Last week, money.cnn.com released their list of the 10 fastest growing cities in the country. We were not surprised to learn that Austin, TX ranked as the #1 city in terms of population growth. That explains the burst of traffic on our commutes!
According to their numbers, the city now sits at a population of 1.9 million, which supports the previously stated notion that we’ll be a 2 million person metro within the next year or two (statistic originally found on Austinist.com).
After residing here for over 20 years, I’ve watched the city grown leaps and bounds. It always felt like we were growing quickly, and the CNN Money ranking showed that we added nearly 48,000 new residents as of mid-2013. That is a heck of an impressive number given that it measures “net new” residents, meaning there are more people actually moving here, but some of that volume is offset by departures from Austin. You can see exactly how much we’ve grown just by comparing the skyline today vs. old pictures.
Just to put that “net new” number in perspective, it adds up to a 2.6% annualized growth rate. That means we probably have around 4% of the total population moving here each year, minus the folks who move on for new pastures (a complete guess on my part, so don’t quote these numbers for anything more than casual conversation).
Why Are All of These People Moving to Austin?
Great question! The article speculates that our “cultural vibrancy” (whatever that is) contributes heavily to the appeal. I’d wager that this relates to our outstanding art / music / creative-friendly scene, dedication to holistic healing like acupuncture and chiropractic care (among others), and our general weirdness as a metropolitan area.
Of course, it also calls out the big motivator: J-O-B-S. As mentioned on the piece, we have an unemployment rate of 4.7%, which is the lowest such rate among cities of 1M residents or more. Pretty impressive, even to someone who lives and breathes Austin like myself.
There are a few more reasons. Check out our last post Why People Are Moving to Austin for a more in depth review of the Austin allure.
What brought you to Austin? What keeps you here? Please share below!