There are 4,110 people per square mile in the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land metro area, lower than the national population density of 6,321 Americans per square mile across all U.S. metro areas. Houston also has the third highest population density of any Texas metro area.

Population density can have a meaningful impact on home prices in an area. There tends to be less demand for available real estate in sparsely populated areas, and home prices are often lower as a result. In Houston, a typical home is worth $168,300, less than the national median home value of $194,500. Houston has the fourth highest median home value of any metro area in the state.

Dense metropolitan areas are often the most congested, with the average worker spending up to 38 minutes commuting to work in some cities. The average commute in Houston lasts 29.2 minutes, longer than the average commute time for Texas as a whole of 26.3 minutes and the highest of any metro area in the state.

One of the most effective deterrents to crime is other people. In more rural cities there is often fewer people and less streetlight to act as natural surveillance that can in some cases prevent petty crime. In the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land metro area, there were 567 violent crimes per 100,000 people in 2015, higher than the national violent crime rate of 373 incidents per 100,000 Americans and higher than the statewide rate of 412 violent crimes reported per 100,000 residents. Houston has the fourth highest violent crime rate in Texas.

Rank Metro Area Population Density
10 San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA 6,920.5
9 Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL 7,395.3
8 Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD 7,773.2
7 Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH 7,980.1
6 San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA 8,417.7
5 Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL-IN-WI 8,613.4
4 Honolulu, HI 11,548.2
3 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA 12,113.9
2 San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA 12,144.9
1 New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA 31,251.4