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.
Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.
David G. McComb | © Texas State Historical Association
Houston at a Glance
Houston is part of or belongs to the following places.
Adopt a Town
The Texas Almanac's Land Rush program lets you adopt the town, county, or lake of your choice and share your message with the world. 100% of the proceeds benefit education in Texas.
Houston is classified as a Town
Has Post Office
Photos of Houston and surrounding areas
Proud to call Texas home?
Put your name on the town, county, or lake of your choice.
Search Places »
Houston by the Numbers
This is some placeholder text that we should either remove or replace with a brief summary about this particular metric. For example, "We update population counts once per year..."
|2,304,580||2020||United States Census Bureau|
|2,338,187||2019||Texas Demographic Center|
|2,100,263||2010||United States Census Bureau|
|1,953,631||2000||United States Census Bureau|
|1,637,859||1990||United States Census Bureau|
|1,594,086||1980||United States Census Bureau|
|1,232,802||1970||United States Census Bureau|
|938,219||1960||United States Census Bureau|
|596,163||1950||United States Census Bureau|
|384,514||1940||United States Census Bureau|
|292,352||1930||United States Census Bureau|
|138,276||1920||United States Census Bureau|
|78,800||1910||United States Census Bureau|
|44,633||1900||United States Census Bureau|
|27,557||1890||United States Census Bureau|
|16,513||1880||United States Census Bureau|
|9,382||1870||United States Census Bureau|
|4,845||1860||United States Census Bureau|
|2,396||1850||United States Census Bureau|