11 facts about Houston that make it the best city in America to build wealth

texans toroEd Schipul/flickrToro, the Houston Texans mascot.

If you want to build a fortune, you may want to consider Houston, Texas - Bankrate recently ranked it as the best big US city for accumulating wealth.

With its thriving economy and abundance of Fortune 500 companies, it's no surprise Houston secured the top spot.

We rounded up 11 facts about the Bayou City that show why it's an ideal place to strike it rich:

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It's got the jobs. Houston is the No. 1 city for job creation in the US. By a lot.

It's got the jobs. Houston is the No. 1 city for job creation in the US. By a lot.

Since 2003, about 650,000 jobs have been created in Houston, Reuters reports.

Between 2009 and 2013, its real GDP increased by 22%, more than twice as fast as the American economy as a whole.

Between 2009 and 2013, its real GDP increased by 22%, more than twice as fast as the American economy as a whole.

Much of Houston's booming economy can be attributed to its lucrative oil and gas industry. Oil brings jobs, from refineries and drillers, to office jobs at ConocoPhillips and Halliburton, both of which have their headquarters in Houston.

Source: The Economist

Houston is home to more Fortune 500 company headquarters than anywhere in America except for New York and Chicago.

Houston is home to more Fortune 500 company headquarters than anywhere in America except for New York and Chicago.

In all, Houston has 26 companies on the list — including six in the top 100 — while New York has 68, and Chicago has 32.

Massive international trade gives another big jobs boost to the rapidly growing city.

Massive international trade gives another big jobs boost to the rapidly growing city.

Houston's port is the largest in terms of international tonnage handled, and second ranked in terms of foreign cargo value. That means a great deal of international business and trade, and even more jobs.

Houston's unemployment rate is significantly below the national level.

Houston's unemployment rate is significantly below the national level.

It has remained below the national average since 2007.

Source: FRED

Your paycheck goes farther in Houston than most other major cities.

Your paycheck goes farther in Houston than most other major cities.

When you adjust for cost of living, Houston has the eighth highest pay in the country.

Source: Forbes

Housing is more affordable in Houston. The city didn't experience a housing bubble the way the rest of the country did.

Housing is more affordable in Houston. The city didn't experience a housing bubble the way the rest of the country did.

Source: FRED

It's exceptionally business friendly, and unlike most other big cities in America, Houston has no zoning code.

It's exceptionally business friendly, and unlike most other big cities in America, Houston has no zoning code.

No zoning laws means the city is quick to respond to demand for housing and office space. In 2014, Houston was issued permits to build 64,000 homes — compare that to the entire state of California, which was issued 83,000 in 2014.

Source: The Economist

Residents carry very little consumer debt.

Residents carry very little consumer debt.

Houston residents carry the lowest consumer debt compared to the largest US metros.

Source: Bankrate

Houston residents are able to keep more of their income thanks to a lack of income tax.

Houston residents are able to keep more of their income thanks to a lack of income tax.

Texas is one of only seven US states with no state income tax.

It's been one of the fastest growing US cities for years, and isn't slowing down — Houston will soon become the third largest city in America.

It's been one of the fastest growing US cities for years, and isn't slowing down — Houston will soon become the third largest city in America.

Fueled by its strong energy industry, Houston is projected to surpass Chicago as the third biggest US city in the next decade.

Source: Reuters

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