Houston

Houston, Texas

Houston, Texas

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In 2015 Houston, covering 627 square miles, ranked as the fourth largest city in the United States with an estimated population of 2,296,224. The city passed Philadelphia in 1984 to take a position behind New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. The 2015 population of the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land Metropolitan Statistical Area (also known as Greater Houston), which encompassed Galveston, Fort Bend, Harris, Brazoria, Liberty, Waller, Montgomery, Chambers, and Austin counties, amounted to 6,656,947. This ranked it fifth in the nation and second in Texas to Dallas-Fort Worth. When first formed in 1949 the Houston Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area covered only Harris County and had a population of 806,701 people. More than 100 ethnic groups now shape the population of the city; the major components in 2015 were 26 percent non-Hispanic White, 25 percent Black, 43 percent Hispanic of any race, and 6 percent Asian. This spectacular growth developed as a result of the construction of transportation systems, the fortuitous nearby location of useful natural resources, and an entrepreneurial spirit.

The city began on August 30, 1836, when Augustus Chapman Allen and John Kirby Allen ran an advertisement in the Telegraph and Texas Register for the "Town of Houston." The townsite, which featured a mixture of timber and grassland, was on the level Coastal Plain in the middle of the future Harris County, at 95.4° west longitude and 30.3° north latitude. The brothers claimed that the town would become the "great interior commercial emporium of Texas," that ships from New York and New Orleans could sail up Buffalo Bayou to its door, and that the site enjoyed a healthy, cool seabreeze. They noted plans to build a sawmill and offered lots for sale at moderate prices. In the manner of town boomers the Allens exaggerated a bit, however. The forty-eight-inch annual rainfall, high relative humidity, and temperatures that averaged from a low of 43° F in the winter to 94° in summer later inspired Houston to become one of the most air-conditioned cities in the world. Moreover, in January 1837, when Francis R. Lubbock arrived on the Laura, the small steamship that first reached Houston, he found the bayou choked with branches and the town almost invisible.

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David G. McComb | © TSHA

Handbook of Texas Logo

Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

Great Texas Land Rush logo
Adoption Status:
This place has been adopted and will not be available until May 29, 2025
Adopted by:
The Hughes Family

Belongs to

Houston is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists

Yes

Place type

Houston is classified as a Town

Location

Latitude: 29.78032850
Longitude: -95.38637900

Has Post Office

Yes

Is Incorporated

Yes

Population Count, 2021 View more »

2,288,250

Place Type Population (Year/Source) Currently Exists
College or University Yes
College or University Yes
College or University Yes
College or University Yes
College or University Yes
College or University Yes
College or University Yes
College or University Yes
College or University Yes
College or University Yes
College or University Yes
College or University Yes
College or University Yes
College or University Yes
College or University Yes
College or University Yes
College or University Yes
College or University Yes

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