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Talking Points

A snapshot of Houston's demographic and economic growth for a quick reference guide of the regional economy | Q1/23
Published on 1/19/23
Talking Points Handout Q1-23

POPULATION AND DEMOGRAPHICS

  • 7.2 million people live in the nine-county Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land MSA.
  • The Houston metro is the nation's fifth most populous metro area.
  • Metro Houston has more residents than Tennessee, Massachusetts, and 34 other states.
  • The City of Houston has 2.3 million residents, fourth most in the U.S.
  • Nearly 1 in 4 Houstonians are foreign born.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2021 American Community Survey

GLOBAL PRESENCE

  • Fifteen foreign governments maintain trade and commercial offices in Houston, and the region has 39 active foreign chambers of commerce.
  • 17.3% of the region's economy is tied to exports, and exports support 330,000 jobs
  • Houston’s two international airports service 193 nonstop destinations, including 127 domestic and 66 international.
  • The Houston-Galveston Customs District handled $273.3 billion in trade in '21, $96.1 billion in imports and $177.2 billion in exports.
  • Port Houston is the largest container port on the Gulf Coast.
  • Over 5,000 Houston companies are doing business abroad.
  • More than 1,700 Houston companies report foreign ownership.
  • Eighty-seven nations have consular representation in Houston, the third-largest representation in the U.S.
  • Sixteen foreign banks from 9 nations are located in Houston.

ECONOMY

  • The Houston MSA’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was $463.2 billion in ’21.  
  • If Houston were an independent nation, the region would have the 26th largest economy in the world, behind Belgium and ahead of Thailand.
  • Since 2001, real GDP in the Houston region has grown at a compound annual growth rate of 2.3 percent.

  • Houston is the seventh-largest metro economy in the U.S.
  • Twenty-four Fortune 500 companies call Houston home, the third most among U.S. Metros.

EMPLOYMENT

  • There are 3.3 million jobs in the Houston MSA.
  • The Health, Education, and Business & Professional Services industries account for over 1 in 4 jobs in the region.
  • The goods-producing sector accounts for nearly 1 in 6 jobs.

INDUSTRIES

  • The Texas Medical Center is the world's largest medical complex

Digital Technology & Innovation

  • Houston is home to 8800 tech-related firms, including more than 800 venture-backed startups.
  • Houston employs more than 78,490 workers in computer and mathematical occupations.  
  • Nearly 79,000 engineers, architects, and related techs work in Houston. 

Aerospace

  • Houston’s Johnson Space Center (JSC) has served as mission control for U.S. space exploration and astronaut training since 1961.
  • More than 500 aviation and aerospace-related companies operate in Houston, including Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.
Economy Demography
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