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Houston In Third Place For Most Fortune 500 HQs

The view south between westbound I-10 and southbound I-45 near Downtown Houston.

Multiple corporate relocations to Houston over the past year have boosted the city into third place for the most Fortune 500 company headquarters in the U.S., new data from Fortune showed.

There are 24 Fortune 500 companies with headquarters in the greater Houston area, placing the city behind only New York with 64 Fortune 500 companies and Chicago with 35 companies. Dallas ranks fourth on the list with 22 companies.

Houston added four businesses to its list this year: Academy Sports + Outdoors, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, NRG Energy and KBR, which qualified for the list this year. Academy went public in October 2020 and is new to the Fortune ranking; HPE announced in November that it would relocate its HQ to Houston, and NRG announced its own relocation in May.

The annual Fortune 500 list ranks companies by total revenues for their respective fiscal years. Included in the survey are businesses that are incorporated in the U.S. and operate in the U.S. and file financial statements with a government agency.

In 2020, Houston had 22 companies on the Fortune 500 list. Two that were on the list last year fell out of the rankings: Apache, which moved to a holding company structure under APA Corp., and Calpine, which is no longer publicly traded. 

The Greater Houston Partnership and its regional allies assisted in 21 economic development projects in 2020, including corporate relocations, accounting for over $704M in capital expenditure and over 3,200 new jobs to the region.

Texas has become a magnet for corporate relocations over the past decade, luring companies with the promise of lower taxes, less regulation, cheap housing for workers and warm weather. The 2021 Fortune 500 rankings reflect that ongoing trend, though demography and policy experts have questioned whether the state is adequately managing its growth.