Odessa is a city in and the county seat of Ector County, Texas, United States. It is located primarily in Ector County, although a small section of the city extends into Midland County. . It is the principal city of the Odessa metropolitan statistical area, which includes all of Ector County. The metropolitan area is also a component of the larger Midland–Odessa combined statistical area. Forbes magazine ranked Odessa as the third-fastest-growing small city in the United States.
Historically, the Odessa economy has been primarily driven by the area's oil industry, booming and busting in response to rises and falls in the crude oil price. Many of the city's largest employers are oil-field supply companies and petrochemical processing companies. In recent decades, city leaders have begun trying to decrease the city's reliance on the energy industry to moderate the boom-bust cycle and develop greater economic sustainability.
Odessa has also taken steps to diversify the energy it produces. A new wind farm has been constructed in northern Ector County. A new coal pollution mitigation plant has been announced for a site previously entered in the Futuregen bidding. The new plant will be run by Summit Power and will be located near Penwell. This new plant could lead to the creation of 8,000 jobs in the area. Plans are in place for a small nuclear reactor called the High-Temperature Teaching and Test Reactor to be run as a test and teaching facility in conjunction with the nuclear engineering department at University of Texas of the Permian Basin. This reactor is planned to be near Andrews.
Odessa's main enclosed shopping mall is Music City Mall, which includes Dillards, JC Penney, At Home, Burlington Coat Factory, an indoor ice skating rink, and CBS News. Construction of new retail in recent years has been concentrated on the city's north-east side. In November 2007, the city approved a contract with a company that develops armaments for US Army helicopters to begin operations in Odessa.
As in many municipalities, some of the largest employers are in the education, government, and healthcare industries. Outside of those areas, the city's major employers are concentrated in the oil industry. Among the top employers in the city are: Saulsbury Companies; Ector County Independent School District; Halliburton; Medical Center Hospital; Keane Group; Odessa Regional Medical Center; Walmart; City of Odessa; Weatherford; Ector County.
Odessa has a population of over 123,334 people. Odessa also forms part of the wider Odessa metropolitan area which has a population of over 140,111 people.