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Houston Metropolitan Area, an area larger than that of nine (9) individual US States!!!
Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown metropolitan area has a total area of 10,062 square miles.
Interesting tidbits about the growth of the Houston area. No wonder the city seems bigger every time I return from trips out of town…
The Wiki pages have a quite large and interesting collection of facts about the city.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown metropolitan area has a total area of 10,062 square miles (26,060 km²), 8,929 sq mi (23,130 km2). is land area, while 1,133 sq mi (2,930 km2). is water area.; slightly smaller than Massachusetts and slightly larger than New Jersey!! .
Compare this, for example, Philadelphia with a total land area of 4,507.4 square miles covering 11 counties in three states or New York City with a total land area in the extended metropolitan area of 11,842 sq mi (30,671 km2). Los Angeles which, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, has a total area of 4,850 square miles (12,561.442 km2), while the wider combined statistical area covers 33,954 square miles (87,940.456 km2), but more than half of this is the sparsely populated eastern areas of Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
The Combined Statistical Houston Area actually encompasses 12,475 sq mi (32,310 km2). of area. 10,830 sq mi (28,000 km2) is land while 1,645 sq mi (4,260 km2). is water. This covers an area larger than that of nine (9) of the smallest US States!!!
Land and Water Area of States, 2000 – http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0108355.html
Houston is among the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the United States. The area grew 25.2 percent between the 1990 and 2000 censuses—adding more than 950,000 people—while the nation’s population increased 13.2 percent over the same period.(City is still growing at a fast pace.)
Census Bureau 2010 estimates indicate that the Houston area saw the second largest population increase in the country, second only to the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. This is the second consecutive year in which Houston and DFW have ranked as the top two population winner
For the record, I am not one who thinks that unbridled growth and sprawl are necessarily good things but that's meat for another hub in the future.