County accounted for 81.2 percent of the region’s GDP in ’18, followed by Fort Bend (5.5 percent), Montgomery (5.0 percent), Brazoria (3.5 percent), Galveston (3.2 percent), Chambers (0.5 percent), Liberty (0.4 percent), Waller (0.4 percent) and Austin (0.3 percent). 


BEA estimates Texas GDP at $1.8 trillion in ’18, second only to California ($3.0 trillion) but ahead of New York ($1.7) trillion. Texas accounted for 8.8 percent of U.S. GDP at the end of ’18, compared to 14.6 percent for California and 8.1 percent for New York.

Most of Texas’ economic power is concentrated in its four largest metros—Dallas-Ft. Worth, Houston, Austin and San Antonio. As a group they account for:

  • $1.3 trillion (67.5 percent) of Texas’ $1.9 trillion GDP in ’18,
  • 10.0 million (70.3 percent) of the state’s 14.3 million workers as of November ’19,
  • 9.3 million jobs (71.3 percent) of Texas’ 13.0 million jobs as of November ’19, and
  • 18.2 million (72.4 percent) of the state’s 28.7 million residents as of July ’18.


Continue reading this month's Economy at a Glance for more in-depth analysis of the state and region's GDP and energy's contribution. 


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