Report: Houston Ranks in Top 10 Life Sciences Markets in the United States

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Houston got a big boost in a new study ranking the nation’s top metro areas for starting or growing life sciences companies.

The study, published by the commercial real estate platform CommercialCafe, ranks Houston 10th among the best American metropolises in the life sciences sector and 1st in Texas. Boston leads CommercialCafe’s rankings, with Dallas-Fort Worth at No. 16, San Antonio at No. 29 and Austin at No. 37.

For the study, CommercialCafe looked at various factors that support the success of a life sciences ecosystem. The study included 45 major metros in the United States. Among the highlights for Houston:

  • No. 9 for educational attainment, with 733,577 residents age 25 and older with at least a bachelor’s degree in science, engineering, or an engineering-related field.
  • 12th place for life sciences projects in development (just over 817,000 square feet). Overall, the life sciences sector occupies approximately 2.3 million square feet in the Houston area.

Last month, commercial real estate services firm CBRE ranked Houston 13th among the nation’s top 25 life sciences research hubs. DFW appeared at No. 16 and Austin at No. 18.

Assessing Houston’s strength in life sciences, CommercialCafe says “Texas’ resilient powerhouse has been driven by the wave of emerging life sciences clusters across the United States”

Two major projects are helping Houston maintain this powerhouse status. Texas Medical Center (TMC) unveiled TMC3, a 37-acre, approximately 6 million square foot life sciences campus last year, and Houston-based Hines recently completed the first phase of 270 000 square feet of the 53-acre Levit Green Life Sciences District next to TMC.

“Houston is already blessed with such a strong healthcare and higher education ecosystem. The TMC3 project is the cornerstone of our regional life sciences strategy. It will create new jobs, [and] advancing medical technologies and innovative healthcare solutions,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said in 2021.

According to data from the Greater Houston Partnership, the Houston area is home to more than 1,760 life science companies, hospitals, healthcare facilities and research institutes. Together, the life sciences and healthcare sectors employ 320,500 people in the region.


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