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Houston boasts a diverse economy, having substantially lessened its dependence on the energy sector from the profound levels of the 1980s and earlier. While energy holds a place in the city's economic picture, Houston also is an industrial, commercial, medical, educational and financial center and is home to 24 Fortune 500 headquarters, according to the Greater Houston Partnership (2022).
The Houston Metropolitan Statistical Area's (MSA) Gross Domestic Product (GDP) stands at $488.2 billion in 2020. The Houston MSA’s real gross area product is projected to more than double between 2015 and 2040. If Houston were a state, its economy would rank 14th; if it were an independent nation, the Houston area would rank as the world's 27th largest economy. Houston boasts the seventh-largest metro economy in the U.S.
Nearly one in three Texas manufacturers call Houston home. In 2019, manufacturing accounted for $86.0 billion, or 16.8 percent, of the Houston MSA’s gross domestic product, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Houston companies raised a record high $2.02 billion in venture capital (VC) funding in 2021—a near tripling of VC funding over the prior year.
The technology industry in Houston is strong, contributing $29.2 billion to the region’s GDP in 2019. Houston has 9,290 tech-related firms, including more than 700 venture-backed startups. Local tech startups raised more than $820 million in venture capital in 2020. Supporting these start-ups are over 60 organizations, including co-working spaces, incubators and accelerators, and non-profit tech hubs.
Houston is also home to the largest medical complex in the world, the Texas Medical Center, which provides clinical health care, research and education at its 58 institutions.
Three Houston high schools were among the best in Texas in 2021, according to U. S. News and World Report. Houston ISD is the largest school district in Texas and the seventh largest in the nation. Suburban school districts — such as Fort Bend ISD — routinely make Niche's lists of the top public school districts in Texas.