Pearland was first established as Mark Belt in 1893 in northern Brazoria County, then its name was changed to Pearland for the abundance of pear trees in the area. Although growth was slow, Pearland survived the 1900 Galveston hurricane. Oil and gas discoveries nearby helped swell the population in 1934.
Pearland's proximity to Houston has paralleled growth in the area. The city is 15 minutes equidistantly between the Houston Medical Center and the Johnson Space Center, and 45 minutes from Galveston Beach, but maintains its country-style living. It was named a 1999 All-America City by the National Civic League.