Houston is the largest city in the state of Texas and fourth-largest in the United States. As of the 2005 U.S. Census estimate, Houston had a population of more than 2 million.
Houston's energy industry is recognized worldwide-particularly for oil-and biomedical research, aeronautics, and the ship channel are also large parts of its economic base. The area is the world's leading center for building oilfield equipment. Much of Houston's success as a petrochemical complex is due to its busy man-made ship channel, the Port of Houston. The port ranks first in the United States in international commerce, and is the sixth-largest port in the world. Unlike most places, where high oil and gasoline prices are seen as harmful to the economy, they are generally seen as beneficial for Houston as many are employed in the energy industry.
The Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown MSA's Gross Area Product (GAP) in 2005 was $308.7 billion, up 5.4% from 2004 in constant dollars. When comparing Houston's economy to a national economy, only 29 nations have a gross domestic product exceeding Houston's regional gross area product. Mining, which in Houston is almost entirely exploration and production of oil and gas, accounts for 11% of Houston's GAP; this is down from 21% in 1985. The reduced role of oil and gas in Houston's GAP reflects the rapid growth of other sectors, such as engineering services, health services, and manufacturing.
Houston ranks second in employment growth rate and fourth in nominal employment growth among the 10 most populous metro areas in the U.S. In 2006, the Houston metropolitan area ranked first in Texas and third in the U.S. within the category of "Best Places for Business and Careers" by Forbes magazine. Forty foreign governments maintain trade and commercial offices here and the city has 23 active foreign chambers of commerce and trade associations. Twenty foreign banks representing 10 nations operate in Houston, providing financial assistance to the international community.
This ranking is based on how much over 6,000 associates like their own firms. This ranking does not include prestige, salary or other factors except as they influence how much an associate enjoys working at his or her firm, and how likely said associate is to stay at his or her current firm. Associates from all law firms
did not participate. Only firms with 10 or more respondents are included.
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