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What to Expect from Partnership’s 2023 Houston Facts Release

Published Jul 25, 2023 by Brina Morales

White Oak Bayou Hike & Bike Greenway Trail (Courtesy: Lance Childers, Houston First Corporation)

The Houston region remains an economic powerhouse as it continues to attract new companies, investment and talent, according to the Greater Houston Partnership’s upcoming 2023 Houston Facts publication. 

Houston Facts has presented unvarnished information about the Houston region since 1959, and its predecessor publications—under different names, but with the same objective—dating back to 1906. Today, Houston Facts is a comprehensive almanac for the Houston region. 

Here are four valuable facts you can expect from this year’s edition, developed by the Partnership’s Research team and sponsored by Fifth Third Bank. The Research team, led by Chief Economist Patrick Jankowski, will provide a first look and additional insight into the 2023 Houston Facts publication on August 2. Click here to register for the special presentation.

Houston saw the second-best year on record for employment growth in 2022, with the metro area adding 145,700 jobs. Several factors are driving Houston’s growth including, a strong U.S. economy, close ties to the global economy, a surge in corporate activity and sustained population growth. The Partnership identified 540 companies that have announced relocations, expansions, or start-up operations in the region in 2021 and 2022. 

The Houston region is home to 7.3 million people and had the second largest numeric increase in population of any U.S. metro between July 2021 and July 2022, according to the most recent Census figures. Houston is also home to many people who were born outside of the U.S. – nearly one in four Houstonians, or 1.7 million residents, are foreign-born. 

Cost of Living
The region remains the second most affordable major metro among the nation’s 20 most populous metro areas. Houston’s living costs are 34.1 percent below the average of those 20 metro areas, and our overall living costs are 7.9 percent below the U.S. average. Housing costs also remain low with the region 89 percent below the average for the nation’s most populous metro areas and 17.9 percent below the average for all U.S. metros. 

Energy Transition Investment
As the region positions itself as the leader in the global energy transition, Houston has seen constant growth in annual energy transition investments over the last five years. Houston-based energy transition startups, businesses, and companies secured $6.1 billion in financing from private market investments in 2022, showing a 61.9 percent increase compared to the previous year.

Learn more about the Economy Series on August 2 to delve deeper into the insights of the 2023 Houston Facts publication, presented by Fifth Third Bank.

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Fort Bend County Identifies Key Elements to Sustain Future Growth

Fort Bend County continuously ranks as one of the fastest-growing counties in the region, as its population has tripled since 2000 and is expected to skyrocket to 1.8 million residents by 2050, according to Woods & Poole.  To sustain future growth, county leaders must prioritize key elements including redevelopment, health care access, educational attainment and community collaboration, as discussed at the Partnership’s annual Future of the Houston Region.   Sugar Land Office of Economic Development Director Elizabeth Huff highlighted the city’s ongoing efforts to redevelop historical buildings including the nearly 100-year-old Imperial Sugar char house. The redevelopment would transform the iconic building into a dynamic mixed-use development, although the project is still in the works.  "Redevelopment is our big focus,” said Huff. “Our vision is to build a life better than anyone can imagine." Adding to redevelopment, Memorial Hermann is increasing its footprint in Sugar Land to meet the demand of Fort Bend’s rapidly growing population. In 2022, Memorial Hermann announced a $231 million expansion project that includes a new medical plaza that is expected to be completed in 2024, a tower that will add medical beds and a neonatal unit, and expand key outpatient areas such as emergency rooms, CT and X-ray capabilities and more.  “17 years ago, we moved from our [site] in Sugar Land because we had outgrown our location,” said Malisha Patel, SVP and CEO of Memorial Hermann Sugar Land. “We're now a 179-bed hospital with more services to meet the needs of the community. We've seen this growth throughout the county, not just at Memorial Hermann.” In an evolving transition, Patel pointed to the lack of healthcare workers and urged that there is an opportunity to bridge this gap through collaboration with local school districts and higher education institutions to meet the growing community’s healthcare needs. Lamar CISD Superintendent Roosevelt Nivens echoed collaboration is key to bolstering the region’s future workforce. Nivens emphasized that many of his students have never left Fort Bend County, so Lamar CISD is actively working to develop new programs and activities to give students the opportunity to see what is possible outside of the area. Although Fort Bend County leads the region in educational attainment with 48 percent of adults having a bachelor's degree or higher, work still needs to be done to ensure the county’s workforce remains educated. "Everything is on the table in Lamar,” said Nivens. “Our doors are open to anyone that wants to partner with us as long as you have good intentions for my kids." Through community collaboration, Fort Bend County can successfully sustain its growth. As Missouri City Mayor Robin Elackatt stated, “Fort Bend County has greater opportunities ahead for those living there today and for those coming in the future." Discover more about Fort Bend County.
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