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About Houston, Texas
With a population of about 5.7 million people, the Houston metropolitan area is the sixth largest city in the United States. Houston is located in southeastern Texas on relatively flat coastal plains relatively close to the Gulf of Mexico.
The Houston area was originally settled in the late-1830's by two New York real estate entrepreneurs who sought to found a city on 6,642 acres they had purchased. The city was incorporated in 1837 at which time it became the capital of the independent territory called the Republic of Texas.
The city developed along several dimensions over the years to become the powerhouse region that it is today. Oil exploration and development was one major activity. Cotton and the cotton trade was another. And at the same time, the city developed a deep water inland port to complement port operations in nearby hurricane-prone Galveston.
Today, the economy in Houston continues to thrive. Though the cotton trade has ebbed, the oil industry remains strong and Houston is a well established global energy player. Port operations continue to remain strong as well. In addition, Houston has become a major commercial center within the United States and hosts more Fortune 500 corporations than any city except New York City.
Houston has a humid subtropical climate. Summer daily high temperatures are normally over 90 °F. Humidity levels are as high as 90 relative humidity at the start of most days. Winter daily high temperatures are normally in the mid-60's (°F). The city receives about 48 inches of precipitation per year.
Houston has plenty of attractions and things to do, but is perhaps not especially well known as an international tourist destination. Perhaps the region's most distinctive attraction is Space Center Houston, the official visitors' center of NASA's Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center.
Houston is a diverse city with immigrants from many countries. About 54% of the population is white / caucasian and about 24% are African American. Hispanics and Latinos of various ethnicities make up about 37% of the population. English is the most widely spoken language with Spanish also very common.
Houston is served by two main airports: the George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and the Houston Hobby Airport (HOU).
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