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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 20 Fortune 500 headquarters, according to the Greater Houston Partnership (2017).

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 2018 marked the third consecutive month that the Houston job growth rate has exceeded the U.S. average. Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land was one of the nation’s 12 largest metropolitan statistical areas in January 2018.

The Houston Metropolitan Statistical Area's (MSA) Gross Domestic Product (GDP) stands at $465.2 billion in 2015. 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 ninth; if it were an independent nation, the Houston area would rank as the world's 24th largest economy. Houston boasts the nation’s sixth largest economy.

Corporate Commerce

Site Selection magazine has recognized the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land Metropolitan Statistical Area (Houston MSA) as one of the top metros in the nation for new and expanded corporate facilities. Since 2011, the Houston MSA has ranked among the top three metros for corporate relocations and expansions in the nation.

The Houston region is home to more 140 high-growth startup tech companies with total venture funding of $1.3 billion.

Metro Houston ranked as one of the nation’s top metros for new and expanded facilities in ’17, according to Site Selection magazine. Houston has landed among the top 3 metros since 2011.

Houston ranks No. 2 in manufacturing GDP in the U.S.


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.


In a 2018 U.S. News and World Report publication, six Houston schools earned a ranked spot among“Best Online Programs,” a list of the best online bachelor and graduate programs in the U.S.