Houston Matters

Where Does Houston Stand in the Global Economy?

(Above: Countries shaded in blue are among Houston’s top 20 trading partners. Image Courtesy: Greater Houston Partnership) We often hear that Houston is a global city – but what does that mean? The term might be used to describe our area’s much-touted cultural diversity. But it could also be used to describe the region’s role […]

Global Economy - Top Trading Partners - GHP(Above: Countries shaded in blue are among Houston’s top 20 trading partners. Image Courtesy: Greater Houston Partnership)

We often hear that Houston is a global city – but what does that mean? The term might be used to describe our area’s much-touted cultural diversity. But it could also be used to describe the region’s role as an international economic engine.

To see just where Houston stacked up on the latter front, researchers from the Greater Houston Partnership recently dug into numerous indicators of Houston’s place in the world economically.

They’re presenting those findings at the organization’s third-annual State of Houston’s Global Economy event today (May 22, 2017), and Michael Hagerty talked with Patrick Jankowski, the Partnership’s senior vice president of research, to get a preview – and to find out how Houston stacks up in the global economy.

Signs of Houston’s Place in the Global Economy:*

  • In 2003, the amount of our GDP tied to exports was 8.9 percent. By 2015, it was 15.8 percent. So it’s nearly doubled  in 12 years.
  • We have around 1,000 companies from overseas with a presence in Houston.
  • There are about 5,000 companies (both foreign and domestic) in Houston that do business overseas.
  • Exports from Houston support roughly 350,000 to 450,000 jobs in the region. That’s one in every seven — or one in every nine — jobs is tied to foreign exports.
  • There are 93 countries with which Houston does more than $1 billion in trade.
  • Of all the countries in the world, there are only 20 that Houston does not do business with.
  • When you combine foreign-born Houstonians and their children, that’s 2.2 million people in the region who have social — and economic — ties to other countries. That’s about a third of the Greater Houston population.
  • Some 70 markets around the world are served by international flights in and out of Houston.
  • Some 8,300 ships sail up the ship channel every year.
  • Of the ten largest national oil companies in the world, seven have major presences in Houston.

*Source: Global Houston 2017, Greater Houston Partnership

Share