Posted on 05/19/2006

Photo taken on July  1, 2005

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View of Downtown Houston from the Hilton Hotel, July 2005

View of Downtown Houston from the Hilton Hotel, July 2005
Houston is the largest city in the state of Texas and the fourth-largest in the United States. The city covers more than 600 square miles (1,600 km²) and is the county seat of Harris County. As of the 2005 U.S. Census estimate, Houston had a population of more than 2 million. The city is at the heart of the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown metropolitan area, a major cultural center and largest economic center of the Gulf Coast region and the seventh-largest metropolitan area in the U.S. with a population of 5.3 million in 10 counties.

Houston is internationally known for its energy—particularly oil—and aeronautics industries, and for its ship channel. The Port of Houston ranks first in the country in international cargo and second in total cargo tonnage. Second only to New York City in Fortune 500 headquarters, Houston is the seat of the Texas Medical Center, which contains the world's largest concentration of research and healthcare institutions.

Houston is recognized as a global or world city by the Globalization and World Cities Study Group & Network. The city has an active visual and performing arts scene as Houston is one of the five U.S. cities that offer year-round resident companies in all major performing arts. The Houston Theater District is ranked second in the country for the number of theater seats in a concentrated downtown area per capita. The city is home to NASA's Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center—where Mission Control Center is located—giving Houston its official nickname of "Space City."

Text from:,_Texas