Houston Business Growth Trends

How does the economy of Houston compare to the economies of other big cities? What is the age distribution of our rapidly rising population, and how do our citizens navigate around the city? How does Houston’s cost of living compare to that of other major cities, and how many Houstonians are pursuing post secondary education?

Those are just a few of the numerous questions that will be answered in the Partnership’s Houston Facts magazine in the year 2021. As a source of unvarnished knowledge on the Houston region since 1959, Houston Facts has a long history of antecedent publications, some of which were published under various names but with the same goal as today’s newspaper. For more than three decades, Houston Facts has expanded far beyond its original four-page format, allowing the Partnership to broaden the scope and depth of its coverage to include more information about the region’s parks and museums as well as its educational institutions, housing costs, and economy, among a variety of other topics. Houston Facts has evolved into a succinct and comprehensive almanac for the greater Houston area.

Breakdown by Age
Young people between the ages of five and seventeen are the biggest age demographic in the Houston metropolitan statistical area, accounting for 19.2 percent of the total population. The second largest age group is 25 to 34-year-olds, who account for 14.9 percent of the population. Houston is one of the nation’s youngest major metro areas, with a median age of 34.9, making it one of the nation’s youngest major cities.

A Houston Apartment on a Budget
According to the Cost of Living Index published by the Council for Community and Economic Research, Houston’s living costs are 26.4 percent lower than the national average for the nation’s 20 most populated metropolitan areas, making it the second most cheap city in the country behind St. Louis (C2ER). Houston’s overall living costs are 4.8 percent lower than the national average for all metro areas in the United States.

Harris County’s Economic Development
At 4,738,253 inhabitants on July 1, 2020, Harris County is the third most populated county in the United States after Los Angeles and New York City. Harris County experienced the fifth biggest numerical population growth among all U.S. counties between July 1, 2019 and July 1, 2020, accumulating 29,010 more inhabitants in a single year, ranking it fifth among all counties in the country.

The City of Fort Bend is on the Rise
Fort Bend County, which is rapidly expanding, has the second highest number of households (237,883) in the Houston metro area, after Harris County (1.6 million). Among the nine counties, Fort Bend has the largest number of inhabitants who are foreign-born (28.9 percent), as well as the highest percentage of residents who have a bachelor’s degree or above (46.2 percent).

How to Get Around
The great majority of Houstonians continue to commute to work alone in their personal vehicles. As shown by the 2019 American Community Survey, approximately 81 percent of residents drive alone to work, with another 9.3 percent taking public transportation. Only 2 percent of people utilize public transit, while 5.1 percent of people said they work from home. In 2019, it took an average of 30.7 minutes for local workers to commute to and from work. Because the poll was performed before the outbreak, it is unknown if alterations in employment hours will have an impact on the results of the next study.

Higher Education in the United States
A total of more than 417,000 students across 32 academic institutions were enrolled in colleges and universities in the Houston region for the fall semester of 2020, according to data from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. In 2020, students enrolled in community colleges accounted for 45.2% of total enrollment.

Perspectives from an economic standpoint
The Houston Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) had a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $512.2 billion in 2019, according to the United States Bureau of Economic Analysis, making it the sixth biggest metro economy in the United States. If Houston were a state, its GDP would rank 15th, trailing only Michigan ($536.9 billion) and ahead of Maryland ($426.7 billion) and Colorado ($393.0 billion), according to the Census Bureau. According to the International Monetary Fund, if the Middle East and North Africa (MSA) were a sovereign entity, it would be the world’s 27th biggest economy, trailing only Belgium ($529.7 billion) and ahead of Nigeria ($448.1 billion) and Austria ($446.3 billion).

An Expanding Corporate Center of Excellence
Fortune 500 headquarters are located in Metro Houston, while Fortune 1000 headquarters are located in the region. Many more Fortune 500 companies have U.S. headquarters in Houston. The aggregate total revenue of the 20 firms on the Forbes Global 2000 list that are located in Houston is $413.6 billion, according to the publication.

Concentration of Commercial Activities
The Texas Workforce Commission provides information. In 2020, more than 160,000 businesses were located in the Greater Houston area. Professional, scientific, and technical services, health care and social assistance, and retail commerce were the three industries with the greatest number of establishments in the United States. These three industries accounted for 38.3 percent of the total number of business establishments in the area. More than half of the enterprises in the area employ between one and four employees.

The Development of Technology
In the field of digital technology, Houston is a vibrant center of talent. According to the Computing Technology Industry Association, the area has the 11th biggest tech workforce in the United States, with more than 243,900 tech workers. In 2019, the tech industry in Houston contributed $29.2 billion to the region’s gross domestic product (GDP). In addition, Houston is home to 9,290 technology-related businesses, including more than 700 venture-backed companies. Between 2016 and 2020, these firms received a total of $2.7 billion in venture capital investment.

International Business Has a Significant Role
Trading links with more than 200 nations exist in the Houston metropolitan area. Approximately 266.6 million metric tons of exports worth at $129.5 billion are expected to pass through the Houston/Galveston Customs District in 2020, according to WISERTrade. These exports accounted for 65.8 percent of the overall value of commerce that traveled through the region last year, representing a 21-point rise from the previous year’s figure of 44.5 percent.

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