A series of tweets involving video messages from celebrities were used to confirm Phil Neville's team.
Defender Houghton's inclusion was revealed by Prince William, president of The FA, while stars like James Corden, Emma Watson and David Beckham also took part in the unveiling.
Kirby's team-mate Carly Telford is one of three goalkeepers to have received a call-up and will compete with Karen Bardsley and Mary Earps for the number-one spot.
Other inclusions were Jade Moore, Ellen White, Millie Bright, Lucy Bronze and Houston Dash forward Rachel Daly.
Karen Carney, Lucy Staniforth, Jodie Taylor and Arsenal duo Leah Williamson and Beth Mead also made the squad.
Despite their 2019 SheBelieves Cup victory, Neville's side are outsiders to win the Women's World Cup, with USWMNT the firm favourites.
Speaking ahead of the squad announcement, Neville told the BBC : "We wanted to make sure each individual player had a really special moment. Going to a World Cup was something I never did as a player, and for these girls, it's the biggest thing in their lives."
England Squad in full:
Goalkeepers : Carly Telford (Chelsea), Karen Bardsley (Manchester City), Mary Earps (Wolfsburg).
Defenders: Steph Houghton (Manchester City), Lucy Bronze (Olympique Lyonnais), Demi Stokes (Manchester City), Rachel Daly (Houston Dash), Alex Greenwood (Manchester United), Millie Bright (Chelsea), Leah Williamson (Arsenal), Abbie McManus (Manchester City).
Midfielders: Jade Moore (Reading), Keira Walsh (Manchester City), Jill Scott (Manchester City), Karen Carney (Chelsea), Georgia Stanway (Manchester City), Lucy Staniforth (Birmingham City).
Forwards: Toni Duggan (Barcelona), Ellen White (Birmingham City), Fran Kirby (Chelsea), Nikita Parris (Manchester City), Beth Mead (Arsenal), Jodie Taylor (Reign FC).