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 Houston. The 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 by global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney.

The Houston area is a leading center for building oilfield equipment. Much of Houston’s success as a petrochemical complex is due to its busy man-made ship channel, the Port of Houston. The port ranks first in the United States in international commerce, and is the tenth-largest port in the world. 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.

The Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown MSA’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2010 was $385 billion, larger than Austria’s, Argentina’s or South Africa’s GDP.[81] Only 21 countries other than the United States have a gross domestic product exceeding Houston’s regional gross area product. Mining, which in Houston consists almost entirely of exploration and production of oil and gas, accounts 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.
A graph showing the major sectors of the Houston economy.

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. This is in addition to the 12,500 new graduates the UH System produces every year who enter the workforce in Houston and throughout Texas. These degree-holders tend to stay in Houston. After five years, 80.5 percent 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.[86] Foreign governments have established 92 consular offices in metropolitan Houston, the third highest in the nation. Forty foreign governments maintain trade and commercial offices here and 23 active foreign chambers of commerce and trade associations.[88] Twenty-five foreign banks representing 13 nations operate in Houston, providing financial assistance to the international community.

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. The city ranked fourth for highest increase in the local technological innovation over the preceding 15 years, according to Forbes magazine. In the same year, the city ranked second on the annual Fortune 500 list of company headquarters, ranked first for Forbes Best Cities for College Graduates, and ranked first on Forbes list of Best Cities to Buy a Home. In 2010, the city was rated the best city for shopping, according to Forbes.
Demographics
Main article: Demographics of Houston
Historical populations
Census Pop. %±
1850 2,396

1860 4,845 102.2%
1870 9,332 92.6%
1880 16,513 77.0%
1890 27,557 66.9%
1900 44,633 62.0%
1910 78,800 76.6%
1920 138,276 75.5%
1930 292,352 111.4%
1940 384,514 31.5%
1950 596,163 55.0%
1960 938,219 57.4%
1970 1,232,802 31.4%
1980 1,595,138 29.4%
1990 1,630,553 2.2%
2000 1,953,631 19.8%
2010 2,099,451 7.5%
Est. 2011 2,145,146 2.2%
U.S. Decennial Census
2011 estimate
Map of racial/ethnic distribution in the City of Houston, 2010 census – Each dot represents 25 people. Red dots represent White people, orange dots represent Hispanic people, blue dots represent Black people, green dots represent Asian people, and gray dots represent other people

Houston is a multicultural city, in part because of its many academic institutions and strong industries as well as being a major port city. Over 90 languages are spoken in the city. The city has among the youngest populations in the nation, partly due to an influx of immigrants into Texas.[100] An estimated 400,000 illegal aliens reside in the Houston area.

According to the 2010 Census, whites made up 51% of Houston’s population; 26% of the total population were non-Hispanic whites. Blacks or African Americans made up 24% of Houston’s population. American Indians made up 0.7% of Houston’s population. Asians made up 6% of Houston’s population (1.7% Vietnamese, 1.3% Chinese, 1.3% Indian, 0.9% Pakistani, 0.4% Filipino, 0.3% Korean, 0.1% Japanese), while 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. Individuals from two or more races made up 3.3% of the city’s population. People of Hispanic origin, regardless of race, made up 44% of Houston’s population

As of the 2000 Census, there were 1,953,631 people and the population density was 3,371.7 people per square mile (1,301.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 49.3% White, 25.3% African American, 5.3% Asian, 0.4% 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 while non-Hispanic whites made up 30.8%, down from 62.4% in 1970.

The median income for a household in the city was $37,000, and the median income for a family was $40,000. Males had a median income of $32,000 versus $27,000 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,000. Nineteen percent of the population and 16 percent of families were below the poverty line. Out 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.

Source: Wikipedia.com (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Houston)

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