(The Center Square) – The largest city in Texas is growing so fast it’s getting another area code. The Public Utility Commission of Texas says that in 2025, the Houston area will run out of new phone numbers.

“Houston – and all of Texas – continues to grow because our state offers freedom and opportunity that cannot be found anywhere else in the world,” Gov. Greg Abbott said in a statement. “This new phone area code is a testament to the economic strength and quality of life in the greater Houston area.”

The North American Numbering Plan Administrator will oversee implementing the new area code, 621, over a nine-month period. It won’t affect existing phone numbers and will only be assigned after the existing area codes of 713, 281, 832, and 346 are used up. The new area code should last for nine years until another one is needed, the PUC said.

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In 1947, the Houston area’s first area code, 713, was created as one of four original numbering plan areas assigned to Texas. In 1996, Houston’s area code was divided; most suburbs were assigned a new 281 area code. Two years later, after rapid population growth, the PUC added 832 as a new area code; by 2013, the 346 area code was added.

According to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data, 7.3 million people live in nine counties that comprise the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land Metropolitan Statistical Area.

The Houston metro area is the fifth most populated metro area in the U.S., according to census data. It has more residents than the individual populations of 36 states.

With over 2.3 million people, Houston is not only the largest city in Texas but is also the fourth most populated city in the U.S. Nearly 25% of Houstonians are foreign born, according to census data.

“If Houston were an independent nation, the region would have the 26th largest economy in the world, exceeding Thailand and Ireland,” the Houston Greater Business Partnership notes. “Since 2002, real GDP in the Houston region has grown at a compound annual growth rate of 2.3 percent.”

Houston has the seventh largest metro economy in the U.S. and the third greatest number of Fortune 500 companies, 26. Texas has the greatest number of Fortune 500 headquarters in the U.S., which is why Abbott often refers to Texas as the “headquarters of headquarters.”

Texas cities are the fastest growing among the largest cities in the United States, according to census data. From 2000 to 2022, Texas gained over 9 million residents, more than any other state, representing a 43% increase.

Harris County, where Houston is located, has the second-largest Black population and second-largest Hispanic population of all counties in the U.S.

Hispanics surpassed non-Hispanic whites last year, comprising 40.2% of the population compared to 39.8% non-Hispanic white Texans, according to the data.

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