Back to mobile

Houston Tops Everyone’s List

by Published on

Houston, you are superlative.

If you’ve ever noticed you’d reached the Houston city limits because other drivers started cutting you off, it’s not your imagination. A report from Men’s Health this week names Houston the fourth most dangerous city in which to drive, based on statistics about car crashes, hit-and-runs, and seatbelt use. (The Houston Press had a tragic story Wednesday about a driver that killed a pedestrian, checked the damage to his car, and drove away.) Austin was the only other Texas city on the list, ranking tenth.

And if you’ve ever gawked at the $21,000 ostrich feather ball gowns at Neiman Marcus and wondered who actually wears them, Forbes has the answer. Last week, the magazine released a list of the wealthiest people in America, and of them, seven of the 100 richest live in Houston. Dallas has six in the top 100, Austin and Fort Worth two each and San Antonio one, but Houston boasts the most residents in the tippy top of the one percent.

Houston also got word last week that it’s the most ethnically diverse large metropolitan area in the country, according to a Rice University report that analyzed census data from 1990, 2000, and 2010. The percentage of Anglos in Houston dropped from 58 percent in 1990 to 40 percent in 2010. For contrast, New York City is 48.9 percent Anglo.

And of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning that the March issue of Men’s Fitness again named Houston the country’s fattest city. The magazine says 34 percent of Houstonians are overweight, blaming the heat, humidity, and the average work commute of almost half an hour. It also mentions that Houston has the highest number of fast food restaurants in the country—1,034. El Paso and Dallas also make the fattest list, at 7th and 25th respectively. Only Austin (12th) and San Antonio (25th) make the 25 fittest cities list.

For better or worse, Houston is all about extremes.

Emily DePrang is a staff writer at The Texas Observer where she covers criminal justice and public health. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic and Salon.com, and she’s a former nonfiction editor of the Sonora Review. She’s holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the University of Arizona and a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. In 2013, she was a National Health Journalism Fellow; in 2012 she won the Sigma Delta Chi award for public service in magazine journalism.