Skip to main content

Snapshot of Demographics, Cost of Living Highlighted in Houston Facts '19

Published Aug 06, 2019 by Maggie Martin

The Greater Houston Partnership has released Houston Facts 2019, an annual publication that takes a deep dive on data around our region, from population and demographics to cost of living and the economy.

Houston Facts has presented unvarnished information about the Houston region since 1959, and its predecessor publications – under different names, but with the same objective – date back to 1906. It has evolved into a concise almanac for the Houston region. Corporate planners, market analysts, students, relocation and site selection consultants, real estate professionals, government agencies and myriad others turn to it for authoritative information on this region.

The Partnership’s Research team presented highlights from this year’s publication at the Houston Economy Council on August 6. 

Here are just a few of those highlights.

Demographics

The Houston region is home to nearly 7 million people and is the 5th largest metro area (ahead of Washington, D.C., Miami, Philadelphia and Atlanta). According to Houston Facts, for the first time ever, the largest percentage of residents in Houston is Hispanic or Latino (37 percent). Houston is also home to many people who were born outside of the U.S. – nearly one in four Houstonians, or 1.6 million residents, are foreign-born. Learn more about Houston’s demographics on page 5 of the report

Cost of Living

When it comes to affordability, Houston is really high on the list. According to Houston Facts 2019, Houston is the third most affordable major metro among the nations 20 most populous metropolitan areas. Our living costs are over 26 percent below the average of those 20 metro areas, and our overall living costs are nearly four percent below the average for all U.S. metros. Housing costs are also a standout for Houston – they’re more than 46 percent below the average for the nation’s most populous metro areas and just over three percent below the average for all U.S. metros. Learn more about Houston’s cost of living on page 36 of the report

Economy

Over the past decade, Houston has endured two economic downturns (the Great Recession and the Fracking Bust) and two major storms (Hurricanes Ike and Harvey), yet the region has demonstrated remarkable growth and resiliency over that period. From ’08 to ’18, Houston gained 1.4 million residents, created more than 500,000 jobs and added $100 billion to its gross domestic product (GDP). The current economic outlook for Houston remains bright, and the region is on pace to add 71,000 jobs, build more than 30,000 single-family homes and handle more than $240 billion in foreign trade in 2019. Learn more about Houston’s economy on page 9 of the report

Health Care

Health care is a prominent industry in the Houston region. According to Houston Facts, the Texas Medical Center sees about 10 million patient visits annually, employs over 106,000 people and contributes $25 billion GDP to the Houston economy. TMC is also the 8th largest business district in the U.S. with 1,345 total acres. The future of TMC is TMC3, a multi-institutional 30-acre research campus that brings together the best institutions in clinical care, research and industry. The project, projected to be complete in 2022, is expected to create about 26,000 jobs and bring in more than $5 million to the Houston’s economy. Learn more about Houston’s health care on page 15 of Houston Facts

Digital Tech and Innovation

As the home of NASA’s Johnson Space Center and headquarters to the global energy industry, Houston has long been a global hub of engineering talent. In recent years, those skills have given rise to a thriving ecosystem of digital technology companies, and Houston’s innovation ecosystem continues to grow at an impressive rate. According to Houston Facts, Houston has the 12th largest tech sector in the U.S. with more than 227,000 tech workers. Nearly two-thirds of Houston’s high-tech workers are employed in industries other than computers and software. In addition to startups, coworking spaces, incubators and accelerators, Houston is also home to Houston Exponential, formed in 2017 to grow the city’s digital startup ecosystem. The Innovation District in Midtown is also core to Houston’s innovation ecosystem, with The Ion to serve as the central hub of the district. Learn more about Houston’s innovation ecosystem on page 21 of the report

Click here for the full Houston Facts 2019 report. Learn more about the Houston Economy Council here

 

Related News

Airports

Houston's Hobby Airport Starts 2020 With New Airline, Maintenance Facility

1/15/20
Houston’s William P. Hobby Airport is marking the start of the new year with a couple of big announcements. Earlier this week, Allegiant announced it added Houston as one of a few cities it’ll begin serving in 2020. According to its press release, the new seasonal nonstop routes from Hobby Airport include Knoxville, TN, Asheville, NC, Savannah, GA, and Destin/Fort Walton Beach, FL. Allegiant says it’s also expanding to Boston and Chicago. It’s the largest expansion in the airline’s 23-year history, driven by the company’s focus on leisure travel. Allegiant’s announcement comes just days after Southwest Airlines unveiled a $125 million, 240,000-square-foot maintenance facility at Hobby. It’s the largest in the Dallas-based carrier’s network, and includes offices, training facilities and warehouse space. “It’s proof of our devotion and our dedication to Houston,” Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said during the grand opening celebration, as reported by the Houston Chronicle. “And the opportunity that we see here, and the excitement that we have to continue to grow.” Kelly told reporters that Houston is one of three key cities where Southwest is focused on adding flights over the next 10 years, according to the Houston Business Journal. Southwest’s CEO said he ultimately wants to connect Houston to South America. “I don’t see that in the next year or so, but definitely down the road it’s something that we would be interested to do,” Kelly said. Houston is the international air gateway to the South Central U.S. and Latin America. With the addition of international air service at Hobby Airport in ’15, Houston became the only city in Texas with two airports offering international service and one of only eight such cities nationwide. According to Houston Facts, domestic travel at Hobby Airport increased by more than 7% to over 13 million passengers in ’18. Airlines that offer direct domestic flights from Hobby include American Airlines, Delta Airlines, JetBlue Airways and Southwest Airlines. Southwest is currently the only airline out of Hobby offering direct international flights. The Partnership's 2019 Economic Highlights report says the Houston Airport System (HAS) offers nonstop flights to some 190 domestic and international destinations in 37 countries. Hobby is ranked as the 35th busiest airport in the nation.  Learn more about air transportation in Houston in Houston Facts. Read how Hobby performed last year in the 2019 Economic Highlights report and get a monthly aviation update. 
Read More
Home Sales

Houston a Leader Among Global Cities in Affordability

1/4/20
When it comes to affordability, Houston is in a league of its own among the world’s major cities.   A new report examining average per-square-foot home prices among major global cities shows Houston leads the U.S. in how much house one could get for $250,000. The report from real estate data firm Property Club looked at the 50 cities in the A.T. Kearney Global Cities Index and calculated how much square footage a buyer could get in each for $250,000. With an average sale price of $208/square foot, Houston offered the biggest house among U.S. cities for that price tag—1,204 square feet. Only one other global city, Istanbul, Turkey, where the average price per square foot is $141, was cheaper.  The rest of the top five most affordable global cities were Mexico City ($221/square foot), Sao Paulo, Brazil ($233/square foot) and Dallas ($246/square foot). Houston was well ahead of other major U.S. cities such as New York, where with an average per-square-foot sales price of $1,356, $250,000 buys you just 184 square feet. In Chicago the average price per square foot is $367 while San Francisco weighs in at $1,200 and Los Angeles at $723.  According to the report authors at Property Club, buyers won’t get more space for the money anywhere else in the U.S. than the Lone Star State, “so if homebuying is your ultimate dream, then why not consider a move to Texas?”  Click here to see the full report and ranking and learn more about Houston area home sales volume and pricing.   
Read More

Related Events

Economic Development

State of Houston's Petrochemical Industry

Houston is one of the biggest petrochemical hubs in the country, accounting for about 42 percent of the nation’s petrochemical manufacturing capacity. Save the date for the Greater…

Learn More
Learn More
Executive Partners