Start up at a low cost

Houston named one of the nation's most affordable cities for startups

Houston named one of the nation's most affordable cities for startups

Houston park with skyline
The Bayou City has one of the nation's highest startup growth rates. Sky Noir Photography by Bill Dickinson/Getty Images

Houston has been long known for its great quality of life and low cost of living, and a new study finds that when it comes to startup companies, the greater Houston area has a lot to offer.

Clever, a real estate tool and blog, identifies Houston as the sixth best metro in the United States for affordability for startups. The study looks into startup density, startup growth, investment, the education level of the local population, cost of living, and more within the top 50 most populated cities in the U.S.

The resulting ranking places all four of Texas' major metros in the top 10. Austin ranks No. 1 overall, followed by Dallas-Fort Worth at No. 3 (after Atlanta) and San Antonio-New Braunfels at No. 8.

At No. 6 for growth, Houston ranks the highest out of its Texas counterparts, but San Antonio and Houston share the No. 6 spot for investment.

"Considering Houston's metro is tied with San Antonio's for the highest average investment in small business, and the proximity to great food, the Gulf of Mexico coast, and attractions like Minute Maid Park and the NASA Space Center, we would definitely suggest considering starting a business here," reads the report.

The Houston area touts a startup density of more than 25 percent, which earns it 12th place in that particular category. The report finds that Houston has 6.89 million residents across 8,265.8 square miles, and 6.54 percent of Houstonians work at a startup, while 2.8 percent are self employed.

When it comes to gross domestic product and education, Houston has a lot of bragging rights. The Houston area's GDP is reported to be $490 billion, which is the seventh highest in the country, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Meanwhile, almost a quarter of the region's population has a bachelor's degree or higher.

Recently, Inc. 5000 named Houston among its hottest startup cities, citing the three-year revenue growth of Houston's companies that made it on to the Inc. 5000 list. Just before that ranking, Business Facilities magazine named Houston the fourth best startup ecosystem in the U.S., as well as the fourth best city for economic growth potential. Similarly, Commercial Cafe recently named Houston a top large city for early-stage startups.


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