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Houston is the largest city in the state of Texas and the fourth-largest in the United States. The city is also large in geographic area as it covers more than 600 square miles and is the county seat of Harris County?the third most populous in the country. Houston is one of 11 U.S. global cities as it is ranked "Gamma World City" by the Globalization and World Cities Study Group & Network.
As of the 2000 U.S. Census, Houston 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). The city is the heart of the Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown metropolitan area, which is the the largest cultural and economic center of the Gulf Coast region and is the seventh-largest metropolitan area in the U.S. with a population of 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 the sixth-largest port in the world. It is the busiest port in the United States in foreign tonnage and second in overall tonnage. Second only to New York City in Fortune 500 headquarters, Houston is the seat of the internationally-renowned Texas Medical Center, which contains the world's largest concentration of research and healthcare institutions.
Known for the vibrancy of its visual and performing arts, Houston's theatre district is ranked ......