Houston Population 2017

Houston is the 4th largest city in the United States and the largest in Texas. The city also has a global economy and only New York City has more Fortune 500 headquarters. The 2010 Census showed that Houston was home to almost 2.1 million people within 599 square miles, although this number since increased. The estimated population for 2016 is 2.2 million.

Houston is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States and its population in 2016 is estimated to be 2,239,558.

Houston's population density is estimated to be 3,662 people per square mile (1,414 per square kilometer.) Houston is also the economic center of Houston-The Woodlands-Sugarland, which is the 5th largest metropolitan area in the United States with over 6 million people. 2012 was the first time Philadelphia was knocked out of the top 5, thanks to Houston's rapid growth.

Houston Demographics

Houston is a very multicultural city, partially due to its academic institutions, industry and status as a port city. Houston residents speak more than 90 languages, and it also has one of the youngest populations in the country due to the influx of immigrants in the state. It's estimated that there are 400,000 illegal aliensliving in the Houston area alone.

According to census data, the racial makeup of Houston was:

  • White: 50.5% (25.6% non-Hispanic)
  • Black or African American: 23.7%
  • American Indian: 0.7%
  • Asian: 6%
  • Pacific Islander: 0.1%
  • Other race: 15.2% (0.2% non-Hispanic)
  • Two or more races: 3.3%
  • Hispanic of any race: 43.8%

The non-Hispanic white population in Houston has halved since 1970, when it accounted for 62% of the population. It also seems the racial and ethnic diversity increases the further away from the center of the city you move.

Houston's Hispanic population is increasing rapidly as more Latin American immigrants move to the area to work. Houston now has the 3rd largest Hispanic population in the United States.

There is also a significant African American population in Houston, which has been the case for most of its history. From 1870 to 1890, black people accounted for nearly 40% of the city's population, although this ranged from 21 to 33% from 1910 to 1970.

There is also a fairly large population of refugees living in the city since the 1970s. Nearly 1,600 refugees arrive at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport every year from all over the world.

Houston History

In 1836, two real estate entrepreneurs from New York purchased a large area of land along Buffalo Bayou to found a city. The city name chosen was Sam Houston, after the general at the Battle of San Jacinto, who was elected as the president of Texas that year.

Houston was incorporated in 1837 and became the temporary capital of the Republic of Texas. By 1860, it was a major hub for exporting cotton, and its system of bayous was extended after the Civil War to allow the city to accept more commerce.

In 1901, oil was discovered nearby, which started the development of the still massive Texas petroleum industry. By 1910, Houston was home to 78,000 people, double its population just ten years before. By the 1950's, its economy shifted toward energy has large companies began relocating to Houston.

Since the recession of the 1990s, Houston has worked to diversify its economy and reduce dependence on petroleum.

Houston Population Growth

Houston's booming population growth has made it one of the fastest growing regions in the United States. From 2011 to 2012, Houston gained more than 34,000 people, which was the second largest numeric increase for a city in the country.

In 2013, the Houston Chronicle reported its growth shows no signs of slowing. People are still moving to the area for its plentiful jobs, education and housing, and many job sectors are growing.

By 2020, Houston's population is expected to grow from today's 2.162 million to 2.52 million. By 2030, the city will have 2.8 million residents, which means it should overtake Brooklyn.

Year Population Growth Growth Rate
20152,296,224196,7739.37%
20102,099,451145,8207.46%
20001,953,631323,07819.81%
19901,630,55335,4152.22%
19801,595,138361,60329.31%
19701,233,535295,31631.48%
1960938,219342,05657.38%
1950596,163211,64955.04%
1940384,51492,16231.52%
1930292,352154,076111.43%
1920138,27659,47675.48%
191078,80034,16776.55%
190044,63317,07661.97%
189027,55711,04466.88%
188016,5137,13176.01%
18709,3824,53793.64%
18604,8452,445101.87%
18502,4000.00%

Houston Population in 2018Source: Henry Han

Houston Race Data

Race Population Percentage
Two or More Races41,1801.79%
Some Other Race222,9339.71%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander1,0730.05%
Asian136,6245.95%
American Indian and Alaska Native9,1540.40%
Black or African American504,79621.98%
White1,252,22854.53%

Population Pyramid

0k0k0k0k0k0kHouston Male Population0k0k0k0k0k0kHouston Female Population

Houston Housing Indicators

Indicator Value
Median Number of Rooms (per House)
4.7
Houses Without Mortgage
152,002
Houses With Mortgage
203,865
Vacancy Rate
12.1
Median Rent
873
Median Home Value
131,700
Renter-Occupied Units
458,732
Owner-Occupied Units
355,867
Total Housing Units
927,107

This chart shows the employment and labor force participation rates in Houston for residents over 16 years of age. The 2015 unemployment rate is 5.5% and the labor force participation rate is 68.3%.

Houston Family/Household Indicators

Indicator Value
Unmarried Partner Households (Same Sex)
0.5
Unmarried Partner Households (Opposite Sex)
5.9
Non Family Households
0
Female Householder (no husband) Families
135540
Male Householder (no wife) Families
47769
Married Couple Families
314477
Average Family Size
3.48
Average Household Size
2.68