Houston is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Texas and the fourth most populous city in the United States, with a census-estimated population of 2.312 million in 2017. It is the most populous city in the Southern United States and on the Gulf Coast of the United States. Located in Southeast Texas near Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, it is the seat of Harris County and the principal city of the Greater Houston metropolitan area, which is the fifth most populous MSA in the United States and the second most populous in Texas after the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. With a land area of 599.59 square miles, Houston is the ninth most expansive city in the United States.
Houston was founded by land speculators on August 30, 1836, at the confluence of Buffalo Bayou and White Oak Bayou and incorporated as a city on June 5, 1837. The city is named after former General Sam Houston, who was president of the Republic of Texas and had won Texas' independence from Mexico at the Battle of San Jacinto 25 miles east of Allen's Landing.