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Texas

Clutch City collapse: Houston’s recent economic growth ranks last in the US

A new government report shows that the pandemic has hit Houston’s economy particularly hard.

cheng8/Getty Images/iStockphoto

The pandemic has hit everyone hard, but Houston’s economy has been hit particularly hard. Houston was one of the last major U.S. metropolitan areas in terms of GDP growth in 2021, according to a study by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, as the downturn in Bayou’s oil and gas industry led to a decline in overall growth.

Houston ranked 335th out of 384 U.S. metropolitan areas in 2021, recording a GDP growth of just 1.9% for the year.

“GDP for oil, gas and mining in Houston fell 51%,” Ted Ballantyne, director of CivMetrics, a nonprofit organization that analyzed the BEA data, told Houston Public Media. The pandemic caused most of the downturn in the oil and gas sector, Ballantine said: “So it was worth about $40 billion, and then at the end of the year it was about $20 billion.”

Although the city’s oil and gas industry has performed poorly, its financial sector as a whole has grown 16.7 percent during 2021, according to Houston Public Media, outpacing the growth of the financial sector in major cities, including New York. In 2022, Houston’s financial sector continued to thrive, with experts ranking Bayou City’s majors as #1 stock market performer in the US in 2022.


Houston’s 2021 mixed economic numbers show the city needs to do more to diversify its economy. “Over the past 20 years, Houston has diversified its economy. So they are less dependent on energy than they were in the past, but still very, very dependent, so diversification is yet to come,” Ballantyne told Houston Public Media.



A new government report shows that the pandemic has hit Houston's economy particularly hard.

A new government report shows that the pandemic has hit Houston’s economy particularly hard.

cheng8/Getty Images/iStockphoto

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