Beginning with construction of the first offshore drilling operation in Texas In 1916, followed shortly by the Baytown Refinery, Baytown has been a vital player in Texas' huge petrochemical industry. Exxon-Mobil is perhaps Baytown's major employer and now runs over 10 plants in the area.
Baytown has 23,483 households and 17,025 families residing in the city out of which 52.9% were married couples living together. The median income for a household in the city is $45,346. The median home value in Baytown as of year 2000 was $66,800.
Baytown's climate is dominated by the Gulf of Mexico. Prevailing Gulf winds make summer nights pleasant and keep the harsh winter weather to the north. Summers in Baytown are warm with an avg. daily temperate in the low 90's. Winters are mild with daily high temperatures averaging 65 degrees. Snowfall is extremely rare. A mere 38 miles from Houston, Baytown is a prosperous industrial community with major corporations represented, such as Exxon Mobil Baytown Refinery, Exxon Chemical, Chevron Phillips, Bayer, Amoco and more. Retail sales have climbed each year and have exceeded $600 million annually.
Because of Baytown's industry, it serves as a central city for several communities in the Eastern region of Greater Houston including the eastern portion of Harris County, western Chambers County, and southwestern Liberty County. Also, the city is a primary city of the Houston-Sugar land-Baytown MSA. San Jacinto Mall is a regional shopping mall that opened in 1982 and is one of the largest shopping malls in the region. However, economic changes in the area have left the mall largely vacant. The city is also home to major retail establishments such as Kroger, Target, Lowe's, Home Depot, Wal-Mart, and Best Buy.
Baytown is served by the Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District. The district serves all of Baytown, Highlands, outlying areas of East Harris County, and a small portion of West Chambers County. Voters recently passed a $120 million bond referendum in 2005 to improve present school facilities and replace several existing schools, including, a new elementary and junior high school. Renovations to Stallworth Stadium -- one of the largest high school sports venues in the nation - are currently underway. The area is also served by two excellent private schools, Baytown Christian Academy and San Jacinto Christian Academy. East Harris County and West Chambers County are served by Lee College, a two-year junior college.