Skip to main content

Houston Home to 24 Fortune 500 Companies, 3rd Highest Concentration in the U.S.

Published Jun 08, 2021 by A.J. Mistretta

H_GHP_Buffalo Bayou_Downtown Skyline_Pedestrian Bridge_2019

Bolstered by the recent headquarters relocations of Hewlett Packard Enterprise and NRG Energy, Houston now has the third largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies in the nation, according to the publication’s latest report.

Twenty-four companies headquartered in the Houston metro area are ranked on the 2021 Fortune 500 list. Houston is now behind only New York with 64 Fortune 500 firms and Chicago with 35. Dallas ranks fourth with 22 companies. 

Houston added four companies to its Fortune 500 roster this year: Academy Sports & Outdoors, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, KBR (moved from No. 501 to No. 470), and NRG Energy. Academy Sports & Outdoors went public in October 2020 and is new to the Fortune ranking. Hewlett Packard Enterprise announced in November that it would relocate its headquarters to Houston and NRG made a similar announcement in May 2021. 

Last year, there were 22 Houston area companies on the Fortune 500 list. The biggest movers from 2020 to 2021 are KBR (up to No. 470 from No. 501), Crown Castle International (up to No. 467 from No. 496), and Waste Management (up to No. 202 from No. 207). 

“We often talk about Houston as America’s Headquarters City due to the large number of national and international companies that call our region home. This latest Fortune 500 list is just further evidence that Houston remains a draw for a diverse mix of companies looking for skilled corporate talent in a central geographic location with a low cost of doing business. The Houston economic development story is a strong one and we will continue to build on it via our target industries in the years to come.” 

The region also had two companies come of the annual list. Apache, now known as APA, went from No. 465 to No. 595. Calpine (No. 319 in 2020) was acquired by a private consortium and is no longer publicly-traded. 

The Fortune 500 list is one barometer of a region’s business activity and overall economic health. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic over the last year, the Houston region has continued to draw new business and investment. The Partnership and its regional allies assisted in 21 economic development projects in 2020, accounting for over $704 million in capital expenditure and over 3,200 new jobs to the region.
 

Learn what makes Houston an attractive place for headquarters and see the full Fortune 500 list
 

Related News

Economic Development

Texas Ranks No. 2 for Women-Led Startups

1/24/22
Texas climbed to the No. 2 slot in women-led startups in 2021 due to increased venture capital investments, according to a new annual report. In 2021, Texas was No. 6 in Merchant Maverick's best states for women-led startups report. The study uses gender-specific metrics to evaluate each state. The state’s five-year total for female-focused venture capital investments more than doubled to $814 million in this year's report from $365 million in the 2021 report. "Thanks to rising startup hubs in cities like Miami, Boulder, Phoenix, and Houston, more funding opportunities are available to female entrepreneurs than ever before," according to the report. Houston is home to more than 700 venture-backed startups, receiving $2.7 billion in capital funding from 2016 to 2020. In 2020, the most heavily invested industry for VC funding in Houston was health care, which received more than $1.1 million in funding, according to the financial database Pitchbook. Houston business leaders recognize that innovation plays a vital role in building a great global city. Last year The Ion, a tech hub opened in the heart of the Innovation Corridor, aiming to advance tech entrepreneurship by offering commercial office space for established companies and co-working space for early-stage startups. The region is also home to more than 50 other startup development organizations that have emerged in recent years, including incubators, accelerators, makerspaces, coworking spaces and more.  Here are the top 10 states for women-led startups in 2022, according to Merchant Maverick: Colorado Texas Florida Washington Maryland Montana Massachusetts  California Arizona Virginia Learn more about Houston’s innovation ecosystem.   
Read More
Biotechnology

What Does the Word Manufacturing Mean to Houston?

1/12/22
For generations, the word manufacturing was synonymous with places. In Detroit, it meant automobiles; in Ohio and Pennsylvania it meant steel. More recently, in the Silicon Valley and the Research Triangle in North Carolina, it means tech and biopharma. But what does manufacturing mean to Houston?  Houston has long been known as a global energy capital, and the energy industry has certainly played an integral role in driving the economic engine of the Texas Gulf Coast region, and greater Houston, specifically. Fifty years ago, a claim of a diversified Houston economy may have seemed far-fetched. But that is no longer the case. Energy companies across the value stream – upstream (extraction), midstream (transportation and storage), and downstream (refining and manufacturing) – have and continue to grow and create jobs, attracting workers and interrelated businesses to the region; this has generated a complex and far-reaching integrated supply chain of small and mid-size manufacturers and fabricators, vendors, and fixers that support the still-critical energy industry, but also industries that have grown up around it, including health care, transportation, and, more recently, technology.  Today, the greater Houston region is home to more than 6,400 of these manufacturers, which produce a spectrum of products ranging from petrochemicals and plastics to food to medical devices and pharmaceuticals – all worth more than $82 billion annually and making the Houston Metro the second-largest U.S. metro in terms of manufacturing GDP. These companies employ a skilled workforce including nearly 230,000 industrial workers (and growing), making it the country’s fifth largest manufacturing workforce. While economies once overly dependent on a homogenous manufacturing sector work to regain their past prosperity, Houston has a diversified economy, and it relies on a broad manufacturing sector for support. Houston doesn’t necessarily have – or need – a signature marketable manufacturing focus to attract talent and promote job growth. But, in an ever-evolving and more complex global economy, having the diversification of products and services that Houston does is a blessing. As a major logistics hub for the Americas, the Houston region’s ports, railroad network, and airports is an important asset supporting the region’s manufacturers. Houston’s diverse manufacturing base creates a natural hedge as fluctuations in the industries driving the broader American economy continue to ebb and flow. This diversity also presents myriad opportunities for vendors and customers to explore the boundaries of new markets, and for creators and startups to become the next big things as the economy evolves. Manufacturing’s presence also means less risk to outsourcing, low-cost competition, transient workforces, and consolidation. These, in turn, mean more stability long-term, and more jobs. Manufacturing in Houston means biopharma, medical devices, electronic equipment and parts, energy and plastics, logistics and transportation, and food and beverage production – and with a continually increasing population combined with an expanding port of Houston to support these varying areas of manufacturing, the underpinnings are there for continued growth moving forward. In Houston, manufacturing means makerspaces and innovation. It means good jobs. It is multifaceted and evolving all the time, and its future is bright. Learn more about Houston’s manufacturing industry here. The Partnership’s UpSkill Houston initiative serves as a regional backbone to bring together business, education and community leaders, and the public workforce system to develop a skilled workforce and create good pathways to opportunity for all. Learn more and get involved.  
Read More

Related Events