Houston is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Texas and the fourth-most populous city in the United States, with a census-estimated 2016 population of 2.303 million within a land area of 599.59 square miles (1,552.9 km2). Located in Southeast Texas near the Gulf of Mexico, it is also the largest city in the Southern United States, and the seat of Harris County.
Houston is a global city, with strengths in business, international trade, entertainment, culture, media, fashion, science, sports, technology, education, medicine, and research. The city has a population from various ethnic and religious backgrounds and a large and growing international community.
Nicknamed the “Space City”, Houston is home to NASA’s Johnson Space Center, where the Mission Control Center is located. Houston’s economy has a broad industrial base in energy, manufacturing, aeronautics, and transportation. Leading in health care sectors and building oilfield equipment, outside New York City, Houston has more Fortune 500 headquarters than any other U.S. municipality within its city limits. The Port of Houston ranks first in the United States in international waterborne tonnage handled and second in total cargo tonnage handled.
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