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Please note: This is taken generously from the wikipedia page "Houston."

Houston is the largest city in Texas, the fourth in the United States, and the second-largest economic area of the Gulf Coast region. The city is the county seat of Harris County, the third most populous county in the country. A portion of southwest Houston extends into Fort Bend County and a small portion in the northeast extends into Montgomery County.

Founded in 1836, Houston is one of the fastest growing major cities in the United States and the largest without zoning laws.

In 1900, Houston's population was about 45,000, making it the 85th largest city in the United States. As of the 2000 U.S. Census, the city had a total population of 1.9 million (though a July 1, 2004 U.S. Census estimate placed the city's population at more than 2 million). Houston is the main cultural and economic center of the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown Metropolitan Area, which is the seventh largest metropolitan area in the United States with a population of about 5.2 million in ten counties.

Houston is world renowned for its energy (particularly oil) and aeronautics industries and for its ship channel. The Port of Houston is one of the busiest ports in the United States and second in the world in foreign tonnage. Second only to New York City in Fortune 500 headquarters, Houston is home to the Texas Medical Center — the world's largest and most important concentration of research and health care institutions. Houston has much to offer, including the lowest cost of living and the least-expensive housing among 27 major U.S. metropolitan areas with populations of more than 1.7 million. Houston was named a "Gamma World City" (Global City) by the Globalization and World Cities Study Group & Network (GaWC).

Officially, Houston is nicknamed the Space City as it is home to NASA's Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, where Mission Control Center is located (because of this, "Houston" was the first word spoken on the moon). Many locals, however, prefer to call it the Bayou City. Other nicknames include H-Town, Clutch City, and Magnolia City.

The city offers a wide range of business, entertainment and cultural opportunities, including a respected and thriving theater district. Less than an hour from the Gulf of Mexico, Houston is close to sunny beaches, one of the United States' largest concentrations of pleasure boats and tourist attractions such as the Kemah Boardwalk and Galveston Island.

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