Top Local Trivia About Houston

February 8, 2014 7:00 AM

As the nation’s 4th largest and most ethnically diverse city, a collection of Houston trivia could fill several volumes, touching on history, politics, culture and entertainment. Here are a few facts for starters.

America’s 4th Largest City

Houston was founded in 1836. The population, according to the US Census, in 1850 was 2,396. In 2010, it was 2.1 million, making it the 4th largest city in the USA. It is also the most ethnically diverse city with at least 90 languages spoken. The Latino population was estimated at over 900,000, according to the census of 2010.

Enormous Economy: Shipping 
Port Authority of Houston
11 E. Loop N.
Houston, TX 77029

If Houston were an independent nation, it would have the 30th largest economy in the world. One reason is that the port of Houston is the leading shipping port in waterborne tonnage in the USA. It is also first in US imports, first in US exports and 2nd in overall tonnage, making it the leading hub for international trade in the USA. Houston also hosts 92 consulates, the third largest in the USA after New York and Los Angeles. The port and shipping industry generate about 1 million jobs, and vibrant international trade and tourism help produce the strongest job growth in the USA.

Related: Top Five Southern Writers’ Houses To Visit

Most Obese City in USA
Timberline Fitness Studio
3939 Montrose Blvd.
Houston, TX 77006
(713) 523-7007

Houston has become the most obese city in the USA, holding the top obesity rate of about 34 percent for three consecutive years. Experts are not certain as to why Houston has become and remained the nation’s fattest city. One reason is that Houstonians eat out more than residents of any other US city, with a choice of 11,000 restaurants, of which about 1,000 are fast food joints, the most in the USA. Houston also has more than 100 days with temperatures in the 90s, humidity that rivals Manila in the Philippines, and an average commute of 27.1 miles, not to mention rush hour delays that keep many people stuck on the freeways for hours, arguably making it more likely for residents to remain sedentary and avoid getting out for exercise.

The Houston Theater District

The Houston Theater District is second only to New York City when measured by the concentration of seats. There are more than 12,000 seats in a 17-block area, including nine nationally known venues and many smaller ones. It takes only about 10 minutes to walk along Bagby Street from the Wortham Theater Center Alley Theater and Jones Hall, home of the Houston Ballet and Houston Symphony Orchestra, to Texas Avenue to pass the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts.

Allen Parkway, aka The Spaghetti Bowl

Allen Parkway, which links the River Oaks area to downtown, has been nicknamed “the spaghetti bowl” because of its complex roads and connecting ramps. The Parkway and Memorial Drive connect the Galleria (one of the busiest malls in the USA) and Memorial Park to downtown’s theater district, convention center, the Washington Avenue corridor with dynamic nightlife and links to Interstate 10, Interstate 610, Interstate 45 (to Galveston), Bush International Airport and Hobby International Airport. Allen Parkway dovetails into Kirby Avenue, which passes through Rice University and borders Reliant Stadium, home of the Houston Rodeo and the Houston Texans.

Related: Houston’s Most Haunted Places

Marc Pembroke is a freelance writer covering all things Houston. His work can be found on

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