Houston Leads Nation in Settling Refugees
Lost in Houston's famous urban sprawl, its insane traffic and stifling heat, is the fact that more refugees come to Houston than any other city in the United States. We're talking about people who have fled their home countries for one reason or another, and have been accepted by our State Department as refugees.
Houston and Texas are the No. 1 destinations for refugees because, thanks to word of mouth, so many of them are asking to come to Houston or Texas.
56,419 refugees were settled in the United States last year, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Of that number, 5,623 -- 10 percent of the national total -- were settled in Texas.
They come from every corner of the globe, but the vast majority are now coming from Burma, Bhutan and Iraq. This influx of refugees and immigrants is turning Houston into one of the most culturally diverse cities in the Western Hemisphere.
Why are they coming? For the best reason in the world: opportunities -- the freedom to work hard and succeed. Houston and Texas offer more opportunities for that than any other place they could go.
So many cultures and languages are represented in Houston that the Houston International Festival has grown into one of Houston's most popular annual events.