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Houston
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{{About|the largest city in the U.S. state of Texas}}{{Use mdy dates|date=March 2018}}







factoids
U.S. state>StateTexas}}List of counties in Texas>CountiesHarris County, Texas, Fort Bend County, Texas>Fort Bend, Montgomery}}Mayor–council government>Mayor–council| governing_body = Houston City CouncilList of mayors of Houston>MayorSylvester Turner (Democratic Party (United States)>D)| area_magnitude = 1 E8| unit_pref = Imperial| area_metro_sq_mi = 1062| area_total_sq_mi = 627| area_total_km2 = 1623.92| area_land_km2 = 1552.9| area_land_sq_mi = 599.59| area_water_sq_mi = | area_water_km2 = PUBLISHER=UNITED STATES CENSUS BUREAU, July 16, 2015, 2010 United States Census>2010| population_total = 2,099,451| pop_est_as_of = 2017TITLE=HOUSTON CITY, TEXASURL=HTTPS://WWW.CENSUS.GOV/QUICKFACTS/FACT/TABLE/HOUSTONCITYTEXAS/PST045216, List of United States cities by population>4thList of United States urban areas>7th U.S.)Table of United States Metropolitan Statistical Areas>5th U.S.)| population_note = WEBSITE=UNITED STATES CENSUS BUREAU, | population_density_km2 = 1,414| population_blank1_title = DemonymDATE=JUNE 17, 2014 URL=HTTP://WWW.HOUSTONPRESS.COM/NEWS/TOP-10-WAYS-TO-IDENTIFY-A-NATIVE-HOUSTONIAN-6716767 HOUSTON PRESS >ACCESS-DATE=SEPTEMBER 2, 2017, North American Central Time Zone>CST| utc_offset = −6North American Central Time Zone>CDT| utc_offset_DST = −5| postal_code_type = ZIP CodesPost-office box>P.O. Boxes)Area codes 713, 281, 346, and 832>713, 281, 832, 34629469559region:US-TX|display=inline,title}}| elevation_m = 32| elevation_ft = 80Municipal corporation>Incorporated| established_date = June 5, 1837Federal Information Processing Standard>FIPS codeUNITED STATES CENSUS BUREAU>ACCESSDATE=JANUARY 31, 2008, American FactFinder, Geographic Names Information System>GNIS feature IDTITLE=US BOARD ON GEOGRAPHIC NAMESUNITED STATES GEOLOGICAL SURVEY>DATE=OCTOBER 25, 2007, | website = houstontx.gov| footnotes = | blank_name_sec2 = Major airports| blank_info_sec2 = George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), William P. Hobby Airport (HOU)Interstate Highway System>Interstates26px26px26px31px|link=Interstate 610 in Texas)| blank2_name_sec2 = U.S. routes26px26px32px|link=U.S. Route 290)| blank3_name_sec2 = Rapid transit26px26px26px|link=METRORail Green Line)| named_for = Sam Houston}}Houston ({{IPAc-en|audio=En-us-Houston.ogg|ˈ|h|juː|s|t|É™n}} {{respell|HEW|stÉ™n}}) is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Texas and the fourth most populous city in the United States, with a census-estimated population of 2.312 million in 2017.WEB,weblink QuickFacts, Houston city, Texas, November 25, 2017, July 1, 2016, U.S. Census Bureau, It is the most populous city in the Southern United StatesNEWS,weblink Aggressive annexation generates growing pains, Morris, Mike, July 3, 2016, Houston Chronicle, July 3, 2018, and on the Gulf Coast of the United States. Located in Southeast Texas near Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, it is the seat of Harris County and the principal city of the Greater Houston metropolitan area, which is the fifth most populous metropolitan statistical area (MSA) in the United States and the second most populous in Texas after the Dallas-Fort Worth MSA. With a total area of {{convert|627|sqmi|km2}}, Houston is the eighth most expansive city in the United States (including consolidated city-counties). It is the largest city in the United States by total area, whose government is similarly not consolidated with that of a county or borough. Though primarily in Harris County, small portions of the city extend into Fort Bend and Montgomery counties.Houston was founded by land speculators on August 30, 1836,WEB,weblink Facts and Figures, www.houstontx.gov, 2019-02-21, at the confluence of Buffalo Bayou and White Oak Bayou (a point now known as Allen's Landing){{Handbook of Texas | author=Kleiner, D.J | name=Allen's Landing | id=hvabg| retrieved=2007-06-10|date=February 3, 2005}} and incorporated as a city on June 5, 1837.WEB, June 1, 2008,weblink Houston, Texas, January 19, 2008, McComb, David G.Sam Houston, who was president of the Republic of Texas and had won Texas Revolution>Texas' independence from Mexico at the Battle of San Jacinto {{convertmiCapital city>capital of the Texas Republic in the late 1830s, Houston grew steadily into a regional trading center for the remainder of the 19th century.HTTPS://WWW.HOUSTONCHRONICLE.COM/LOCAL/HISTORY/ARTICLE/PROMISE-AND-A-FEW-FIBS-LAUNCHED-THIS-CITY-S-7730948.PHP>TITLE=PROMISE — AND A FEW FIBS — LAUNCHED THIS CITY'S DESTINYFIRST=LISAWORK=HOUSTON CHRONICLE, July 3, 2018, The arrival of the 20th century saw a convergence of economic factors which fueled rapid growth in Houston, including a burgeoning port and railroad industry, the decline of Galveston as Texas' primary port following a devastating 1900 hurricane, the subsequent construction of the Houston Ship Channel, and the Texas oil boom. In the mid-20th century, Houston's economy diversified as it became home to the Texas Medical Center—the world's largest concentration of healthcare and research institutions—and NASA's Johnson Space Center, where the Mission Control Center is located.Houston's economy has a broad industrial base in energy, manufacturing, aeronautics, and transportation. Leading in healthcare sectors and building oilfield equipment, Houston has the second most Fortune 500 headquarters of any U.S. municipality within its city limits (after New York City).Fortune 500 2010: Cities Accessed May 25, 2011WEB, A.T. Kearney Global Cities Index 2010, A.T. Kearney, May 25, 2011,weblink The Port of Houston ranks first in the United States in international waterborne tonnage handled and second in total cargo tonnage handled.WEB, 2010 Port Industry Statistics, American Association of Port Authorities,weblink Nicknamed the "Space City", Houston is a global city, with strengths in culture, medicine, and research. The city has a population from various ethnic and religious backgrounds and a large and growing international community. Houston is the most diverse metropolitan area in Texas and has been described as the most racially and ethnically diverse major metropolis in the U.S.NEWS,weblink Huffington Post, Houston Surpasses New York And Los Angeles As The 'Most Diverse In Nation', April 12, 2018, March 5, 2012, It is home to many cultural institutions and exhibits, which attract more than 7 million visitors a year to the Museum District. Houston has an active visual and performing arts scene in the Theater District and offers year-round resident companies in all major performing arts."WEB,weblink Museums and Cultural Arts, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20100711230112weblink">weblink July 11, 2010, mdy-all,  {{small|(31.8 KB)}}", Greater Houston Partnership. Retrieved on March 21, 2009.

History

1769–1821{{Flagicon image>Bandera del Primer Imperio Mexicano.svg
First Mexican Empire>Mexican Empire 1821–1823{{Flagicon imagesize=23px}} First Mexican Republic 1823–1836{{flag>Republic of Texas}}1836–1846{{flag|United States of America}} 1846–1861{{flag|Confederate States of America}} 1861–1865{{flag|United States of America}} 1865–present}}File:SHouston 2.jpg|alt=|left|thumb|Sam HoustonSam HoustonThe Allen brothers—Augustus Chapman and John Kirby—explored town sites on Buffalo Bayou and Galveston Bay. According to historian David McComb, "[T]he brothers, on August 26, 1836, bought from Elizabeth E. Parrott, wife of T.F.L. Parrott and widow of John Austin, the south half of the lower league [{{convert|2214|acre|ha|adj=on}} tract] granted to her by her late husband. They paid $5,000 total, but only $1,000 of this in cash; notes made up the remainder."BOOK, Houston: A History, David G., McComb, University of Texas Press, Austin, 1981, 2nd, 11, The Allen brothers ran their first advertisement for Houston just four days later in the Telegraph and Texas Register, naming the notional town in honor of President Sam Houston. They successfully lobbied the Republic of Texas Congress to designate Houston as the temporary capital, agreeing to provide the new government with a capital building.WEB, Allen, Augustus Chapman, Amelia W., Williams, Texas State Historical Association, Handbook of Texas Online, April 12, 2018, August 24, 2016,weblink About a dozen persons resided in the town at the beginning of 1837, but that number grew to about 1,500 by the time the Texas Congress convened in Houston for the first time that May. Houston was granted incorporation on June 5, 1837, with James S. Holman becoming its first mayor. In the same year, Houston became the county seat of Harrisburg County (now Harris County).JOURNAL
, Looscan
, Adele B.
, Harris County, 1822–1845
, Southwestern Historical Quarterly
, 19
, 37–64
, 1914
,weblink
, March 18, 2016,
In 1839, the Republic of Texas relocated its capital to Austin. The town suffered another setback that year when a yellow fever epidemic claimed about one life out of every eight residents. Yet it persisted as a commercial center, forming a symbiosis with its Gulf Coast port, Galveston. Landlocked farmers brought their produce to Houston, using Buffalo Bayou to gain access to Galveston and the Gulf of Mexico. Houston merchants profited from selling staples to farmers and shipping the farmers' produce to Galveston.The great majority of slaves in Texas came with their owners from the older slave states. Sizable numbers, however, came through the domestic slave trade. New Orleans was the center of this trade in the Deep South, but slave dealers were in Houston. Thousands of enslaved blacks lived near the city before the American Civil War. Many of them near the city worked on sugar and cotton plantations, while most of those in the city limits had domestic and artisan jobs.In 1840, the community established a chamber of commerce in part to promote shipping and navigation at the newly created port on Buffalo Bayou.WEB,weblink John, Perry, Born on the Bayou: city's murky start, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20111218055155weblink">weblink December 18, 2011, City Savvy, Online, Summer 2006, City of Houston, (File:Old map-Houston-1873.jpg|thumb|left|Houston, {{circa|1873}})By 1860, Houston had emerged as a commercial and railroad hub for the export of cotton. Railroad spurs from the Texas inland converged in Houston, where they met rail lines to the ports of Galveston and Beaumont. During the American Civil War, Houston served as a headquarters for General John Magruder, who used the city as an organization point for the Battle of Galveston.BOOK, Cotham, Edward T., Sabine Pass: The Confederacy's Thermopylae, 2004, University of Texas Press, Austin, Texas, 978-0-292-70594-4, After the Civil War, Houston businessmen initiated efforts to widen the city's extensive system of bayous so the city could accept more commerce between Downtown and the nearby port of Galveston. By 1890, Houston was the railroad center of Texas.In 1900, after Galveston was struck by a devastating hurricane, efforts to make Houston into a viable deep-water port were accelerated.J.H.W. Stele to Sayers, September 11–12, 1900. Texas State Library & Archives Commission, Retrieved on August 31, 2007 The following year, the discovery of oil at the Spindletop oil field near Beaumont prompted the development of the Texas petroleum industry.BOOK, Oil in Texas: The Gusher Age, 1895–1945, Olien, Diana Davids, Olien, Roger M., 2002, University of Texas Press, Austin, Texas, 978-0-292-76056-1, In 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt approved a $1 million improvement project for the Houston Ship Channel. By 1910, the city's population had reached 78,800, almost doubling from a decade before. African Americans formed a large part of the city's population, numbering 23,929 people, which was nearly one-third of Houston's residents.WEB,weblink Marvin Hurley, 1910–1920, Houston History, April 6, 2008, President Woodrow Wilson opened the deep-water Port of Houston in 1914, seven years after digging began. By 1930, Houston had become Texas' most populous city and Harris County the most populous county.WEB
, Gibson
, Campbell
, Population of the 100 Largest Cities and Other Urban Places in the United States: 1790 to 1990
, U.S. Census Bureau
, June 1998
,weblink
,
, no
,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20181005195810weblink">weblink
, 5 October 2018
, mdy-all
, In 1940, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Houston's population as 77.5% white and 22.4% black.When World War II started, tonnage levels at the port decreased and shipping activities were suspended; however, the war did provide economic benefits for the city. Petrochemical refineries and manufacturing plants were constructed along the ship channel because of the demand for petroleum and synthetic rubber products by the defense industry during the war.WEB
, Houston Ship Channel
, TSHA Handbook of Texas
,weblink
, May 5, 2015, Ellington Field, initially built during World War I, was revitalized as an advanced training center for bombardiers and navigators.WEB
, Carlson
, Erik
, Ellington Field: A Short History, 1917–1963
, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
, February 1999
,weblink
, February 18, 2007, The Brown Shipbuilding Company was founded in 1942 to build ships for the U.S. Navy during World War II. Due to the boom in defense jobs, thousands of new workers migrated to the city, both blacks and whites competing for the higher-paying jobs. President Roosevelt had established a policy of nondiscrimination for defense contractors, and blacks gained some opportunities, especially in shipbuilding, although not without resistance from whites and increasing social tensions that erupted into occasional violence. Economic gains of blacks who entered defense industries continued in the postwar years.JOURNAL, Race, Roosevelt, and Wartime Production: Fair Employment in World War II Labor Markets, William J., Collins, The American Economic Review, 91, 1, March 2001, 272–286, American Economic Association, 2677909, 10.1257/aer.91.1.272,
In 1945, the M.D. Anderson Foundation formed the Texas Medical Center. After the war, Houston's economy reverted to being primarily port-driven. In 1948, the city annexed several unincorporated areas, more than doubling its size. Houston proper began to spread across the region.WEB
, Streetman
, Ashley
, Houston Timeline
, Houston Institute for Culture
,weblink
, February 6, 2007,
In 1950, the availability of air conditioning provided impetus for many companies to relocate to Houston, where wages were lower than those in the North; this resulted in an economic boom and produced a key shift in the city's economy toward the energy sector."How Air Conditioning Changed America", The Old House Web, Retrieved on April 4, 2007"A Short History" {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20070216122901weblink |date=February 16, 2007 }}, Houston Geological Auxiliary, Retrieved on April 4, 2007The increased production of the expanded shipbuilding industry during World War II spurred Houston's growth,WEB
, Shipbuilding
, TSHA Handbook of Texas
,weblink
, February 18, 2007, as did the establishment in 1961 of NASA's "Manned Spacecraft Center" (renamed the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in 1973). This was the stimulus for the development of the city's aerospace industry. The Astrodome, nicknamed the "Eighth Wonder of the World",JOURNAL
, Barks
, Joseph V.
, Powering the (New and Improved) "Eighth Wonder of the World"
, Electrical Apparatus
, November 2001, opened in 1965 as the world's first indoor domed sports stadium.
During the late 1970s, Houston had a population boom as people from the Rust Belt states moved to Texas in large numbers.WEB,weblink Polish-Texans, Texas Almanac 2004–2005, July 3, 2018, The new residents came for numerous employment opportunities in the petroleum industry, created as a result of the Arab oil embargo. With the increase in professional jobs, Houston has become a destination for many college-educated persons, most recently including African Americans in a reverse Great Migration from northern areas.In 1997, Houstonians elected Lee P. Brown as the city's first African American mayor.WEB,weblink Lee P. Brown – Biography, TheHistoryMakers.com, January 22, 2007, In June 2001, Tropical Storm Allison dumped up to {{convert|40|in|mm}} of rain on parts of Houston, causing what was then the worst flooding in the city's history. The storm cost billions of dollars in damage and killed 20 people in Texas.NEWS, Allison's Death Toll Hits 43, Ward, Christina,weblink RedCross.org, June 18, 2001, January 1, 2007,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20061204040810weblink">weblink December 4, 2006, no, mdy, By December of the same year, Houston-based energy company Enron collapsed into the largest U.S. bankruptcy (at that time), a result of being investigated for off-the-books partnerships which were allegedly used to hide debt and inflate profits. The company lost no less than $70 billion.WEB, Texas State Historical Association, Enron Corporation, Frontain, Michael, Handbook of Texas Online, February 9, 2017, April 28, 2018,weblink In August 2005, Houston became a shelter to more than 150,000 people from New Orleans, who evacuated from Hurricane Katrina.NEWS
, Katrina's Human Legacy
, Houston Chronicle
, August 27, 2006
,weblink
, August 29, 2007, One month later, about 2.5 million Houston-area residents evacuated when Hurricane Rita approached the Gulf Coast, leaving little damage to the Houston area. This was the largest urban evacuation in the history of the United States.NEWS
, Flakus
, Greg
, Recovery Beginning in Areas Affected by Hurricane Rita
, Voice of America News
, September 25, 2005
,weblink
, January 10, 2007
, yes
,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070110220637weblink">weblink
, January 10, 2007
, mdy-all
, 8th Congressional District of Texas 2007 Appropriations Project Requests {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20070107112644weblink |date=January 7, 2007 }}. Congressman Kevin Brady, 8th District of Texas. Retrieved on January 10, 2007. In September 2008, Houston was hit by Hurricane Ike. As many as 40% of residents refused to leave Galveston Island because they feared the type of traffic problems that had happened after Hurricane Rita.During its recent history, Houston has flooded several times from heavy rainfall, which has been becoming increasingly common.WEB, Aaron, Davis, Jack, Gillum, Andrew, Tran, How Houston's 'Wild West' growth may have contributed to devastating flooding,weblink Washington Post, 10 September 2018, en, At the same time, severe storms are becoming more frequent, experts said. The city's building laws are designed to guard against what was once considered a worst-case scenario — a 100-year storm, or one that planners projected would have only a 1 percent chance of happening in any given year. Those storms have become quite common, however. Harvey, which dumped up to 50 inches of rain in some places as of Tuesday afternoon, is the third such storm to hit Houston in the past three years. In May 2015, seven people died after 12 inches of rain fell in 10 hours during what is known as the Memorial Day Flood. Eight people died in April 2016 during a storm that dropped 17 inches of rain., This has been exacerbated by a lack of zoning laws, which allowed unregulated building of residential homes and other structures in flood-prone areas.WEB, Aaron, Davis, Jack, Gillum, Andrew, Tran, How Houston's 'Wild West' growth may have contributed to devastating flooding,weblink Washington Post, 10 September 2018, en, Growth that is virtually unchecked, including in flood-prone areas, has diminished the land's already-limited natural ability to absorb water, according to environmentalists and experts in land use and natural disasters. ... Since 2010, at least 7,000 residential buildings have been constructed in Harris County on properties that sit mostly on land the federal government has designated as a 100-year flood plain, according to a Washington Post review of areas at the greatest risk of flooding., During the floods in 2015 and 2016, each of which dropped at least a foot of rain,WEB, Aaron, Davis, Jack, Gillum, Andrew, Tran, How Houston's 'Wild West' growth may have contributed to devastating flooding,weblink Washington Post, 10 September 2018, en, In May 2015, seven people died after 12 inches of rain fell in 10 hours during what is known as the Memorial Day Flood. Eight people died in April 2016 during a storm that dropped 17 inches of rain., parts of the city were covered in several inches of water.WEB,weblink Nearly 900 Rescued in Houston in Deadly Flooding, A. B. C., News, April 19, 2016, ABC News, Even worse flooding happened in late August 2017, when Hurricane Harvey stalled over southeastern Texas, much like Tropical Storm Allison did sixteen years earlier, causing severe flooding in the Houston area, with some areas receiving over {{convert|50|in|mm}} of rain.NEWS, Texas flood disaster: Harvey has unloaded 9 trillion gallons of water, August 27, 2017,weblink The Washington Post, August 27, 2017, The rainfall exceeded 50 inches in several areas locally, breaking the national record for rainfall. The damage for the Houston area is estimated at up to $125 billion U.S. dollars,WEB, Texas Tribune, Hurricane Harvey was year's costliest U.S. disaster at $125 billion in damages, Mooney, Chris, January 8, 2018,weblink January 30, 2018, and it is considered to be one of the worst natural disasters in the history of the United States,"WEB,weblink Harvey certain to be one of the most expensive natural disasters ever, mdy-all,  {{small|(31.8 KB)}}", CNN News. Retrieved on August 25, 2017. with the death toll exceeding 70 people. On January 31, 2018, the Houston City Council agreed to forgive large water bills thousands of households faced in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, as Houston Public Works found 6,362 homeowners' water utility bills had at least doubled.WEB,weblink Houston City Council agrees to cut water bills bloated by Harvey, Chron.com, February 3, 2018, WEB,weblink Houston City Council may cut Harvey-spiked water bills, HoustonChronicle.com, February 3, 2018,

Geography

(File:ISS-55 Houston, Texas and Galveston Bay.jpg|thumb|Satellite image of Houston, 2018)Houston is located {{convert|165|mi|km}} east of Austin,Lomax, John Nova. "This Is Texas." Texas Monthly. February 2013. Retrieved on April 30, 2013. "No, the rightful standard-bearer of our state—the city with the greatest number of people, of cultural happenings, of medical facilities, of gangbuster enterprises—is located 165 miles to the east of Texas's pink-granite dome." – The first part is discussing Houston. The "pink granite dome" is the Texas State Capitol in Austin. {{convert|88|mi|km}} west of the Louisiana border,WEB,weblink Distance from Houston, TX, USA to Walter Umphrey State Park, Martin Luther King Junior Drive, Port Arthur, TX, USA, en, 2018-12-02, and {{convert|250|mi|km}} south of Dallas.Martin, Roland. " Football power in Texas has shifted to Houston." CNN. January 6, 2012. Retrieved on January 7, 2012. The city has a total area of {{convert|627|sqmi|km2}}; this comprises {{convert|599.59|sqmi|km2}} of landWEB,weblink U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Houston city, Texas, Census Bureau QuickFacts, en-US, 2018-07-06, and {{convert|22.3|sqmi|km2}} covered by water.Houston (city) QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20100220105716weblink |date=February 20, 2010 }}. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on February 28, 2009. The Piney Woods are north of Houston. Most of Houston is located on the gulf coastal plain, and its vegetation is classified as temperate grassland and forest. Much of the city was built on forested land, marshes, swamp, or prairie and are all still visible in surrounding areas.{{citation needed|date=May 2018}} Flat terrain and extensive greenfield development have combined to worsen flooding.Flood Forecasting for the Buffalo Bayou Using CRWR-PrePro and HEC-HMS {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20070204065252weblink |date=February 4, 2007 }}. Center for Research in Water Resources, The University of Texas at Austin Retrieved on January 10, 2007. Downtown stands about {{convert|50|ft|m}} above sea level,Downtown Houston, Texas. TopoQuest.com Retrieved on July 5, 2008. and the highest point in far northwest Houston is about {{convert|125|ft|m}} in elevation.USGS Satsuma (TX) Topo Map. TopoQuest.com. 2008. Retrieved on July 5, 2008. Note: The boundaries of the City of Houston are shown as "HOUSTON CORP BDY" along the dotted line.Super Neighborhood# 1-Willowbrook {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20121029045352weblink |date=October 29, 2012 }}. City of Houston. Retrieved on May 15, 2012. The city once relied on groundwater for its needs, but land subsidence forced the city to turn to ground-level water sources such as Lake Houston, Lake Conroe, and Lake Livingston.WEB,weblink HOUSTON-GALVESTON, TEXAS Managing Coastal Subsidence,  {{small|(5.89 MB)}}. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved on January 11, 2007. The city owns surface water rights for 1.20 billion gallons of water a day in addition to 150 million gallons a day of groundwater.WEB,weblink Drinking Water Operations, Publicworks.houstontx.gov, October 12, 2013, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20131014130133weblink">weblink October 14, 2013, mdy-all, Houston has four major bayous passing through the city that accept water from the extensive drainage system. Buffalo Bayou runs through Downtown and the Houston Ship Channel, and has three tributaries: White Oak Bayou, which runs through the Houston Heights community northwest of Downtown and then towards Downtown; Brays Bayou, which runs along the Texas Medical Center;WEB,weblink 2009 Professional Awards, asla.org, September 15, 2015, and Sims Bayou, which runs through the south of Houston and Downtown Houston. The ship channel continues past Galveston and then into the Gulf of Mexico.

Geology

(File:Houston Texas 14Mar2018 SkySat.jpg|thumb|Aerial view of central Houston, showing Downtown and surrounding neighborhoods, March 2018)Houston is a flat marshy area where an extensive drainage system has been built. The adjoining prairie land drains into the city which is prone to flooding.WEB,weblink The trouble with living in a swamp: Houston floods explained, Houston Chronicle, Dylan, Baddour, May 31, 2016, August 31, 2017, Underpinning Houston's land surface are unconsolidated clays, clay shales, and poorly cemented sands up to several miles deep. The region's geology developed from river deposits formed from the erosion of the Rocky Mountains. These sediments consist of a series of sands and clays deposited on decaying organic marine matter, that over time, transformed into oil and natural gas. Beneath the layers of sediment is a water-deposited layer of halite, a rock salt. The porous layers were compressed over time and forced upward. As it pushed upward, the salt dragged surrounding sediments into salt dome formations, often trapping oil and gas that seeped from the surrounding porous sands. The thick, rich, sometimes black, surface soil is suitable for rice farming in suburban outskirts where the city continues to grow.Harris County. Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved on January 10, 2007.RICE CULTURE. Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved on January 10, 2007.The Houston area has over 150 active faults (estimated to be 300 active faults) with an aggregate length of up to {{convert|310|mi|km}},WEB, Mapping Active Faults in the Houston Area using LIDAR Data, #50034 (2006), July 10, 2010, R., Engelkemeir, Online Journal for E&P Geoscientists,weblink Earl R. Verbeek, Karl W. Ratzlaff, Uel S. Clanton. "Faults in Parts of North-Central and Western Houston Metropolitan Area, Texas", United States Geological Survey, September 16, 2005. Retrieved on December 14, 2006.Sachin D. Shah and Jennifer Lanning-Rush. Principal Faults in the Houston, Texas, Metropolitan Area, U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved on February 23, 2012. including the Long Point–Eureka Heights fault system which runs through the center of the city. No significant historically recorded earthquakes have occurred in Houston, but researchers do not discount the possibility of such quakes having occurred in the deeper past, nor occurring in the future. Land in some areas southeast of Houston is sinking because water has been pumped out of the ground for many years. It may be associated with slip along the faults; however, the slippage is slow and not considered an earthquake, where stationary faults must slip suddenly enough to create seismic waves.weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070715065340weblink">Texas Earthquakes, University of Texas Institute for Geophysics, July 2001. Retrieved on August 29, 2007. These faults also tend to move at a smooth rate in what is termed "fault creep", which further reduces the risk of an earthquake.

Climate

File:Hurricane Harvey (36561871944).jpg|thumb|Buffalo Bayou after Hurricane HarveyHurricane HarveyHouston's climate is classified as humid subtropical (Cfa in the Köppen climate classification system), typical of the Southern United States. The city experiences hot, long, and humid summers, and mild winters. While not located in Tornado Alley, like much of northern Texas, spring supercell thunderstorms sometimes bring tornadoes to the area.{{citation needed|date=March 2018}}Prevailing winds are from the south and southeast during most of the year, which bring heat and moisture from the nearby Gulf of Mexico and Galveston Bay.WEB,weblink Weather Stats, Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20081230150744weblink">weblink December 30, 2008, yes, October 11, 2008, mdy-all, During the summer, temperatures in Houston commonly reach over {{convert|90|°F|0}}. The city reaches or surpasses this temperature on an average of 106.5 days per year, including a majority of days from June to September; additionally, an average of 4.6 days per year reach or exceed {{convert|100|°F|0}}. Houston's characteristic subtropical humidity often results in a higher apparent temperature, and summer mornings average over 90% relative humidity."weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20011101082154weblink">Average Relative Humidity (%)", National Climatic Data Center. Retrieved on February 23, 2012. Air conditioning is ubiquitous in Houston; in 1981, annual spending on electricity for interior cooling exceeded $600 million (equivalent to ${{Inflation|index=US|value=0.600|start_year=1981|r=2|fmt=c}} billion in {{Inflation-year|index=US}}), and by the late 1990s, approximately 90% of Houston homes featured air conditioning systems.NEWS,weblink Houston Journal; Broiling on the Outside, But, Really, It's No Sweat, Rimer, Sara, July 2, 1998, The New York Times, March 18, 2018, en-US, 0362-4331, NEWS,weblink HOUSTON'S LIFELINE: TONS OF COOL AIR, Times, John M. Crewdson and Special To the New York, March 18, 2018, en, The record highest temperature recorded in Houston is {{convert|109|°F|0}} at Bush Intercontinental Airport, during September 4, 2000, and again on August 28, 2011.File:Shuttle Replica Independence covered in snow.jpg|thumb|Space Shuttle Independence replica covered in snow, 2017]]Houston has mild winters. In January, the normal mean temperature at George Bush Intercontinental Airport is {{convert|53.1|°F|0}}, with an average of 13 days per year with a low at or below {{Convert|32|°F|0}}, occurring on average between December 3 and February 20, allowing for a growing season of 286 days. Twenty-first century snow events in Houston include a storm on December 24, 2004, which saw {{convert|1|in|cm|0}} of snow accumulate in parts of the metro area,National Weather Service Forecast Office, Houston/Galveston, Texas.WEB,weblink Public Information Statement., December 1, 2006, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20061212134359weblink">weblink December 12, 2006, mdy, Retrieved on December 1, 2006. and an event on December 7, 2017, which precipitated {{convert|0.7|in|cm|0}} of snowfall.Shayanian, Sara (December 8, 2017). "Texas hit with snow as winter weather system aims for Northeast". United Press International.Matthews, Blake (December 8, 2017). "Record snow blankets Houston and Texas". KHOU-TV. Snowfalls of at least {{convert|1.0|in|cm}} on both December 10, 2008, and December 4, 2009, marked the first time measurable snowfall had occurred in two consecutive years in the city's recorded history. Overall, Houston has seen measurable snowfall 38 times between 1895 and 2018. On February 14 and 15, 1895, Houston received {{convert|20|in|cm|0}} of snow, its largest snowfall from one storm on record.WEB,weblink Snow in Houston: It Happens More Than You Think, KTRK-TV, December 8, 2017, March 22, 2018, The coldest temperature officially recorded in Houston was {{convert|5|°F|0}} on January 18, 1930.Houston generally receives ample rainfall, averaging about {{convert|49.8|in|abbr=on}} annually based on records between 1981 and 2010. Many parts of the city have a high risk of localized flooding due to flat topography,NEWS,weblink 3 Reasons Houston Was A 'Sitting Duck' For Harvey Flooding, Schaper, David, August 31, 2017, NPR, March 26, 2018, en, ubiquitous low-permeability clay-silt prairie soils,WEB,weblink How Houston's 'Wild West' growth may have contributed to devastating flooding, Boburg, Shawn, Reinhard, Beth, August 29, 2017, Washington Post, en, March 26, 2018, and inadequate infrastructure. During the mid-2010s, Greater Houston experienced consecutive major flood events in 2015 ("Memorial Day"),NEWS,weblink Remembering Houston's Memorial Day Flood, one of America's costliest floods, Ramirez, Fernando, May 26, 2017, Houston Chronicle, March 26, 2018, 2016 ("Tax Day"),NEWS,weblink Revisiting Houston's Tax Day Floods one year later, Perera, John Henry, April 17, 2017, Houston Chronicle, March 26, 2018, and 2017 (Hurricane Harvey).WEB,weblink Hurricane Harvey makes landfall in Texas, The Guardian, August 26, 2017, Overall, there have been more casualties and property loss from floods in Houston than in any other locality in the United States.WEB,weblink Houston fears climate change will cause catastrophic flooding: 'It's not if, it's when', Dart, Tom, June 16, 2017, The Guardian, en, March 20, 2018, Houston has excessive ozone levels and is routinely ranked among the most ozone-polluted cities in the United States."State of the Air 2005, National and Regional Analysis {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20120428171714weblink |date=April 28, 2012 }}", American Lung Association, page 26, March 25, 2005. Retrieved on February 17, 2006. Ground-level ozone, or smog, is Houston's predominant air pollution problem, with the American Lung Association rating the metropolitan area's ozone level twelfth on the "Most Polluted Cities by Ozone" in 2017, after major cities such as Los Angeles, Phoenix, New York City and Denver.WEB,weblink How healthy is the air you breathe?, The industries located along the ship channel are a major cause of the city's air pollution."Summary of the Issues {{webarchive |url=https://web.archive.org/web/20060210193216weblink |date=February 10, 2006 }}", Citizens League for Environmental Action Now, August 1, 2004. Retrieved on February 17, 2006. The rankings are in terms of peak-based standards, focusing strictly on the worst days of the year; the average ozone levels in Houston are lower than what is seen in most other areas of the country, as dominant winds ensure clean, marine air from the Gulf.NEWS,weblink The paradox of peak-based ozone air pollution standards, Czader, Beata, May 20, 2016, The Conversation, November 13, 2017, en, {{Houston weatherbox}}{{Weather box|location = Houston (William P. Hobby Airport), 1981–2010 normals, extremes 1941–present|collapsed = Y|single line = Y|Jan high F = 60.2|Feb high F = 63.6|Mar high F = 70.9|Apr high F = 78.0|May high F = 85.2|Jun high F = 91.2|Jul high F = 92.9|Aug high F = 92.7|Sep high F = 89.1|Oct high F = 80.8|Nov high F = 71.2|Dec high F = 63.0|year high F= 78.5|Jan low F = 43.5|Feb low F = 47.2|Mar low F = 53.6|Apr low F = 60.4|May low F = 69.2|Jun low F = 74.8|Jul low F = 77.1|Aug low F = 76.6|Sep low F = 72.8|Oct low F = 63.4|Nov low F = 53.5|Dec low F = 46.2|year low F= 61.7|Jan record high F = 82|Feb record high F = 87|Mar record high F = 93|Apr record high F = 97|May record high F = 103|Jun record high F = 103|Jul record high F = 103|Aug record high F = 106|Sep record high F = 104|Oct record high F = 97|Nov record high F = 88|Dec record high F = 84|year record high F= 106|Jan record low F = 8|Feb record low F = 17|Mar record low F = 29|Apr record low F = 39|May record low F = 47|Jun record low F = 61|Jul record low F = 63|Aug record low F = 63|Sep record low F = 53|Oct record low F = 36|Nov record low F = 23|Dec record low F = 14|year record low F= 14|precipitation colour = green|Jan precipitation inch = 5.35|Feb precipitation inch = 7.08|Mar precipitation inch = 5.72|Apr precipitation inch = 4.50|May precipitation inch = 4.22|Jun precipitation inch = 4.67|Jul precipitation inch = 5.38|Aug precipitation inch = 5.52|Sep precipitation inch = 4.83|Oct precipitation inch = 5.17|Nov precipitation inch = 4.89|Dec precipitation inch = 5.68|year precipitation inch=63.01|unit precipitation days = 0.01 in|Jan precipitation days = 7.2|Feb precipitation days = 7.8|Mar precipitation days = 9.6|Apr precipitation days = 11.5|May precipitation days = 12.2|Jun precipitation days = 10.7|Jul precipitation days = 10.3|Aug precipitation days = 8.4|Sep precipitation days = 9.5|Oct precipitation days = 11.8|Nov precipitation days = 10.4|Dec precipitation days = 7.8|year precipitation days=117.2|source 1 = NOAA (sun 1961–1990)}}

Cityscape

{{further|Geographic areas of Houston|List of Houston neighborhoods}}Houston was incorporated in 1837 and adopted a ward system of representation shortly afterward in 1840.JOURNAL, Chapman, Betty Trapp, Fall 2010, A System of Government Where Business Ruled,weblink Houston History Magazine, 8, 29–33, The six original wards of Houston are the progenitors of the 11 modern-day geographically-oriented Houston City Council districts, though the city abandoned the ward system in 1905 in favor of a commission government, and, later, the existing mayor–council government.Locations in Houston are generally classified as either being inside or outside the Interstate 610 loop. The "Inner Loop" encompasses a {{Convert|97|mi2|km2|adj=on}} area which includes Downtown, pre–World War II residential neighborhoods and streetcar suburbs, and newer high-density apartment and townhouse developments.WEB,weblink Houston's Loop 610: Population, 2013, City of Houston, City of Houston Planning and Development Department, March 19, 2018, Outside the loop, the city's typology is more suburban, though many major business districts—such as Uptown, Westchase, and the Energy Corridor—lie well outside the urban core. In addition to Interstate 610, two additional loop highways encircle the city: Beltway 8, with a radius of approximately {{convert|10|mi|km}} from Downtown, and State Highway 99 (the Grand Parkway), with a radius of {{Convert|25|mi|km}}. Approximately 470,000 people live within the Interstate 610 loop, while 1.65 million live between Interstate 610 and Beltway 8 and 2.25 million live within Harris County outside Beltway 8.WEB,weblink Harris County Budget Management: Population Study, January 2015, Harris County, Texas,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20150411074852weblink">weblink 2015-04-11, yes, March 19, 2018, Though Houston is the largest city in the United States without formal zoning regulations, it has developed similarly to other Sun Belt cities because the city's land use regulations and legal covenants have played a similar role.NEWS, FOCUS: Houston; A Fresh Approach To Zoning, New York Times, March 27, 2009,weblink Robert, Reinhold, August 17, 1986, WEB, Zoning Without Zoning, planetizen.com, March 27, 2009,weblink Regulations include mandatory lot size for single-family houses and requirements that parking be available to tenants and customers. Such restrictions have had mixed results. Though some have blamed the city's low density, urban sprawl, and lack of pedestrian-friendliness on these policies, the city's land use has also been credited with having significant affordable housing, sparing Houston the worst effects of the 2008 real estate crisis.WEB, Lack of zoning has paid off for Houston, chron.com, Houston Chronicle, May 27, 2008, March 27, 2009,weblink The city issued 42,697 building permits in 2008 and was ranked first in the list of healthiest housing markets for 2009.WEB, The Healthiest Housing Markets for 2009 – Local Markets, Construction, Home Prices, Builder Magazine, February 27, 2009, March 4, 2009,weblink Voters rejected efforts to have separate residential and commercial land-use districts in 1948, 1962, and 1993. Consequently, rather than a single central business district as the center of the city's employment, multiple districts have grown throughout the city in addition to Downtown, which include Uptown, the Texas Medical Center, Midtown, Greenway Plaza, Memorial City, the Energy Corridor, Westchase, and Greenspoint.{{wide image|Houston from Sabine Park.jpg|1340px|align-cap=center|Western view of the Downtown Houston skyline in 2010}}

Architecture

{{See also|List of tallest buildings in Houston}}Houston has the fifth-tallest skyline in North America (after New York City, Chicago, Toronto and Miami) and 36th-tallest in the world {{as of|2015|lc=y}}.WEB,weblink The World's Best Skylines, tudl0867.home.xs4all.nl, October 21, 2018, A seven-mile (11 km) system of tunnels and skywalks links Downtown buildings containing shops and restaurants, enabling pedestrians to avoid summer heat and rain while walking between buildings.In the 1960s, Downtown Houston consisted of a collection of midrise office structures. Downtown was on the threshold of an energy industry{{ndash}}led boom in 1970. A succession of skyscrapers was built throughout the 1970s—many by real estate developer Gerald D. Hines—culminating with Houston's tallest skyscraper, the 75-floor, {{convert|1002|ft|m|0|adj=on}}-tall JPMorgan Chase Tower (formerly the Texas Commerce Tower), completed in 1982. It is the tallest structure in Texas, 15th tallest building in the United States, and the 85th-tallest skyscraper in the world, based on highest architectural feature. In 1983, the 71-floor, {{convert|992|ft|m|0|adj=on}}-tall Wells Fargo Plaza (formerly Allied Bank Plaza) was completed, becoming the second-tallest building in Houston and Texas. Based on highest architectural feature, it is the 17th-tallest in the United States and the 95th-tallest in the world. In 2007, Downtown had over 43 million square feet (4,000,000 m²) of office space.Fast Facts, Downtown Houston {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20091205170813weblink |date=December 5, 2009 }}. Houstondowntown.com 2006. Retrieved on January 10, 2007.Centered on Post Oak Boulevard and Westheimer Road, the Uptown District boomed during the 1970s and early 1980s when a collection of midrise office buildings, hotels, and retail developments appeared along Interstate 610 West. Uptown became one of the most prominent instances of an edge city. The tallest building in Uptown is the 64-floor, {{convert|901|ft|m|0|adj=on}}-tall, Philip Johnson and John Burgee designed landmark Williams Tower (known as the Transco Tower until 1999). At the time of construction, it was believed to be the world's tallest skyscraper outside a central business district. The new 20-story Skanska buildingWEB,weblink Reports, February 8, 2017, and BBVA Compass PlazaWEB,weblink BBVA Compass Plaza opens new building on Post Oak, Prime Property, September 15, 2015, are the newest office buildings built in Uptown after 30 years. The Uptown District is also home to buildings designed by noted architects I. M. Pei, César Pelli, and Philip Johnson. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, a mini-boom of midrise and highrise residential tower construction occurred, with several over 30 stories tall.Residential Real Estate. Uptown-houston.com Retrieved on January 11, 2007. {{webarchive |url=https://web.archive.org/web/20150201213217weblink |date=February 1, 2015 }}NEWS, Sarnoff, Nancy, Genesis Laying Down Plans for Newest Uptown Condo Highrise, Houston Business Journal, December 14, 2001,weblink February 7, 2007, NEWS, Apte, Angela, Rising Land Costs Boost Houston's Mid-Rise Market, Houston Business Journal, October 26, 2001,weblink January 11, 2007, Since 2000 over 30 skyscrapers grown up in Houston; all told, 72 high-rises tower over the city, which adds up to about 8,300 units.WEB,weblink HoustoniaMag.com, HoustoniaMag, September 10, 2014, Living the High Life. Earthbound Houstonians consider something uplifting., In 2002, Uptown had more than 23 million square feet (2,100,000 m²) of office space with 16 million square feet (1,500,000 m²) of class A office space.Commercial Real Estate. Uptown-houston.com Retrieved on January 10, 2007. {{webarchive |url=https://web.archive.org/web/20150201200302weblink |date=February 1, 2015 }}{{clear}}File:Esperson building, 2008.jpg|The Niels Esperson Building stood as the tallest building in Houston from 1927 to 1929.File:JP Morgan Chase Tower in Houston - Dec 2013.JPG|The JPMorgan Chase Tower is the tallest building in Texas and the tallest 5-sided building in the world.File:Williamstower.jpg|The Williams Tower is the tallest building in the US outside a central business district.File:Bank of America Center Houston 1.jpg|The Bank of America Center by Philip Johnson is an example of postmodern architecture.

Demographics

{{US Census population|1850= 2396|1860= 4845|1870= 9382|1880= 16513|1890= 27557|1900= 44633|1910= 78800|1920= 138276|1930= 292352|1940= 384514|1950= 596163|1960= 938219|1970= 1232802|1980= 1595138|1990= 1630553|2000= 1953631|2010= 2100263|estyear=2017|estimate=2312717|estref=|align-fn=center|footnote=U.S. Decennial Census2011 estimate}}(File:Race and ethnicity 2010- Houston.png|thumb|Map of ethnic distribution in Houston, 2010 U.S. Census. Each dot is 25 people: White, Black, Asian, Hispanic or Other (yellow)|219x219px|alt=){| class="wikitable sortable collapsible" style="font-size: 90%;"! Racial composition !! 2010WEB, Census Reporter, May 29, 2018, Houston, Texas Population: Census 2010 and 2000 Interactive Map, Demographics, Statistics, Quick Facts,weblink !! 2000WEB,weblink Houston (city), Texas, State & County QuickFacts, U.S. Census Bureau, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20100220105716weblink">weblink February 20, 2010, !! 1990!! 1970Hispanic and Latino Americans>Hispanic or Latino (of any race) 43.7% 37.4% 27.6% 11.3%From 15% sampleAfrican American>Black or African American 25.7% 25.3% 28.1% 25.7%,Non-Hispanic whites>Whites (Non-Hispanic) 25.6% 30.8% 40.6% 62.4%Asian American>Asian 6.0% 5.3% 4.1% 0.4%The Rice University Kinder Institute for Urban Research, a think tank, has described Greater Houston as "one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse metropolitan areas in the country".WEB,weblink The 2018 Kinder Houston Area Survey, Klineberg, Stephen, April 2018, Rice University Kinder Institute for Urban Research, May 28, 2018, A 2012 Kinder Institute report found that, based on the evenness of population distribution between the four major racial groups in the United States (non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, Hispanic, and Asian), Greater Houston was the most ethnically diverse metropolitan area in the United States, ahead of New York City.NEWS,weblink Sylvester Turner mostly right; Houston is 'most diverse', Rahman, Fauzeya, September 23, 2016, Politifact, 2018-05-28, en, In 2017, non-Hispanic whites made up 38% of the population of the Houston metropolitan area, Hispanics 36%, African-Americans 25%,WEB, Houston city, Texas – DP-1. Profile of General Demographic Characteristics: 2000, census.gov, July 10, 2009,weblink and Asians 9%.NEWS, Fernandez, Manny, New York Times, September 3, 2017, May 9, 2017, Over 21 Miles of Highway, Snapshots of a Resilient Houston,weblink Houston's multiculturalism, fueled by large waves of immigrants, has been attributed to its relatively low cost of living, strong job market, proximity to Latin America, and role as a hub for refugee resettlement.NEWS,weblink How Houston has become the most diverse place in America, Mejia, Brittny, May 9, 2017, Los Angeles Times, 2018-05-28, en-US, 0458-3035, NEWS,weblink In Houston, America's Diverse Future Has Already Arrived, Hu, Elise, July 1, 2013, NPR, 2018-05-28, en, At least 145 languages are spoken by city residents.NEWS,weblink Just how diverse is Houston? 145 languages spoken here, Kriel, Lomi, November 5, 2015, Houston Chronicle, 2018-05-28, Greater Houston is one of the youngest metropolitan areas in the nation, with an estimated average age of 33.5 in 2014, compared with the national average of 37.4;NEWS,weblink Demographics show the changing face of Houston, Yard, Michelle, September 23, 2014, Houston Chronicle, 2018-05-28, the city's youthfulness has been attributed to an influx of Hispanic and Asian immigrants into Texas.NEWS,weblink Texans are 3{{frac, 2, years younger than average Americans|last=Kever|first=Jeannie|date=May 26, 2011|work=Houston Chronicle|access-date=2018-05-28}} {{as of|2017}}, an estimated 600,000 undocumented immigrants reside in the Houston area,NEWS,weblink Fearing deportation, undocumented immigrants in Houston are avoiding hospitals and clinics, Najarro, Ilena, December 27, 2017, Houston Chronicle, 2018-05-28, Deam, Jenny, comprising nearly 9% of the metropolitan population.NEWS,weblink For Houston's many undocumented immigrants, storm is just the latest challenge, Sacchetti, Maria, 2017-08-28, Washington Post, 2018-05-28, en-US, 0190-8286, Compared with its metropolitan area, the city of Houston's population has a higher proportion of minorities. According to the 2010 Census, whites made up 51% of the city of Houston's population; 26% of the total population was non-Hispanic whites. Blacks or African Americans made up 25% of Houston's population, American Indians made up 0.7% of the population, Asians made up 6% (1.7% Vietnamese, 1.3% Chinese, 1.3% Indian, 0.9% Pakistani, 0.4% Filipino, 0.3% Korean, 0.1% Japanese){{citation needed|date=May 2018}} and Pacific Islanders made up 0.1%. Individuals from some other race made up 15.2% of the city's population, of which 0.2% were non-Hispanic.{{citation needed|date=May 2018}} Individuals from two or more races made up 3.3% of the city.At the 2000 Census, 1,953,631 people inhabited the city, and the population density was 3,371.7 people per square mile (1,301.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city in 2000 was 49.3% White, 25.3% African American, 6.3% Asian, 0.7% American Indian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 16.5% from some other race, and 3.1% from two or more races. In addition, Hispanics made up 37.4% of Houston's population in 2000, while non-Hispanic whites made up 30.8%.WEB, Houston city, Texas – DP-1. Profile of General Demographic Characteristics: 2000, census.gov, July 10, 2009,weblink The proportion of non-Hispanic whites in Houston has decreased significantly since 1970, when it was 62.4%.WEB, Texas – Race and Hispanic Origin for Selected Cities and Other Places: Earliest Census to 1990, U.S. Census Bureau,weblink April 21, 2012, yes,weblink August 6, 2012, mdy-all, The median income for a household in the city was $37,000, and for a family was $40,000. Males had a median income of $32,000 versus $27,000 for females. The per capita income was $20,000. About 19% of the population and 16% of families were below the poverty line. Of the total population, 26% of those under the age of 18 and 14% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.

Religion

File:Sacred Heart Co-Cathedral Houston 2018b.jpg|thumb|Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart ]]Historically, Houston has been a center of Protestant Christianity, being part of the Bible Belt.BOOK,weblink A Call for Character Education and Prayer in the Schools, Jeynes, William H., 2009-11-24, ABC-CLIO, 9780313351044, en, Other Christian groups including Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Christianity, and non-Christian religions did not grow for much of the city's history because immigration was predominantly from Western Europe (which at the time was dominated by Western Christianity and favored by the quotas in federal immigration law). The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 removed the quotas, allowing for the growth of other religions.WEB,weblink Temples of the gods: Houston's religious diversity reflects community, Barned-Smith, St John, 2016-10-22, Houston Chronicle, 2019-02-21, According to a 2014 study by the Pew Research Center, 73% of the population of the Houston area identified themselves as Christians, about 50% of whom claimed Protestant affiliations and about 19% claimed Roman Catholic affiliations. Nationwide, about 71% of respondents identified as Christians. About 20% of Houston-area residents claimed no religious affiliation, compared to about 23% nationwide.WEB,weblink Major U.S. metropolitan areas differ in their religious profiles, Lipka, Michael, July 29, 2015, Pew Research Center, April 8, 2018, The same study says that area residents identifying with other religions (including Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, and Hinduism) collectively make up about 7% of the area population.Lakewood Church in Houston, led by Pastor Joel Osteen, is the largest church in the United States. A megachurch, it had 44,800 weekly attendees in 2010, up from 11,000 weekly in 2000.WEB,weblink Megachurches getting bigger; Lakewood quadruples in size since 2000, March 21, Kate Shellnutt on, PM, 2011 at 2:29, 2011-03-21, Believe It or Not, en-US, 2019-02-21, Since 2005 it has occupied the former Compaq Center sports stadium. In September 2010, Outreach Magazine published a list of the 100 largest Christian churches in the United States, and inside the list were the following Houston-area churches: Lakewood, Second Baptist Church Houston, Woodlands Church, Church Without Walls and First Baptist Church. According to the list, Houston and Dallas were tied as the second most popular city for megachurches.The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, the largest Catholic jurisdiction in Texas and fifth-largest in the United States, was established in 1847.WEB,weblink Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston statistics, Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston claims approximately 1.7 million Catholics within its boundaries.A variety of Eastern and Oriental Orthodox churches can be found in Houston. Immigrants from Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Ethiopia, India and other areas have added to Houston's Eastern and Oriental Orthodox population. As of 2011 in the entire State of Texas there were 32,000 people who actively attend Orthodox churches.WEB,weblink New converts flocking to ancient church in Houston, Kever, Jeannie, Chronicle, Houston, 2011-01-09, Houston Chronicle, 2019-02-21, In 2013 Father John Whiteford, the pastor of St. Jonah Orthodox Church near Spring, stated that there were about 6,000-9,000 Eastern Orthodox Christians in Houston.WEB,weblink Orthodox Christians part of diverse fabric of Houston faith, July 23, kenchitwood on, AM, 2013 at 8:31, 2013-07-23, Sacred Duty, en-US, 2019-02-21, Houston's Jewish community, estimated at 47,000 in 2001, has been present in the city from the 1800s. Houstonian Jews have origins from throughout the United States, Israel, Mexico, Russia, and other places. As of 2016 there were over 40 synagogues in Greater Houston. The largest synagogues in Houston are Congregation Beth Yeshurun, a Conservative Jewish temple, and the Reform Jewish congregations Beth Israel and Emanu-El.Houston is home to the largest Muslim population in Texas and the Southern United States as of 2012.WEB,weblink U.S. sees rise of Islamic centers, Shellnutt, Kate, 2012-03-08, Houston Chronicle, 2019-02-21, It is estimated that Muslims make up 1.2% of Houston's population. As of 2016 Muslims in the Houston area included South Asians, Middle Easterners, Africans, Turks, and Indonesians. In 2000 there were over 41 mosques and storefront religious centers, with the largest being the Al-Noor Mosque (Mosque of Light) of the Islamic Society of Greater Houston.BOOK,weblink Religion and the New Immigrants: Continuities and Adaptations in Immigrant Congregations, Chafetz, Janet Saltzman, Ebaugh, Helen Rose, 2000-10-18, AltaMira Press, 9780759117129, en, Top publicly traded companiesin Houston for 2018">

Economy{| class"wikitable" style"float:right; font-size:75%; text-align:center; margin:1em;"Top publicly traded companiesin Houston for 2018

style="background:#ccc;"! US !! CompanyPhillips 66| SyscoConocoPhilipsEnterprise Products PartnersPlains GP HoldingsHalliburtonWaste Management (corporation)>Waste ManagementKinder MorganOccidental PetroleumEOG Resources| Group 1 AutomotiveCenterPoint EnergyQuanta ServicesTarga ResourcesCalpine| Westlake ChemicalNational Oilwell VarcoApache CorporationCheniere EnergyNotesRankings for fiscal year ended January 31, 2018 Energy and oil (15 companies) Source: Fortune500 web site as retrieved on August 9, 2018{{further|List of companies in Houston}}Houston is recognized worldwide for its energy industry—particularly for oil and natural gas—as well as for biomedical research and aeronautics. Renewable energy sources—wind and solar—are also growing economic bases in the city.WEB
, Alternative Energy in the Houston Region
, Greater Houston Partnership
, January 9, 2009
,weblink
, yes
,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110628222345weblink">weblink
, June 28, 2011
, mdy-all
, WEB, Alternative Energy in the Houston Region, Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau, April 20, 2009,weblink The Houston Ship Channel is also a large part of Houston's economic base. Because of these strengths, Houston is designated as a global city by the Globalization and World Cities Study Group and Network and global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney. The Houston area is the top U.S. market for exports, surpassing New York City in 2013, according to data released by the U.S. Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration. In 2012, the Houston–The Woodlands–Sugar Land area recorded $110.3 billion in merchandise exports.Houston surpasses New York as top U.S. export market – Houston Business Journal. Bizjournals.com. Retrieved on July 21, 2013. Petroleum products, chemicals, and oil and gas extraction equipment accounted for roughly two-thirds of the metropolitan area's exports last year. The top three destinations for exports were Mexico, Canada, and Brazil.Houston Passes New York to Become Nation's Top Exporting Metro Area. App1.kuhf.org (July 12, 2013). Retrieved on July 21, 2013.The Houston area is a leading center for building oilfield equipment."WEB,weblink Energy Industry Overview, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20100422032347weblink">weblink April 22, 2010, mdy-all,  {{small|(24.8 KB)}}", Greater Houston Partnership. Retrieved on March 21, 2009. Much of its success as a petrochemical complex is due to its busy ship channel, the Port of Houston."WEB,weblink Port of Houston Firsts, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070614043355weblink">weblink June 14, 2007,  {{small|(18.2 KB)}}", The Port of Houston Authority, May 15, 2007. Retrieved on May 27, 2007. In the United States, the port ranks first in international commerce and 10th among the largest ports in the world."General Information {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20080509141210weblink |date=May 9, 2008 }}", The Port of Houston Authority, May 15, 2007. Retrieved on May 27, 2007. Unlike most places, high oil and gasoline prices are beneficial for Houston's economy, as many of its residents are employed in the energy industry.NEWS
, Bustillo
, Miguel
, Houston is Feeling Energized
, Los Angeles Times
, December 28, 2006
,weblink
, February 6, 2007
,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20080621065935weblink">weblink
, June 21, 2008
, yes
, mdy-all
, Houston is the beginning or end point of numerous oil, gas, and products pipelines.WEB,weblink United States Pipelines map – Crude Oil (petroleum) pipelines – Natural Gas pipelines – Products pipelines, April 1, 2014, The Houston–The Woodlands–Sugar Land MSA's gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016 was $478 billion, making it the sixth-largest of any metropolitan area in the United States and larger than Iran's, Colombia's, or the United Arab Emirates' GDP.WEB,weblink U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), Regional Economic Accounts GDP & Personal Income, Only 27 countries other than the United States have a gross domestic product exceeding Houston's regional gross area product (GAP).WEB
,weblink
, Report for selected countries and subjects: Gross domestic product, current prices (USD)
, September 16, 2018
, World Economic Outlook Database, September 2018
, International Monetary Fund, In 2010, mining (which consists almost entirely of exploration and production of oil and gas in Houston) accounted for 26.3% of Houston's GAP up sharply in response to high energy prices and a decreased worldwide surplus of oil production capacity, followed by engineering services, health services, and manufacturing."WEB,weblink Gross Area Product by Industry, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20100711235908weblink">weblink July 11, 2010, mdy-all,  {{small|(28.3 KB)}}", Greater Houston Partnership. Retrieved on March 21, 2009.
The University of Houston System's annual impact on the Houston area's economy equates to that of a major corporation: $1.1 billion in new funds attracted annually to the Houston area, $3.13 billion in total economic benefit, and 24,000 local jobs generated.NEWS, Study suggests UH degrees are crucial economic factor, TRESAUGUE, Matthew,weblink Houston Chronicle, May 17, 2006, May 31, 2011, WEB, The Economic Impact of Higher Education on Houston: A Case Study of the University of Houston System, University of Houston System, May 14, 2011,weblink yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110720084907weblink">weblink July 20, 2011, mdy-all, This is in addition to the 12,500 new graduates the U.H. System produces every year who enter the workforce in Houston and throughout the state of Texas. These degree-holders tend to stay in Houston. After five years, 80.5% of graduates are still living and working in the region.In 2006, the Houston metropolitan area ranked first in Texas and third in the U.S. within the category of "Best Places for Business and Careers" by Forbes magazine.Badenhausen, Kurt. "2006 Best Places for Business and Careers", Forbes, May 4, 2006. Retrieved on December 15, 2006. Ninety-one foreign governments have established consular offices in Houston's metropolitan area, the third-highest in the nation.WEB,weblink Houston Facts & Figures, Houston First Corporation, Visit Houston, 1 November 2018, Forty foreign governments maintain trade and commercial offices here with 23 active foreign chambers of commerce and trade associations."WEB,weblink Houston Foreign Consulate Representation, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20100711235924weblink">weblink July 11, 2010, mdy-all,  {{small|(30.2 KB)}}", Greater Houston Partnership. Retrieved on March 21, 2009. Twenty-five foreign banks representing 13 nations operate in Houston, providing financial assistance to the international community.WEB, International Banks in the Houston Area, Greater Houston Partnership, March 21, 2009,weblink yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20100712001229weblink">weblink July 12, 2010, mdy-all, In 2008, Houston received top ranking on Kiplinger's Personal Finance "Best Cities of 2008" list, which ranks cities on their local economy, employment opportunities, reasonable living costs, and quality of life.WEB, 2008 Best Cities, Houston, Texaslast=Clark, July 1, 2008, Kiplinger.com, June 21, 2008,weblink The city ranked fourth for highest increase in the local technological innovation over the preceding 15 years, according to Forbes magazine.NEWS, Top 10 Up-And-Coming Tech Cities, Forbes, June 21, 2008,weblink March 10, 2008, William, Pentland, In the same year, the city ranked second on the annual Fortune 500 list of company headquarters,NEWS, Fortune 500 2008: Cities, April 22, 2008,weblink CNN, first for Forbes magazine's "Best Cities for College Graduates",NEWS, Best Cities For Recent College Grads, Forbes, June 28, 2008, Egan, Andrew, June 29, 2008,weblink and first on their list of "Best Cities to Buy a Home".NEWS, Best Cities To Buy A Home, Forbes.com, March 4, 2009,weblink July 14, 2008, Maurna, Desmond, In 2010, the city was rated the best city for shopping, according to Forbes.NEWS,weblink New York, Daily News, Lindsay, Goldwert, Houston is top U.S. shopping city, per Forbes; New York comes in 23rd due to sales tax, retail space, December 14, 2010, In 2012, the city was ranked number one for paycheck worth by Forbes and in late May 2013, Houston was identified as America's top city for employment creation.NEWS,weblink Forbes ranks Houston No. 1 for paycheck worth, Houston Business Journal, Bizjournals.com, July 10, 2012, October 12, 2013, WEB, Houston Is Unstoppable: Why Texas' Juggernaut Is America's #1 Job Creator,weblink The Atlantic, The Atlantic Monthly Group, May 29, 2013, Thompson, Derek, May 28, 2013, In 2013, Houston was identified as the number one U.S. city for job creation by the U.S. Bureau of Statistics after it was not only the first major city to regain all the jobs lost in the preceding economic downturn, but also after the crash, more than two jobs were added for every one lost. Economist and vice president of research at the Greater Houston Partnership Patrick Jankowski attributed Houston's success to the ability of the region's real estate and energy industries to learn from historical mistakes. Furthermore, Jankowski stated that "more than 100 foreign-owned companies relocated, expanded or started new businesses in Houston" between 2008 and 2010, and this openness to external business boosted job creation during a period when domestic demand was problematically low. Also in 2013, Houston again appeared on Forbes' list of "Best Places for Business and Careers".WEB, Best Places For Business and Careers – Forbes,weblink Forbes, January 18, 2014, {{clear}}

Culture

File:Porsche 356 Art Car.jpg|right|thumb|Houston Art Car ParadeHouston Art Car ParadeFile:Aerial View of the Johnson Space Center - GPN-2000-001112.jpg|right|thumb|Johnson Space CenterJohnson Space CenterFile:Downtown Houston Aquarium in 2012.jpg|thumb|Fountain of the alt=Located in the American South, Houston is a diverse city with a large and growing international community.WEB, Components of Population Change, houston.org,weblink March 21, 2009, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20100711225746weblink">weblink July 11, 2010, mdy-all, The Houston metropolitan area is home to an estimated 1.1 million (21.4 percent) residents who were born outside the United States, with nearly two-thirds of the area's foreign-born population from south of the United States–Mexico border.WEB, Foreign Born Population, houston.org,weblink March 21, 2009, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20100711225904weblink">weblink July 11, 2010, mdy-all, Additionally, more than one in five foreign-born residents are from Asia. The city is home to the nation's third-largest concentration of consular offices, representing 92 countries.WEB, International Representation in Houston, houston.org,weblink March 21, 2009, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20100711235924weblink">weblink July 11, 2010, mdy-all, Many annual events celebrate the diverse cultures of Houston. The largest and longest-running is the annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, held over 20 days from early to late March, and is the largest annual livestock show and rodeo in the world.WEB, About the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, hlsr.com, September 28, 2009,weblink yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20090126191930weblink">weblink January 26, 2009, Another large celebration is the annual night-time Houston Gay Pride Parade, held at the end of June.WEB, Houston Pride Parade, PrideHouston.com, May 15, 2012,weblink Other notable annual events include the Houston Greek Festival,The Original Greek Festival, Houston, Texas. 2006. Retrieved on January 10, 2007. Warning: Automatic sound file. Art Car Parade, the Houston Auto Show, the Houston International Festival,The Houston International Festival {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20100725221757weblink |date=July 25, 2010 }}. 2007. Retrieved on January 10, 2007. and the Bayou City Art Festival, which is considered to be one of the top five art festivals in the United States.WEB, April 26, 2007,weblink The 2004 Top 25 Fairs & Festivalsweblinkwork=AmericanStyle Magazine, Houston received the official nickname of "Space City" in 1967 because it is the location of NASA's Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. Other nicknames often used by locals include "Bayou City", "Clutch City", "Crush City", "Magnolia City", and "H-Town".File:Reliant Stadium Houston Rodeo.jpg|center|thumb|905x905px|The annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo held inside the NRG StadiumNRG Stadium

Arts and theater

File:Hobbycenter.jpg|thumb|Hobby Center for the Performing ArtsHobby Center for the Performing ArtsFile:MFA houston.jpg|thumb|Museum of Fine Arts, HoustonMuseum of Fine Arts, HoustonThe Houston Theater District, located in Downtown, is home to nine major performing arts organizations and six performance halls. It is the second-largest concentration of theater seats in a downtown area in the United States.Ramsey, Cody. "In a state of big, Houston is at the top", Texas Monthly, September 2002. Retrieved February 16, 2014.WEB, Houston Arts and Museums, City of Houston eGovernment Center,weblink February 7, 2007, "weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20061209083929weblink">About Houston Theater District", Houston Theater District. Retrieved on December 16, 2006. Archived at the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.Houston is one of few United States cities with permanent, professional, resident companies in all major performing arts disciplines: opera (Houston Grand Opera), ballet (Houston Ballet), music (Houston Symphony Orchestra), and theater (The Alley Theatre, Theatre Under the Stars)."weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20061212043351weblink">Performing Arts Venues", Houston Theater District. Retrieved on December 16, 2006. Archived at the Internet Archive Wayback Machine. Houston is also home to folk artists, art groups and various small progressive arts organizations."A Brief History of the Art Car Museum", ArtCar Museum of Houston. Retrieved on December 16, 2006.Houston attracts many touring Broadway acts, concerts, shows, and exhibitions for a variety of interests.weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20061230024248weblink">2006 fall edition of International Quilt Festival attracts 53,546 to Houston. Quilts., Inc. Press release published November 30, 2006. Retrieved on January 12, 2007. Facilities in the Theater District include the Jones Hall—home of the Houston Symphony Orchestra and Society for the Performing Arts—and the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts.The Museum District's cultural institutions and exhibits attract more than 7 million visitors a year.Houston Museum District {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20070211044458weblink |date=February 11, 2007 }}. Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau. Retrieved on February 18, 2007.NEWS, May 22, 2007,weblink Central Austin has the makings of a museum district, Austin360.com, Jeanne Claire, van Ryzin, April 1, 2006, Notable facilities include The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, the Station Museum of Contemporary Art, Holocaust Museum Houston, and the Houston Zoo.Houston Museum District Day. Texas Monthly. 2006. Retrieved on January 10, 2007.Home Page. Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. Retrieved on January 10, 2007.Houston Museum District {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20070211044810weblink |date=February 11, 2007 }}. Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau. Retrieved on January 10, 2007.Located near the Museum District are The Menil Collection, Rothko Chapel, and the Byzantine Fresco Chapel Museum.Bayou Bend is a {{convert|14|acre|adj=on}} facility of the Museum of Fine Arts that houses one of America's most prominent collections of decorative art, paintings, and furniture. Bayou Bend is the former home of Houston philanthropist Ima Hogg.WEB, Bayou Bend Collections and Gardens, Houston, Texas, March 23, 2008,weblink The National Museum of Funeral History is located in Houston near the George Bush Intercontinental Airport. The museum houses the original Popemobile used by Pope John Paul II in the 1980s along with numerous hearses, embalming displays, and information on famous funerals.Venues across Houston regularly host local and touring rock, blues, country, dubstep, and Tejano musical acts. While Houston has never been widely known for its music scene,NEWS, Lomax, John Nova, Nobody Gets Out of Here Alive – The Houston Rock Scene and the Cultural Cringe, The Houston Press, February 1, 2007, Houston hip-hop has become a significant, independent music scene that is influential nationwide.NEWS, Frere-Jones, Sasha, A Place in the Sun – Houston Hip-Hop Takes Over, The New Yorker, November 14, 2005,weblink February 6, 2007,

Tourism and recreation

File:Discovery green.JPG|thumb|Discovery Green Park in Downtown]]The Theater District is a 17-block area in the center of Downtown Houston that is home to the Bayou Place entertainment complex, restaurants, movies, plazas, and parks. Bayou Place is a large multilevel building containing full-service restaurants, bars, live music, billiards, and Sundance Cinema. The Bayou Music Center stages live concerts, stage plays, and stand-up comedy.Space Center Houston is the official visitors' center of NASA's Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. The Space Center has many interactive exhibits including moon rocks, a shuttle simulator, and presentations about the history of NASA's manned space flight program. Other tourist attractions include the Galleria (Texas' largest shopping mall, located in the Uptown District), Old Market Square, the Downtown Aquarium, and Sam Houston Race Park.File:Galleriawaterfall.jpg|thumb|Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park in UptownUptownHouston's current Chinatown and the Mahatma Gandhi District are two major ethnic enclaves, reflecting Houston's multicultural makeup. Restaurants, bakeries, traditional-clothing boutiques, and specialty shops can be found in both areas.Houston is home to 337 parks, including Hermann Park, Terry Hershey Park, Lake Houston Park, Memorial Park, Tranquility Park, Sesquicentennial Park, Discovery Green, Buffalo Bayou Park and Sam Houston Park. Within Hermann Park are the Houston Zoo and the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Sam Houston Park contains restored and reconstructed homes which were originally built between 1823 and 1905.The Heritage Society: Walk into Houston's Past {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20070610115218weblink |date=June 10, 2007 }}. The Heritage Society. Retrieved on January 10, 2007. A proposal has been made to open the city's first botanic garden at Herman Brown Park.Huber, Kathy. "Houston botanic garden slowly becoming reality." Houston Chronicle. Monday October 30, 2006. Retrieved on November 14, 2011.Of the 10 most populous U.S. cities, Houston has the most total area of parks and green space, {{convert|56405|acre|km2|0}}.Continental Magazine, March 2008. p.67. The city also has over 200 additional green spaces—totaling over {{convert|19600|acre|km2|0}} that are managed by the city—including the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center. The Lee and Joe Jamail Skatepark is a public skatepark owned and operated by the city of Houston, and is one of the largest skateparks in Texas consisting of a 30,000-ft2 (2,800 m2)in-ground facility.The Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park—located in the Uptown District of the city—serves as a popular tourist attraction and for weddings and various celebrations. A 2011 study by Walk Score ranked Houston the 23rd most walkable of the 50 largest cities in the United States.WEB,weblink 2011 City and Neighborhood Rankings, Walk Score, 2011, August 28, 2011, The Bayport Cruise Terminal on the Houston Ship Channel is port of call for both Princess Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line.WEB,weblink Photo Release – Princess and Norwegian Cruising into Port of Houston, Globenewswire.com, October 12, 2013,

Sports

File:Toyota Center Game 7 2018 playoffs.jpg|alt=|left|thumb|Toyota Center is home of the Houston RocketsHouston RocketsFile:Reliantstadium.jpg|thumb|NRG Stadium is the home of the leftHouston has sports teams for every major professional league except the National Hockey League. The Houston Astros are a Major League Baseball expansion team formed in 1962 (known as the "Colt .45s" until 1965) that won the World Series in 2017 and previously appeared in 2005. It is the only MLB team to have won pennants in both modern leagues.WEB,weblink Houston Astros: Historical Moments, sportsecyclopedia.com, October 18, 2013, December 12, 2013, The Houston Rockets are a National Basketball Association franchise based in the city since 1971. They have won two NBA Championships: in 1994 and 1995 under star players Hakeem Olajuwon, Otis Thorpe, Clyde Drexler, Vernon Maxwell, and Kenny Smith.WEB,weblink Houston Rockets: History, sportsecyclopedia.com, May 2, 2013, December 12, 2013, The Houston Texans are a National Football League expansion team formed in 2002. The Houston Dynamo is a Major League Soccer franchise that has been based in Houston since 2006, winning two MLS Cup titles in 2006 and 2007. The Houston Dash team plays in the National Women's Soccer League.NEWS,weblink Houston Dash first expansion team in NWSL, AP, December 12, 2013, December 11, 2015, The Houston SaberCats are a Rugby team that plays in the Major League Rugby.WEB,weblink All eyes on Houston: New plans to bring rugby franchise, stadium to the Bayou City, March 23, 2017, abc13.com, March 23, 2017, Minute Maid Park (home of the Astros) and Toyota Center (home of the Rockets), are located in Downtown Houston. Houston has the NFL's first retractable-roof stadium with natural grass, NRG Stadium (home of the Texans).WEB,weblink Reliant Stadium, UniSystems LLC, March 28, 2012, December 12, 2013, Minute Maid Park is also a retractable-roof stadium. Toyota Center also has the largest screen for an indoor arena in the United States built to coincide with the arena's hosting of the 2013 NBA All-Star Game.WEB,weblink The Start of Something Big: Toyota Center upgrades to Include New Concourse HD TVs, Wi-Fi and Concessions Systems, NBA, March 28, 2012, June 28, 2013, BBVA Compass Stadium is a soccer-specific stadium for the Houston Dynamo, the Texas Southern Tigers football team, and Houston Dash, located in East Downtown. Aveva Stadium (home of the SaberCats) is located in south Houston. In addition, NRG Astrodome was the first indoor stadium in the world, built in 1965.WEB,weblink Discover: The Astrodome, National Trust for Historic Preservation, March 28, 2013, December 12, 2013, Other sports facilities include Hofheinz Pavilion (Houston Cougars basketball), Rice Stadium (Rice Owls football), and NRG Arena. TDECU Stadium is where the University of Houston Houston Cougars football team plays.WEB,weblink Houston Unveils New Football Stadium Renderings, University of Houston Cougars, March 28, 2013, December 12, 2013, Houston has hosted several major sports events: the 1968, 1986 and 2004 Major League Baseball All-Star Games; the 1989, 2006 and 2013 NBA All-Star Games; Super Bowl VIII, Super Bowl XXXVIII, and Super Bowl LI, as well as hosting the 1981, 1986, 1994 and 1995 NBA Finals, winning the latter two, and co-hosting the 2005 World Series and 2017 World Series, winning the latter. NRG Stadium hosted Super Bowl LI on February 5, 2017.WEB,weblink HOUSTON TO HOST SUPER BOWL LI IN 2017, Houston Super Bowl LI Committee, March 28, 2013, December 12, 2013, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20131216071213weblink">weblink December 16, 2013, mdy-all, The city has hosted several major professional and college sporting events, including the annual Houston Open golf tournament. Houston hosts the annual Houston College Classic baseball tournament every February, the Texas Kickoff and Bowl in September and December, respectively.WEB,weblink 2014 Houston College Classic, MLB.com, March 28, 2014, December 12, 2013, The Grand Prix of Houston, an annual auto race on the IndyCar Series circuit is held on a 1.7-mile temporary street circuit in NRG Park. The October 2013 event was held using a tweaked version of the 2006–2007 course.NEWS,weblink Houston, we have liftoff for October 2013 event, Dave, Lewandowski, IndyCar Series, IndyCar, March 28, 2012, March 28, 2012, The event has a 5-year race contract through 2017 with IndyCar.WEB,weblink IndyCar's coming to town: Houston race slated for 2013 – Houston Chronicle, Chron.com, March 28, 2012, June 28, 2013, In motorcycling, the Astrodome hosted an AMA Supercross Championship round from 1974 to 2003 and the NRG Stadium since 2003.Houston is also one of the first cities in the world to have a major eSports team represent it, in the form of the Houston Outlaws. The Outlaws play in the Overwatch League and are one of two Texan teams, the other being the Dallas Fuel.

Government and politics

File:Houston City Hall in January 2012.JPG|thumb|Houston City HallHouston City HallThe city of Houston has a strong mayoral form of municipal government.WEB, Office of the Controller, City of Houston, Summary of Significant Accounting Policies, March 27, 2009,weblink Houston is a home rule city and all municipal elections in the state of Texas are nonpartisan.WEB, Local Government in Texas: Cities, Towns, Counties, and Special Districts, Politics in America, Sixth Edition, Thomas R., Dye, March 27, 2009,weblink yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20090506115644weblink">weblink May 6, 2009, mdy-all, The city's elected officials are the mayor, city controller and 16 members of the Houston City Council.WEB, City Council, City of Houston eGovernment Center, March 27, 2009,weblink The current mayor of Houston is Sylvester Turner, a Democrat elected on a nonpartisan ballot. Houston's mayor serves as the city's chief administrator, executive officer, and official representative, and is responsible for the general management of the city and for seeing that all laws and ordinances are enforced.WEB, Mayor's Office, City of Houston eGovernment Center, March 27, 2009,weblink The original city council line-up of 14 members (nine district-based and five at-large positions) was based on a U.S. Justice Department mandate which took effect in 1979.NEWS, Strong Currents of Change, TIME Magazine, November 19, 1979, March 27, 2009,weblink At-large council members represent the entire city.Under the city charter, once the population in the city limits exceeded 2.1 million residents, two additional districts were to be added.WEB, City Council may grow by two seats, Houston Chronicle, Stiles, Matt, Houston Chronicle, August 10, 2006, March 27, 2009,weblink The city of Houston's official 2010 census count was 600 shy of the required number; however, as the city was expected to grow beyond 2.1 million shortly thereafter, the two additional districts were added for, and the positions filled during, the August 2011 elections.The city controller is elected independently of the mayor and council. The controller's duties are to certify available funds prior to committing such funds and processing disbursements. The city's fiscal year begins on July 1 and ends on June 30. Chris Brown is the city controller, serving his first term {{as of|2016|January|lc=y}}.As the result of a 2015 referendum in Houston, a mayor is elected for a four-year term, and can be elected to as many as two consecutive terms.Houston voters lengthen term limits for city officials "weblink. Retrieved on January 10, 2015. The term limits were spearheaded in 1991 by conservative political activist Clymer Wright.WEB,weblink Aimee Buras, "Clymer Wright, force for Houston term limits, found dead," January 25, 2011, Houston Chronicle, January 29, 2011, During 1991–2015, the city controller and city council members were subjected to a two-year, three-term limitation – the 2015 referendum amended term limits to two four-year terms. {{as of|2017}} some councilmembers who served two terms and won a final term will have served eight years in office, whereas a freshman councilmember who won a position in 2013 can serve up to two additional terms under the previous term limit law – a select few will have at least 10 years of incumbency once their term expires.(File:Houston Police Department memorial.jpg|thumb|Houston Police Department Memorial)Houston is considered to be a politically divided city whose balance of power often sways between Republicans and Democrats. Much of the city's wealthier areas vote Republican while the city's working class and minority areas vote Democratic. According to the 2005 Houston Area Survey, 68 percent of non-Hispanic whites in Harris County are declared or favor Republicans while 89 percent of non-Hispanic blacks in the area are declared or favor Democrats. About 62 percent of Hispanics (of any race) in the area are declared or favor Democrats.Klineberg, Stephen. weblink" title="wayback.archive-it.org/all/20090227010353weblink">Houston Area Survey 1982–2005, Page 40. The city has often been known to be the most politically diverse city in Texas, a state known for being generally conservative. As a result, the city is often a contested area in statewide elections. In 2009, Houston became the first US city with a population over 1 million citizens to elect a gay mayor, by electing Annise Parker.

Crime

(File:HoustonPoliceDeptHQ.JPG|thumb|Houston Police Department headquarters)Houston had 303 homicides in 2015 and 302 homicides in 2016. Officials predicted there would be 323 homicides in 2016. Instead, there was no increase in Houston's homicide rate between 2015 and 2016.WEB,weblink Houston homicide rate changes little in 2016, Ashlynn, Turner, January 4, 2017, {{discuss}}Houston's murder rate ranked 46th of U.S. cities with a population over 250,000 in 2005 (per capita rate of 16.3 murders per 100,000 population)."WEB,weblink Murder Rate in 2005, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20061128173304weblink">weblink November 28, 2006, mdy-all,  {{small|(30.4 KB)}}," Morgan Quitno. Retrieved on November 29, 2006. In 2010, the city's murder rate (per capita rate of 11.8 murders per 100,000 population) was ranked sixth among U.S. cities with a population of over 750,000 (behind New York City, Chicago, Detroit, Dallas, and Philadelphia)FBI Uniform 2010 (prov.) Crime Report Table 4 "weblink. Retrieved on July 6, 2011. according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).Murders fell by 37 percent from January to June 2011, compared with the same period in 2010. Houston's total crime rate including violent and nonviolent crimes decreased by 11 percent.Lee, Renee C. "New FBI stats suggest crime's in decline in Houston", Houston Chronicle, July 26, 2011, p. B2. Retrieved July 26, 2006. The FBI's Uniform Crime Report (UCR) indicates a downward trend of violent crime in Houston over the ten- and twenty-year periods ending in 2016, which is consistent with national trends. This trend toward lower rates of violent crime in Houston includes the murder rate, though it had seen a four-year uptick that lasted through 2015. Houston's violent crime rate was 8.6% percent higher in 2016 from the previous year. However, from 2006 to 2016, violent crime was still down 12 percent in Houston.NEWS, Blakinger, Keri, Houston Chronicle, November 11, 2017,weblink FBI report: Houston's murder rate down, violent crime increases, September 25, 2017, Houston is a significant hub for trafficking of cocaine, cannabis, heroin, MDMA, and methamphetamine due to its size and proximity to major illegal drug exporting nations."Distribution – Houston High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Drug Market Analysis 2009." U.S. Department of Justice. Retrieved on August 11, 2009. Houston is one of the country's largest hubs for human trafficking.WEB,weblink Sex Trafficking: Groups Expose Houston's Dark Secret, cbn.com, September 15, 2015, In the early 1970s, Houston, Pasadena and several coastal towns were the site of the Houston mass murders, which at the time were the deadliest case of serial killing in American history.NEWS, CRIME: The Houston Horrors, TIME Magazine, August 20, 1973, May 2, 2010,weblink WEB, Beaver Country Times, May 2, 2010,weblink

Education

(File:HoustonISDWhiteHQ.jpg|thumb|The first Hattie Mae White Administration Building; it has been sold and demolished)Seventeen school districts exist within the city of Houston. The Houston Independent School District (HISD) is the seventh-largest school district in the United States and the largest in Texas."Houston ISD automates lunch", eSchool News online, February 21, 2006. Retrieved on December 16, 2006. HISD has 112 campuses that serve as magnet or vanguard schools—specializing in such disciplines as health professions, visual and performing arts, and the sciences. There are also many charter schools that are run separately from school districts. In addition, some public school districts also have their own charter schools.The Houston area encompasses more than 300 private schools,Private Schools. Houston-Texas-Online. 2004. Retrieved on January 10, 2007.Houston Private Schools. HoustonAreaWeb.com. Retrieved on January 10, 2007.weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20080101054600weblink">School Art Participation. Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Retrieved on January 10, 2007. Archived at the Internet Archive Wayback Machine. many of which are accredited by Texas Private School Accreditation Commission recognized agencies. The Houston Area independent schools offer education from a variety of different religious as well as secular viewpoints.About HAIS {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20070328010101weblink |date=March 28, 2007 }}. Houston Area independent schools. 2007. Retrieved on March 27, 2007. The Houston area Catholic schools are operated by the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.

Colleges and universities

{{further|List of colleges and universities in Houston}}Four distinct state universities are located in Houston. The University of Houston (UH) is a nationally recognized (List of research universities in the United States#Universities classified as "R1: Doctoral Universities – Highest Research Activity"|tier one research university) and is the flagship institution of the University of Houston System.WEB,weblink Carnegie Foundation Gives University of Houston its Highest Classification for Research Success, Elevating UH to Tier One Status, Bonnin, Richard, University of Houston, February 8, 2011, NEWS,weblink UH achieves Tier One status in research, Houston Business Journal, July 6, 2011, January 21, 2011, WEB,weblink UH takes big step up to Tier One status, Houston Chronicle, July 6, 2011, The {{nowrap|third-largest}} university in Texas, the University of Houston has nearly 44,000 students on its {{Convert|667|acre|hectare|adj=on}} campus in the Third Ward.WEB,weblink State of the University: Fall 2011, University of Houston, October 4, 2011, October 5, 2011, Khator, Renu, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20111027101812weblink">weblink October 27, 2011, mdy-all, The University of Houston–Clear Lake and the University of Houston–Downtown are {{nowrap|stand-alone}} universities within the University of Houston System; they are not branch campuses of the University of Houston. Slightly west of the University of Houston is Texas Southern University (TSU), one of the largest and most comprehensive historically black universities in the United States with approximately 10,000 students. Texas Southern University was the first state university in Houston, founded in 1927.WEB,weblink Histories of TSU and UH marked by segregation, Chron.com, February 3, 2018, Several private institutions of higher learning are located within the city. Rice University, the most selective university in Texas and one of the most selective in the United States,NEWS,weblink Rice tops the list of 25 hardest colleges to get into in Texas, Ramirez, Fernando, April 19, 2017, Houston Chronicle, March 26, 2018, is a private, secular institution with a high level of research activity.WEB, Rice University, Best Colleges 2009, U.S. News & World Report, March 27, 2009,weblink yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20090216191034weblink">weblink February 16, 2009, mdy-all, Founded in 1912, Rice's historic, heavily wooded {{Convert|300|acre|hectare|adj=on}} campus, located adjacent to Hermann Park and the Texas Medical Center, hosts approximately 4,000 undergraduate and 3,000 post-graduate students. To the north in Neartown, the University of St. Thomas, founded in 1947, is Houston's only Catholic university. St. Thomas provides a liberal arts curriculum for roughly 3,000 students at its historic 19-block campus along Montrose Boulevard. In southwest Houston, Houston Baptist University (HBU), founded in 1960, offers bachelor's and graduate degrees at its Sharpstown campus. The school is affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas and has a student population of approximately 3,000.Three community college districts have campuses in and around Houston. The Houston Community College System (HCC) serves most of Houston proper; its main campus and headquarters are located in Midtown. Suburban northern and western parts of the metropolitan area are served by various campuses of the Lone Star College System, while the southeastern portion of Houston is served by San Jacinto College, and a northeastern portion is served by Lee College."About Lee College." Lee College. Retrieved on May 6, 2013. The Houston Community College and Lone Star College systems are among the 10 largest institutions of higher learning in the United States.Houston also hosts a number of graduate schools in law and healthcare. The University of Houston Law Center and Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University are public, ABA-accredited law schools, while the South Texas College of Law, located in Downtown, serves as a private, independent alternative. The Texas Medical Center is home to a high density of health professions schools, including two medical schools: McGovern Medical School, part of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, and Baylor College of Medicine, a highly selective private institution. Prairie View A&M University's nursing school is located in the Texas Medical Center. Additionally, both Texas Southern University and the University of Houston have pharmacy schools, and the University of Houston hosts a college of optometry.File:TSU Campus.jpg|Texas Southern University, located in the Third Ward, is the first public institution of higher education in Houston and the largest HBCU in Texas.File:University of Houston-Downtown Commerce Building.jpg|The University of Houston–Downtown, located in Downtown, is the second-largest institution of higher education in Houston.File:Ezekiel W. Cullen building 3.jpg|The University of Houston, located in the Third Ward, is a tier-one public research university and the third-largest institution of higher education in Texas.File:Lovett Hall.jpg|Rice University, located near the Museum District and Texas Medical Center, is a private tier-one research university and the most selective institution of higher education in Texas.File:UniversityofSaintThomasHoustonNewentrance2008.JPG|The University of St. Thomas, located in Neartown, is a private Catholic liberal arts college.File:HBU CIMG0209.JPG|Houston Baptist University, located in Sharpstown, is a private Baptist university.

Media

{{further|List of newspapers in Houston|List of television stations in Texas|List of radio stations in Texas|Magazines in Houston|List of films featured in Houston}}(File:HoustonPostHQ.JPG|thumb|The current Houston Chronicle headquarters, formerly the Houston Post headquarters|198x198px)The primary network-affiliated television stations are KPRC-TV (NBC), KHOU (CBS), KTRK-TV (ABC), KRIV (Fox), KIAH (The CW), and KTXH (MyNetworkTV). KTRK-TV, KRIV and KTXH operate as owned-and-operated stations of their networks.The Houston–The Woodlands–Sugar Land metropolitan area is served by one public television station and one public radio station. KUHT (Houston Public Media) is a PBS member station and is the first public television station in the United States. Houston Public Radio is listener-funded and comprises one NPR member station, KUHF (News 88.7). The University of Houston System owns and holds broadcasting licenses to KUHT and KUHF. The stations broadcast from the Melcher Center for Public Broadcasting, located on the campus of the University of Houston.Houston is served by the Houston Chronicle, its only major daily newspaper with wide distribution. The Hearst Corporation, which owns and operates the Houston Chronicle, bought the assets of the Houston Post—its long-time rival and main competition—when Houston Post ceased operations in 1995. The Houston Post was owned by the family of former Lieutenant Governor Bill Hobby of Houston. The only other major publication to serve the city is the Houston Press—which was a free alternative weekly newspaper before the destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey resulted in the publication switching to an online-only format on November 2, 2017.WEB,weblink Houston Press Shutters Its Print Operation, Houston Press, March 21, 2018,

Infrastructure

Healthcare

{{See also|List of hospitals in Texas}}File:UTMDA1.JPG|thumb|right|MD Anderson Cancer CenterMD Anderson Cancer CenterHouston is the seat of the Texas Medical Center, which describes itself as containing the world's largest concentration of research and healthcare institutions.WEB, Texas Medical Center – Largest Medical Center (Video HD (English)), Texas Medical Center, March 28, 2009,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20100623134855weblink">weblink yes, June 23, 2010, All 49 member institutions of the Texas Medical Center are non-profit organizations. They provide patient and preventive care, research, education, and local, national, and international community well-being. Employing more than 73,600 people, institutions at the medical center include 13 hospitals and two specialty institutions, two medical schools, four nursing schools, and schools of dentistry, public health, pharmacy, and virtually all health-related careers. It is where one of the first—and still the largest—air emergency service, Life Flight, was created, and an inter-institutional transplant program was developed.{{Cn|date=March 2019}} Around 2007, more heart surgeries were performed at the Texas Medical Center than anywhere else in the world.WEB, Texas Medical Center, www.visithoustontexas.com,weblink February 6, 2007, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070208100707weblink">weblink February 8, 2007, mdy-all, Some of the academic and research health institutions at the center include MD Anderson Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine, UT Health Science Center, Memorial Hermann Hospital, Houston Methodist Hospital, Texas Children's Hospital, and University of Houston College of Pharmacy.In the 2000s, the Baylor College of Medicine was annually considered within the top ten medical schools in the nation; likewise, the MD Anderson Cancer Center had been consistently ranked as one of the top two U.S. hospitals specializing in cancer care by U.S. News & World Report since 1990.WEB, Institutional Profile, www.mdanderson.org,weblink February 21, 2007, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20090303124842weblink">weblink March 3, 2009, mdy-all, WEB, Rice and Baylor College of Medicine extend MOU, Rice University, News & Media, October 11, 2009,weblink yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20120118022529weblink">weblink January 18, 2012, mdy-all, The Menninger Clinic, a psychiatric treatment center, is affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine and the Houston Methodist Hospital System.WEB, Quick Facts About The Menninger Clinic, menningerclinic.com, The Menninger Clinic, March 27, 2009,weblink With hospital locations nationwide and headquarters in Houston, the Triumph Healthcare hospital system was the third largest long term acute care provider nationally in 2005.WEB,weblink TA Associates – News, Ta.com, September 1, 2005, November 4, 2011, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20111011022123weblink">weblink October 11, 2011, mdy-all,

Transportation

Houston is considered an automobile-dependent city, with an estimated 77.2% of commuters driving alone to work in 2016,WEB,weblink American Fact Finder, U.S. Census Bureau, October 31, 2017, 2016 American Community Survey, 1-year estimates: Commuting Characteristics by Sex, up from 71.7% in 1990WEB,weblink Census and You, US Census Bureau, 12, January 1996, February 19, 2007, and 75.6% in 2009.WEB, Freemark, Yonah,weblink October 31, 2017, October 13, 2010, Transit Mode Share Trends Looking Steady; Rail Appears to Encourage Non-Automobile Commutes, Transport Politic, In 2016, another 11.4% of Houstonians carpooled to work, while 3.6% used public transit, 2.1% walked, and 0.5% bicycled. A commuting study estimated that the median length of commute in the region was {{Convert|12.2|mi|km}} in 2012.WEB,weblink The growing distance between people and jobs in metropolitan America, Kneebone, Elizabeth, Holmes, Natalie, March 2015, Brookings Institution, March 19, 2018, According to the 2013 American Community Survey, the average work commute in Houston (city) takes 26.3 minutes.WEB,weblink Commuting to Work in the Largest 30 U.S. Cities, Sivak, Michael, May 2015, University of Michigan, March 19, 2018, A 1999 Murdoch University study found that Houston had both the lengthiest commute and lowest urban density of 13 large American cities surveyed,JOURNAL, Kenworthy, Jeffery R., 1999, Patterns of automobile dependence in cities: an international overview of key physical and economic dimensions with some implications for urban policy,weblink Transportation Research Part A, 33, 691–723, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a 2017 Arcadis study ranked Houston 22nd out of 23 American cities in transportation sustainability.WEB,weblink Study: Houston among cities with poor sustainable transit systems, Para, Jen, October 30, 2017, www.bizjournals.com, March 19, 2018, Harris County is one of the largest consumers of gasoline in the United States, ranking second (behind Los Angeles County) in 2013.NEWS,weblink Four Texas counties rank among nation's top ten for gasoline consumption, Kasperkevic, Jana, September 28, 2012, Houston Chronicle, March 19, 2018, en-US, Despite the region's high rate of automobile usage, attitudes towards transportation among Houstonians indicate a growing preference for walkability. A 2017 study by the Rice University Kinder Institute for Urban Research found that 56% of Harris County residents have a preference for dense housing in a mixed-use, walkable setting as opposed to single-family housing in a low-density area.WEB,weblink The Kinder Houston Area Survey: Thirty-Six Years of Measuring Responses to a Changing America, Klineberg, Stephen L., May 2017, Kinder Institute for Urban Research, Rice University,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20171013234123weblink">weblink October 13, 2017, yes, March 19, 2018, mdy-all, A plurality of survey respondents also indicated that traffic congestion was the most significant problem facing the metropolitan area. In addition, many households in the City of Houston have no car. In 2015, 8.3 percent of Houston households lacked a car, which was virtually unchanged in 2016 (8.1 percent). The national average was 8.7 percent in 2016. Houston averaged 1.59 cars per household in 2016, compared to a national average of 1.8.JOURNAL, Car Ownership in U.S. Cities Data and Map, Governing,weblink May 4, 2018,

Roadways

File:45intoI-10 2.jpg|thumb|left|The Interstate 10/U.S. Route 90 and Interstate 45 stack interchangestack interchange The eight-county Greater Houston metropolitan area contains over {{Convert|25000|mi|km}} of roadway, of which 10%, or approximately {{Convert|2500|mi|km}}, is limited-access highway.WEB,weblink 2040 Regional Transportation Plan, March 30, 2016, Houston-Galveston Area Council (HGAC), March 19, 2018, The Houston region's extensive freeway system handles over 40% of the regional daily vehicle miles traveled (VMT). Arterial roads handle an additional 40% of daily VMT, while toll roads, of which Greater Houston has {{Convert|180|mi|km}}, handle nearly 10%.Greater Houston possesses a hub-and-spoke limited-access highway system, in which a number of freeways radiate outward from Downtown, with ring roads providing connections between these radial highways at intermediate distances from the city center. The city is crossed by three Interstate highways, Interstate 10, Interstate 45, and Interstate 69 (commonly known as U.S. Route 59), as well as a number of other United States routes and state highways. Major freeways in Greater Houston are often referred to by either the cardinal direction or geographic location they travel towards. Highways that follow the cardinal convention include U.S. Route 290 (Northwest Freeway), Interstate 45 north of Downtown (North Freeway), Interstate 10 east of Downtown (East Freeway), Texas State Highway 288 (South Freeway), and Interstate 69 south of Downtown (Southwest Freeway). Highways that follow the location convention include Interstate 10 west of Downtown (Katy Freeway), Interstate 69 north of Downtown (Eastex Freeway), Interstate 45 south of Downtown (Gulf Freeway), and Texas State Highway 225 (La Porte or Pasadena Freeway).Three loop freeways provide north-south and east-west connectivity between Greater Houston's radial highways. The innermost loop is Interstate 610, commonly known as the Inner Loop, which encircles Downtown, the Texas Medical Center, Greenway Plaza, the cities of West University Place and Southside Place, and many core neighborhoods. The {{Convert|88|mi|km|adj=on}} State Highway Beltway 8, often referred to as the Beltway, forms the middle loop at a radius of roughly {{Convert|10|mi|km}}. A third, {{Convert|180|mi|km|adj=on}} loop with a radius of approximately {{Convert|25|mi|km}}, State Highway 99 (the Grand Parkway), is currently under construction, with six of eleven segments completed {{as of|2018|lc=y}}.WEB,weblink SH 99 / Grand Parkway Project, 2018, Texas Department of Transportation,weblink March 4, 2018, March 20, 2018, Completed segments D through G provide a continuous {{Convert|70.4|mi|km|adj=on}} limited-access tollway connection between Sugar Land, Katy, Cypress, Spring, and Porter.A system of toll roads, operated by the Harris County Toll Road Authority (HCTRA) and Fort Bend County Toll Road Authority (FBCTRA), provides additional options for regional commuters. The Sam Houston Tollway, which encompasses the mainlanes of Beltway 8 (as opposed to the frontage roads, which are untolled), is the longest tollway in the system, covering the entirety of the Beltway with the exception of a free section between Interstate 45 and Interstate 69 near George Bush Intercontinental Airport. The region is serviced by four spoke tollways: a set of managed lanes on the Katy Freeway; the Hardy Toll Road, which parallels Interstate 45 north of Downtown up to Spring; the Westpark Tollway, which services Houston's western suburbs out to Fulshear; and Fort Bend Parkway, which connects to Sienna Plantation. Westpark Tollway and Fort Bend Parkway are operated conjunctly with the Fort Bend County Toll Road Authority.Greater Houston's freeway system is monitored by Houston TranStar, a partnership of four government agencies which is responsible for providing transportation and emergency management services to the region.About Houston TranStar. Houston TranStar. 2008. Retrieved on February 17, 2008.Greater Houston's arterial road network is established at the municipal level, with the City of Houston exercising planning control over both its incorporated area and extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ). Therefore, Houston exercises transportation planning authority over a {{Convert|2000|mi2|km2|adj=on}} area over five counties, many times larger than its corporate area.WEB,weblink Major Thoroughfare and Freeway Plan Policy Statement, March 2015, City of Houston, March 20, 2018, The Major Thoroughfare and Freeway Plan, updated annually, establishes the city's street hierarchy, identifies roadways in need of widening, and proposes new roadways in unserved areas. Arterial roads are organized into four categories, in decreasing order of intensity: major thoroughfares, transit corridor streets, collector streets, and local streets. Roadway classification affects anticipated traffic volumes, roadway design, and right of way breadth. Ultimately, the system is designed to ferry traffic from neighborhood streets to major thoroughfares, which connect into the limited-access highway system. Notable arterial roads in the region include Westheimer Road, Memorial Drive, Texas State Highway 6, Farm to Market Road 1960, Bellaire Boulevard, and Telephone Road.

Transit

File:METRO Light Rail3.jpg|thumb|right|METRORailMETRORailThe Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) provides public transportation in the form of buses, light rail, high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes, and paratransit to fifteen municipalities throughout the Greater Houston area and parts of unincorporated Harris County. METRO's service area covers {{Convert|1303|mi2|km2}} containing a population of 3.6 million.WEB,weblink Gulf Coast Regionally Coordinated Transportation Plan – 2016 Transportation Resource Inventory Update, 2016, Houston–Galveston Area Council, 62, March 20, 2018, METRO's local bus network services approximately 275,000 riders daily with a fleet of over 1,200 buses. The agency's 75 local routes contain nearly 8,900 stops and saw nearly 67 million boardings during the 2016 fiscal year. A park and ride system provides commuter bus service from 34 transit centers scattered throughout the region's suburban areas; these express buses operate independently of the local bus network and utilize the region's extensive system of HOV lanes.WEB,weblink 2040 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP), March 2016, Houston–Galveston Area Council, March 20, 2018, Downtown and the Texas Medical Center have the highest rates of transit use in the region, largely due to the park and ride system, with nearly 60% of commuters in each district utilizing public transit to get to work.METRO began light rail service in 2004 with the opening of the {{convert|8|mi|km|adj=on}} north-south Red Line connecting Downtown, Midtown, the Museum District, the Texas Medical Center, and NRG Park. In the early 2010s, two additional lines—the Green Line, servicing the East End, and the Purple Line, servicing the Third Ward—opened, and the Red Line was extended northward to Northline, bringing the total length of the system to {{Convert|22.7|mi|km}}. Two light rail lines outlined in a five-line system approved by voters in a 2003 referendum have yet to be constructed.NEWS,weblink Vote against Metro referendum could mean more rail, Smalley, George F., October 5, 2012, Houston Chronicle, March 20, 2018, The Uptown Line, which would run along Post Oak Boulevard in Uptown, is currently under construction as a bus rapid transit line—the city's first—while the University Line has been postponed indefinitely.NEWS,weblink Federal funding pulled for light rail line construction along Richmond Avenue, Begley, Dug, May 24, 2016, Houston Chronicle, March 20, 2018, The light rail system saw approximately 16.8 million boardings in fiscal year 2016.Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, provides service three times a week to Houston via the {{line link|Amtrak|Sunset Limited}} (Los Angeles–New Orleans), which stops at a station northwest of Downtown. The station saw 14,891 boardings and alightings in fiscal year 2008.WEB, Amtrak Fact Sheet, Fiscal Year 2008, State of Texas, amtrak.com, Amtrak, March 28, 2009,weblink yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20090227012831weblink">weblink February 27, 2009, mdy-all, In 2012, there was a 25 percent increase in ridership to 20,327 passengers embarking from the Houston Amtrak Station.NEWS,weblink Amtrak ridership up in Houston area, Brookings Institution reports, Houston Business Journal,

Cycling

Houston City Council approved the Houston Bike Plan in March 2017, at that time entering the plan into the Houston Code of Ordinances.WEB, City of Houston, May 4, 2018, Houston Bikeways Program,weblink Houston has the largest number of bike commuters in Texas with over 160 miles of dedicated bikeways.WEB,weblink Home, Houstonbikeways.org, June 28, 2013, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130725004319weblink">weblink July 25, 2013, mdy-all, The city is currently in the process of expanding its on and off street bikeway network.{{when|date=May 2018}}WEB,weblink New Shared Lane Designation, Houstonbikeways.org, June 28, 2013, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130725004323weblink">weblink July 25, 2013, mdy-all, In 2015, Downtown Houston added a cycle track on Lamar Street, running from Sam Houston Park to Discovery Green.WEB, City of Houston, Lamar Cycle Track Page, May 4, 2018,weblink In August 2017, Houston City Council approved spending for construction of 13 additional miles of bike trails.NEWS, Elliot, Rebecca, Hike and bike trail extensions coming to four bayous, Houston Chronicle, August 23, 2017, May 4, 2018,weblink Houston's bicycle sharing system started service with nineteen stations in May 2012. Houston Bcycle (also known as B-Cycle), a local non-profit, runs the subscription program, supplying bicycles and docking stations, while partnering with other companies to maintain the system.NEWS, Houston Chronicle, Turner, Allan, Houston saddles up for downtown bike share program, May 2, 2012, May 4, 2018,weblink The network expanded to 29 stations and 225 bicycles in 2014, registering over 43,000 checkouts of equipment during the first half of the same year.WEB,weblink Houston bikesharing program enjoys robust growth, August 24, 2014, yes,weblink August 26, 2014, mdy, Begley, Dug, Houston Chronicle, In 2017, Bcycle logged over 142,000 check outs while expanding to 56 docking stations.NEWS, Houston Chronicle, Houston Bike Share names new executive director, March 27, 2018, May 4, 2018,weblink

Airports

File:Bush terminal E.jpg|thumb|left|Terminal E, used exclusively by United Airlines, at George Bush Intercontinental Airport]]The Houston Airport System, a branch of the municipal government, oversees the operation of three major public airports in the city. Two of these airports, George Bush Intercontinental Airport and William P. Hobby Airport, offer commercial aviation service to a variety of domestic and international destinations and served 55 million passengers in 2016. The third, Ellington Airport, is home to the Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base. The Federal Aviation Administration and the state of Texas selected the Houston Airport System as "Airport of the Year" in 2005, largely due to the implementation of a $3.1 billion airport improvement program for both major airports in Houston.PRESS RELEASE, FAA selects the HAS as 2005 Airport of the Year, Houston Airport System, March 24, 2006,weblink December 16, 2006, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070928091537weblink">weblink September 28, 2007, mdy-all, George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), located {{Convert|23|mi|km}} north of Downtown Houston between Interstates 45 and 69, is the eighth busiest commercial airport in the United States (by total passengers and aircraft movements) and forty-third busiest globally.WEB,weblink Fact Sheets, 2017, Houston Airport System, March 25, 2018, WEB,weblink George Bush Intercontinental Airport Fact Sheet, March 1, 2018, Houston Airport System, March 25, 2018, The five-terminal, five-runway, {{Convert|11000|acre|hectare|adj=on}} airport served 40 million passengers in 2016, including 10 million international travelers. In 2006, the United States Department of Transportation named IAH the fastest-growing of the top ten airports in the United States.PRESS RELEASE, 2005 Total Airline System Passenger Traffic Up 4.6% From 2004, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, April 27, 2006,weblink December 16, 2006, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20060922202239weblink">weblink September 22, 2006, mdy-all, The Houston Air Route Traffic Control Center is located at Bush Intercontinental.Houston was the headquarters of Continental Airlines until its 2010 merger with United Airlines with headquarters in Chicago; regulatory approval for the merger was granted in October of that year. Bush Intercontinental is currently United Airlines' second largest hub, behind O'Hare International Airport.NEWS,weblink United Continental Planning Houston Flight Resumption, Carey, Susan, August 30, 2017, Wall Street Journal, March 25, 2018, en-US, 0099-9660, United Airlines' share of the Houston Airport System's commercial aviation market was nearly 60% in 2017 with 16 million enplaned passengers.WEB,weblink Houston Airport System Statistical Report: 2017 Fiscal Year Summary, 2017, Houston Airport System, City of Houston, March 25, 2018, In early 2007, Bush Intercontinental Airport was named a model "port of entry" for international travelers by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.WEB, Airport designated 'model port of entry' last=Hensel Jr., April 5, 2007, Houston Chronicle, June 21, 2008,weblink William P. Hobby Airport (HOU), known as Houston International Airport until 1967, operates primarily short- to medium-haul domestic and international flights to 60 destinations. The four-runway, {{Convert|1304|acre|hectare|adj=on}} facility is located approximately {{Convert|7|mi|km}} southeast of Downtown Houston. In 2015, Southwest Airlines launched service from a new international terminal at Hobby to several destinations in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. These were the first international flights flown from Hobby since the opening of Bush Intercontinental in 1969.WEB, Southwest launches new international service at Houston Hobby Airport today, Dallas Morning News, October 15, 2015, December 18, 2015,weblink Houston's aviation history is showcased in the 1940 Air Terminal Museum, located in the old terminal building on the west side of the airport. In 2009, Hobby Airport was recognized with two awards for being one of the top five performing airports globally and for customer service by Airports Council International.WEB
, William P. Hobby Airport Rated Among Top Five Performing Airports Worldwide
, Houston Airport System
, March 10, 2009
, March 28, 2009
,weblink
, yes
,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20090314202933weblink">weblink
, March 14, 2009
, mdy-all
, Houston's third municipal airport is Ellington Airport, used by the military, government (including NASA) and general aviation sectors.WEB, About Ellington Airport, Houston Airport System, March 28, 2009,weblink yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070302010555weblink">weblink March 2, 2007, mdy-all,

Sister cities

The Houston Office of Protocol and International Affairs is the city's liaison to Houston's sister cities and to the national governing organization, Sister Cities International. Through their official city-to-city relationships, these volunteer associations promote people-to-people diplomacy and encourage citizens to develop mutual trust and understanding through commercial, cultural, educational, and humanitarian exchanges.WEB,weblink Sister Cities, houstontx.gov, February 15, 2014, WEB,weblink Our Sister Cities Associations, www.sistercitieshouston.org, {{div col}} {{div col end}}

See also

Notes

{{notelist}}

References

{{Reflist|30em}}

Further reading

  • 174 Years of Historic Houston Houstonhistory.com. 2007. Retrieved on 2007-01-13.
  • BOOK, Allen, O. Fisher, City of Houston from Wilderness to Wonder, Self Published, 1936, NA, .
  • ARTICLE,weblink Houston, New York Has a Problem, City Journal, Summer, 2008, Glaeser, Edward L., June 29, 2018,
  • BOOK, Johnston, Marguerite, Houston, The Unknown City, 1836–1946, Texas A&M University Press, 1991, 978-0-89096-476-7,
  • WEB, Handbook of Texas Online, Houston, Texas, McComb, David G., Texas State Historical Association, June 29, 2018, February 15, 2017,weblink
  • BOOK, Miller, Ray, Ray Miller's Houston, Gulf Publishing Company, 1984, 978-0-88415-081-7, Ray Miller (Texas journalist),
  • Phelps, Wesley G. A People's War on Poverty: Urban Politics and Grassroots Activists in Houston. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2014.
  • Pruitt, Bernadette. The Other Great Migration: The Movement of Rural African-Americans to Houston, 1900–1941. College Station, TX: Texas A&M University Press, 2013.
  • BOOK, Slotboom, Oscar F. "Erik", Houston Freeways,weblink Oscar F. Slotboom, 2003, 978-0-9741605-3-5,
  • BOOK, Wilson, Ann Quin, Native Houstonian – A Collective Portrait, The Donning Company – Houston Baptist University Press, 1982, 80-27644,
  • BOOK,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20071011192033weblink">weblink yes, 2007-10-11, A thumb-nail history of the city of Houston, Texas, from its founding in 1836 to the year 1912, 1912, Young, Dr. S.O., Houston, Rein and Sons, Digital republication by the Portal to Texas History Portal to Texas History. Reprinted in 2007 by Copano Bay Press.
  • BOOK, True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches, Young, Dr. S. O., 1913, Galveston, Texas, Oscar Springer,weblink Digital republication by the Portal to Texas History. Reprinted in 2007 by Copano Bay Press.

External links

{{sister project links|voy=Houston}} {{Houston, Texas}}{{Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown MSA}}{{Texas}}{{Republic of Texas}}{{Navboxes|title=Other articles related to Houston|list={{Harris County, Texas}}{{Fort Bend County, Texas}}{{Montgomery County, Texas}}{{Texas county seats}}{{Texas cities and mayors of 100,000 population}}}}{{Authority control}}

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