Compared with other major US cities, the cost of living is relatively low. You can still find affordable housing within a short commute to the major business and cultural centers. The Third Quarter 2010 ACCRA Cost of Living Index shows that Houston’s overall after-taxes living costs are 9% below the nationwide average, largely due to housing costs that are 21% below the average. When your housing costs are lower, you have extra money to spend on other goods, services, and entertainment which can provide a more enriching life.
Houston has one of the strongest job markets in the country which is a compliment to the diversity of our local economy. Our city is lead by the oil and gas industry, but we also have the largest medical center in the world, the Port of Houston is the 4th largest in the US, and we have strong markets in financial services, technology, and retail. If Houston were an independent nation, it would have the world’s 30th largest economy. There are 23 Fortune 500 companies with headquarters in Houston.
A lot of people who have never been to Houston think of it as a flat, hot, concrete jungle. But that’s not the case. Houston is a very green city which is evidenced by all of the awesome mature oak trees and great parks. Anchored by Memorial Park which is one of the largest urban parks in the US, we also have Discovery Green which opened in 2008 and turned a downtown parking lot into an 11 acre park, Hermann Park which is 445 acres in the cultural center of Houston, and many more.
Although Houston is never short on fun and exciting things to do, having the ability to fly non-stop to international destinations is a huge plus. Bush Intercontinental Airport is a major hub for United Airlines which flies to almost every major US city along with many international sites. If you want to spend the weekend in Paris, it’s just an overnight flight away.
There are more than 90 languages spoken in Houston and 92 countries have consular offices. Our low cost of living and strong job market have encouraged people from all over the world to immigrate to Houston. This diversity provides Houstonians a culturally rich lifestyle with a wide variety of dining, shopping, and cultural activities.
Great Tex-mex and gulf coast seafood are just a few highlights. Houstonians can select from over 11,000 dining options that range from award winning fine dining to neighborhood diners. Our diversity has provided authentic dining options that include Chinese, Vietnamese, Greek, Turkish, Italian, and South American, just to name a few.
Houston’s Theater District is second only to NYC and is home to 8 performing arts organizations with over 12,000 seats. Our unique Museum District offers great Museums, Galleries and cultural institutions.
Although Houston is a big city, it’s really just a collection of some truly great neighborhoods which can give parts of it a small town feel. The options are numerous and range from urban, walkable neighborhoods, to historic residential areas. Houstonians can also select from a wide variety of housing options like high-rise condos, townhomes, single-family homes, and luxury apartments.
Big Time Sports
Houston offers sports entertainment year round and has quickly become one of the country’s top sports cities. From the Texans, Astros, Rockets, and Dynamo, Houston has it all. Don’t forget about the Houston Cougars which provide top notch college sports entertainment.
Some of our favorites include the Houston Rodeo and Cookoff, the Greek Festival, the International Festival, and the Italian Festival. But these are just a few of the great outdoor and family friendly events hosted by Houston each year.