Located 30 miles from downtown Houston, Katy is uniquely situated in three different counties: Waller, Harris and Fort Bend. While "Old Katy" is a small town with a population of just under 14,000, the "Katy area," which includes unincorporated land on the outskirts of town, has an estimated population of several hundred thousand.
The town takes its name from the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad, or "K-T Railroad." It was formerly known as Cane Island after the Cane Island Creek that runs through the area. Although Houston's growth has slowed in recent years, Katy continues to expand at a rapid pace.
Katy started out as an agricultural community. Rice was its major crop, with soybeans becoming an important source of farm revenue in the late 1950s.
Today, the city's economy has diversified. Farming continues, but the city is becoming increasingly professional. Approximately 34 percent of the city's workers are employed in managerial or professional positions, and 38 percent are employed in technical, sales or administrative support positions. Katy has a very low unemployment rate compared to the surrounding area.
Several major companies, including the Igloo Corp. and Academy Sports and Outdoors, have their national headquarters in Katy. The global engineering and construction firm KBR is opening a new headquarters in the Katy area as well. Katy is also home to one of the largest gas fields in the United States.
Katy offers a wide range of housing, including apartment communities and luxury homes. It is not uncommon to see large estates with enough acreage to keep horses in the area. Many of Katy's oldest homes were designated with historical markers by the Texas Sesquicentennial Committee in 1986.
There are approximately 220 active subdivisions in the area. Many of the Katy's neighborhoods are master-planned communities, complete with swimming pools, tennis courts and shopping centers. As the population expands, more and more apartment buildings are springing up in the area.
Katy is served by the Katy Times and the Katy Sun.
Houston Community College has a branch in Katy, as does the University of Houston.
Katy is less than a 30-minute drive from Houston's professional sports teams, including:
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