86 Facts About Houston


Houston is the southeast anchor of the greater megaregion known as the Texas Triangle.

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The city is named after former General Sam Houston, who was president of the Republic of Texas and had won Texas's independence from Mexico at the Battle of San Jacinto 25 miles east of Allen's Landing.

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Arrival of the 20th century brought a convergence of economic factors that fueled rapid growth in Houston, including a burgeoning port and railroad industry, the decline of Galveston as Texas's primary port following a devastating 1900 hurricane, the subsequent construction of the Houston Ship Channel, and the Texas oil boom.

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Since the late 19th century Houston's economy has had a broad industrial base, in energy, manufacturing, aeronautics, and transportation.

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Houston is the most diverse metropolitan area in Texas and has been described as the most racially and ethnically diverse major city in the U S It is home to many cultural institutions and exhibits, which attract more than seven million visitors a year to the Museum District.

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Houston has an active visual and performing arts scene in the Theater District, and offers year-round resident companies in all major performing arts.

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Landlocked farmers brought their produce to Houston, using Buffalo Bayou to gain access to Galveston and the Gulf of Mexico.

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Houston merchants profited from selling staples to farmers and shipping the farmers' produce to Galveston.

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In 2000, the Houston Astros opened their new baseball stadium, Minute Maid Park, in downtown adjacent to the old Union Station.

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The Houston Texans were formed in 2002 as an NFL expansion team, replacing the Houston Oilers, which had left the city in 1996.

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Flooding has been a recurring problem in the Houston area, exacerbated by a lack of zoning laws, which allowed unregulated building of residential homes and other structures in flood-prone areas.

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In June 2001, Tropical Storm Allison dumped up to 40 inches of rain on parts of Houston, causing what was then the worst flooding in the city's history and billions of dollars in damage, and killed 20 people in Texas.

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The damage for the Houston area was estimated at up to $125 billion U S dollars, and was considered to be one of the worst natural disasters in the history of the United States, with the death toll exceeding 70 people.

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Houston is 165 miles east of Austin, 88 miles west of the Louisiana border, and 250 miles south of Dallas.

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Houston has four major bayous passing through the city that accept water from the extensive drainage system.

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Houston is a flat, marshy area where an extensive drainage system has been built.

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Houston area has over 150 active faults with an aggregate length of up to 310 miles, including the Long Point–Eureka Heights fault system which runs through the center of the city.

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Land in some areas southeast of Houston is sinking because water has been pumped out of the ground for many years.

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City of Houston was incorporated in 1837 and adopted a ward system of representation shortly afterward, in 1840.

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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.

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Locations in Houston are generally classified as either being inside or outside the Interstate 610 loop.

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Houston had the fifth-tallest skyline in North America and 36th-tallest in the world in 2015.

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Houston's climate is classified as humid subtropical, typical of the Southern United States.

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Houston has excessive ozone levels and is routinely ranked among the most ozone-polluted cities in the United States.

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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.

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Excessive man-made emissions in the Houston area led to a persistent increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide over the city.

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Houston has long been known as a popular destination for African Americans due to the city's well-established and influential African American community.

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Houston has become known as a Black Mecca akin to Atlanta because it is a popular living destination for Black professionals and entrepreneurs.

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The Houston area is home to the largest African American community west of the Mississippi River.

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The proportion of non-Hispanic whites in Houston has decreased significantly since 1970, when it was 62.

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Houston is home to one of the largest LGBT communities and pride parades in the United States.

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Jordan Blum of the Houston Chronicle stated levels of LGBT acceptance and discrimination varied in 2016 due to some of the region's traditionally conservative culture.

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Houston elected the first openly lesbian mayor of a major city in 2009, and she served until 2016.

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Lakewood Church in Houston, led by Pastor Joel Osteen, is the largest church in the United States.

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Houston has a large and diverse Muslim community; it is the largest in Texas and the Southern United States, as of 2012.

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Large Hindu temples in the metropolitan area include the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Houston, affiliated with the Swaminarayan Sampradaya denomination in Fort Bend County, near the suburb of Stafford as well as the South Indian-style Sri Meenakshi Temple in suburban Pearland, in Brazoria County, which is the oldest Hindu temple in Texas and third-oldest Hindu temple in the United States.

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Houston is recognized worldwide for its energy industry—particularly for oil and natural gas—as well as for biomedical research and aeronautics.

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The Houston Ship Channel is a large part of Houston's economic base.

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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.

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Houston area is a leading center for building oilfield equipment.

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Houston is the beginning or end point of numerous oil, gas, and products pipelines.

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Twenty-five foreign banks representing 13 nations operate in Houston, providing financial assistance to the international community.

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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.

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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.

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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 after the crash, more than two jobs were added for every one lost.

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Also in 2013, Houston again appeared on Forbes' list of "Best Places for Business and Careers".

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Houston is highly regarded for its diverse food and restaurant culture.

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Houston received the official nickname of "Space City" in 1967 because it is the location of NASA's Lyndon B Johnson Space Center.

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Houston is one of few United States cities with permanent, professional, resident companies in all major performing arts disciplines: opera, ballet, music, and theater .

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Houston is home to folk artists, art groups and various small progressive arts organizations.

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Houston is the birthplace of the chopped and screwed remixing-technique in Hip-hop which was pioneered by DJ Screw from the city.

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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.

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Space Center Houston is the official visitors' center of NASA's Lyndon B Johnson Space Center.

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Sam Houston Park contains restored and reconstructed homes which were originally built between 1823 and 1905.

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Houston has sports teams for every major professional league except the National Hockey League.

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The Houston Rockets are a National Basketball Association franchise based in the city since 1971.

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The Houston Texans are a National Football League expansion team formed in 2002.

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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.

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The Houston SaberCats are a rugby team that plays in Major League Rugby.

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Houston has the NFL's first retractable-roof stadium with natural grass, NRG Stadium .

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Houston is one of the first cities in the world to have a major esports team represent it, in the form of the Houston Outlaws.

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Houston is one of eight cities to have an XFL team, the Houston Roughnecks.

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Houston is a home rule city and all municipal elections in Texas are nonpartisan.

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Houston is considered to be a politically divided city whose balance of power often sways between Republicans and Democrats.

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In 2009, Houston became the first U S city with a population over 1 million citizens to elect a gay mayor, by electing Annise Parker.

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Houston had 303 homicides in 2015 and 302 homicides in 2016.

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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.

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In 1853, the first execution in Houston took place in public at Founder's Cemetery in the Fourth Ward; initially, the cemetery was the execution site, but post-1868 executions took place in the jail facilities.

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Houston area encompasses more than 300 private schools, many of which are accredited by Texas Private School Accreditation Commission recognized agencies.

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The University of Houston is a research university and the flagship institution of the University of Houston System.

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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.

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Additionally, both Texas Southern University and the University of Houston have pharmacy schools, and the University of Houston hosts a medical school and a college of optometry.

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University of Houston, in the Third Ward, is a public research university and the third-largest institution of higher education in Texas.

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The University of Houston System owns and holds broadcasting licenses to KUHT and KUHF.

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Houston additionally is served by the Pacifica Foundation public radio station KPFT.

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The Houston Post was owned by the family of former Lieutenant Governor Bill Hobby of Houston.

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OutSmart is an LGBT magazine in Houston and was ranked "Best Local Magazine" by the Houston Press in 2008.

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La Voz de Houston is the Houston Chronicle's Spanish-language newspaper and the largest in the area.

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Houston is the seat of the Texas Medical Center, which is the largest medical center in the world, and describes itself as containing the world's largest concentration of research and healthcare institutions.

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Houston is considered an automobile-dependent city, with an estimated 77.

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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.

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Major freeways in Greater Houston are often referred to by either the cardinal direction or geographic location they travel towards.

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Houston has the largest number of bike commuters in Texas with over 160 miles of dedicated bikeways.

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In 2015, Downtown Houston added a cycle track on Lamar Street, running from Sam Houston Park to Discovery Green.

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Houston's bicycle sharing system started service with nineteen stations in May 2012.

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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.

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