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Living in Houston

The idea of living in Houston has not reached the worldwide popularity New York or Los Angeles enjoy — and wrongly so, many would argue. Houston has a lot to offer and our guide has information on what awaits expats considering a life in Houston.
Houston’s skyline is among the tallest in the USA.
  • The population of Houston is very diverse: there’s a large population of African Americans as well as the third-largest Hispanic population in the entire country.
  • Your health will be in good hands in Houston. There are more than 90 hospitals in Houston as well as the prestigious Texas Medical Center.
  • In terms of leisure activities, Houston does not disappoint: the multitude of theaters or the thriving underground music scene make sure that you will not get bored.
  • If you are going to drive around Houston, you will need a lot of patience: traffic is a major problem on Houston’s streets.

According to recent news reports, people from various countries, including those with a valid visa and residence permit, have encountered difficulties when entering the United States. Unfortunately, the full extent of those issues seems to be unclear. Before you decide to move or travel there, or leave the country temporarily if already living in the USA, please consult a US embassy and an immigration lawyer if you fear you might be affected.


With more than two million people living in Houston proper, the city trails only New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago in terms of population. Taking Houston’s giant metropolitan area into consideration, you are looking at the USA’s fifth-largest urban agglomeration, with a population exceeding six million people. While the city might not yet have reached global acclaim, Houston is impressive in every respect.

Multicultural Houston

While this is arguably true about almost every large city in the USA, living in Houston is indeed a very multicultural affair — and this has long been the case. African Americans who have built a life in Houston have been strongly represented in the city nearly since its founding days, and still constitute a large portion of Houston’s population.

However, the population of people from various Latin American countries, such as Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala, is growing. In fact, Houston now has the third-largest Hispanic population in the country. The city also boasts a large Asian population, especially made up of Vietnamese Americans. While it may not be as many, there’s also a large number of people who are of European ancestry. People whose ancestors hailed from Germany and the UK in particular are fairly commonplace, but there are also many people with Greek, Hungarian, Russian, and other European roots.

The fact that the population is so multicultural will surely not escape you, and no matter your origin, it’s safe to assume that there is a thriving community of your compatriots living in Houston.

We have devoted a separate article to the demographics and population of the USA, including information on the census, distribution of age, gender, and race, and more.

Are You Prepared for the Heat?

Invariably, one of the first things people discover about Texas is the heat, and the state’s largest city is no exception — you can expect to experience upwards of a hundred days with temperatures nearing and even exceeding 30°C. Combined with the extreme levels of humidity in the city, the heat quickly becomes too much to bear for those who have little to no experience dealing with such conditions. Luckily, Houston has absolutely no lack of air conditioning.

If you have respiratory problems, it would be wise to consult your doctor before embarking on your new life in Houston, as the air quality in the city is far from the best, unfortunately. Air pollution is a bit of an issue for some people living in Houston due to the many manufacturing plants and other industries located either nearby or within the city limits, with high smog concentrations being a major concern in particular. As a result, Houston is among the most polluted cities in the nation (it ranks 16th), according to a nationwide comparison of the American Lung Association.

Theater, Sports, and Much More: Leisure Activities in Houston

While living in Houston, you will get to enjoy the fine arts nearly year-round. Beaten only by New York, the Houston Theater District has the second-largest concentration of theater seats in a US downtown area, and it is home to a multitude of theater and performing arts groups. If a quiet day at a museum is more up your alley, Houston also delivers: a visit to the famous Museum District will surely scratch your itch, no matter if your particular field of interests lies within fine arts, natural sciences, or history.

Those who enjoy a nice day out in the open can hardly pick a better city than Houston: of all the larger cities in the USA, Houston is number one in total area of parks! Families will enjoy the several playgrounds Houston’s park system has to offer.

Music fans thinking of living in Houston will have a plethora of venues specializing in various genres to pick from — while the local music scene has not achieved as much critical acclaim as the scenes in other megacities, delving into the underground is always worthwhile. Last but not least, let’s not forget the sports buffs: in Houston, you’ll get to enjoy games in all of the main American pastimes. While the young Houston Texans football team (founded in 2002) has yet to make much noise in the NFL, the Houston Rockets basketball team has often been a force to reckon with in the NBA.

No matter if you are a huge sports fan or an enthusiast for all things outdoors, you will find something to suit your tastes in the US. You can read up on both these topics and more in our detailed guide articles.

The Dining-Out Capital of the USA

The USA Today referred to Houston as “the dining-out capital” of the nation in 2005. In that year, the people of Houston ate out more often than the residents of any other major US city and Houston is still referred to by this nickname. It’s no surprise then that there are more than 10,000 restaurants in Houston, representing over 70 different countries and American regions.

The city is especially known for its Tex-Mex cuisine as well as Vietnamese cuisine. There are dozens of award-winning restaurants in Houston such as Hugo’s or the Oxheart. Besides these prestigious restaurants, Houston is also popular for its Food Trucks. You can find them camped out at street corners during lunchtime, offering you everything from crepes to burgers or chicken and waffles.


We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete. 

David Hicks

"A colleague, also an expat, recommended InterNations to me and I can only agree with his recommendation and pass it on."

Jana Franke

"I met so many quality people on InterNations, which made it easy to start my new life in Houston."

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