Local Government


Harris County Government

In Texas, county government is the functional arm of state government and delivers many services at the local level. Counties serve both the incorporated and unincorporated areas within their local jurisdiction. Counties typically oversee a larger geographical area than cities and towns.

Counties use a Commissioners Court system of governance while municipalities/cities use a mayor-council or council-manager system. A County Commissioners Court is made up of five members: one at large County Judge and four Commissioners each representing a distinct precinct. A City Council is made up of one at large Mayor and several Council Members each representing a distinct district.

Harris County Fast Facts

Harris County is the third largest county within the United States with a population of over 4.7 million residents (behind only Los Angeles County, CA and Cook County, IL). Of the 34 cities that call the County home, the City of Houston is the largest with a population of over 2.2 million residents. Harris County is unique among all counties in the U.S for having an unincorporated area population in excess of approximately 2.5 million residents. Additional information regarding the County is as follows:


If Harris County alone was a state, it would have the 25th largest population in the U.S. trailing behind Alabama (4.9 million).


Harris County covers 1,778 square miles; enough space to fit major cities such as Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas and New York City or Seattle, with room still to spare.


There are 145 different languages spoken at homes in Houston, making the city the 6th most diverse in this regard.


There are 21 Fortune 500 companies in theHouston metropolitan area.


    Number 1 County in exported goods in the U.S.


    Home to the energy capital of the world, the largest medical center complex in the world, one space port, two airports, over 200 industrial port terminals.