Austin is the capital city of the U.S. state of Texas, as well as the seat and largest city of Travis County, with portions extending into Hays and Williamson counties. Incorporated on December 27, 1839, it is the 11th-most populous city in the United States, the fourth-most-populous city in Texas, the second-most-populous state capital city after Phoenix, Arizona, and the most populous state capital that is not also the most populous city in its state. It has been one of the fastest growing large cities in the United States since 2010. Austin is the southernmost state capital in the contiguous United States and is considered a "Beta −" global city as categorized by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network.
As of the 2020 census, Austin had a population of 961,855, up from 790,491 at the 2010 census. The city is the cultural and economic center of the Austin–Round Rock metropolitan statistical area, which had an estimated population of 2,295,303 as of July 1, 2020, roughly 84% increase from the year 2000. Located in Central Texas within the greater Texas Hill Country, it is home to numerous lakes, rivers, and waterways, including Lady Bird Lake and Lake Travis on the Colorado River, Barton Springs, McKinney Falls, and Lake Walter E. Long.
Residents of Austin are known as Austinites. They include a diverse mix of government employees, college students, musicians, high-tech workers, digital marketers, and blue-collar workers. The city's official slogan promotes Austin as "The Live Music Capital of the World", a reference to the city's many musicians and live music venues, as well as the long-running PBS TV concert series Austin City Limits. The city also adopted "Silicon Hills" as a nickname in the 1990s due to a rapid influx of technology and development companies. In recent years, some Austinites have adopted the unofficial slogan "Keep Austin Weird", which refers to the desire to protect small, unique, and local businesses from being overrun by large corporations. Since the late 19th century, Austin has also been known as the "City of the Violet Crown", because of the colorful glow of light across the hills just after sunset.
In 1987, Austin originated and remains the site for South by Southwest (stylized as SXSW and colloquially referred to as South By), an annual conglomeration of parallel film, interactive media, and music festivalsand conferences that take place in mid-March.
Emerging from a strong economic focus on government and education, since the 1990s, Austin has become a center for technology and business. A number of Fortune 500 companies have headquarters or regional offices in Austin, including 3M, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, IBM, Intel, NXP semiconductors, Oracle, Tesla, Texas Instruments, and Whole Foods Market. Dell's worldwide headquarters is located in the nearby suburb of Round Rock. With regard to education, Austin is the home of the University of Texas at Austin, which is one of the largest universities in the U.S. and is attended by over 50,000 students.
Austin–Round Rock–San Marcos (or Greater Austin) is a five-county metropolitan area in the U.S. stateof Texas, as defined by the Office of Management and Budget. The metropolitan area is situated in Central Texas on the eastern edge of the American Southwest, and borders Greater San Antonio to the south.
Austin–Round Rock-San Marcos is the 29th largest metropolitan area in the United States, with a population of 2,283,371 people as of the official 2020 U.S. census. The metropolitan area is centered on the City of Austin—the fourth-largest city in Texas and the 11th-largest city in the United States with a population of 961,855 people. Austin's largest suburbs are Round Rock, Cedar Park, Georgetown, San Marcos and Pflugerville.
Hispanic or Latino of any race: 33.9%
White (non-Hispanic): 48.3%
Black (non-Hispanic): 7.8%
According to the 2010 United States Census, the racial composition of Austin was 68.3% White (48.7% non-Hispanic whites), 35.1% Hispanic or Latino (29.1% Mexican, 0.5% Puerto Rican, 0.4% Cuban, 5.1% Other), 8.1% African American, 6.3% Asian (1.9% Indian, 1.5% Chinese, 1.0% Vietnamese, 0.7% Korean, 0.3% Filipino, 0.2% Japanese, 0.8% Other), 0.9% American Indian, 0.1% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, and 3.4% two or more races.
A 2014 University of Texas study stated that Austin was the only U.S. city with a fast growth rate between 2000 and 2010 with a net loss in African Americans. As of 2014, Austin's African American and non-Hispanic white percentage share of the total population was declining despite the actual numbers of both ethnic groups increasing, as the rapid growth of the Latino or Hispanic and Asian populations has outpaced all other ethnic groups in the city. Austin's non-Hispanic white population first dropped below 50% in 2005.
According to a survey completed in 2014 by Gallup, it is estimated that 5.3% of residents in the Austin metropolitan areaidentify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. The Austin metropolitan area had the third-highest rate in the nation.
According to Sperling's BestPlaces, 52.4% of Austin's population are religious. The majority of Austinites identified themselves as Christians, about 25.2% of whom claimed affiliation with the Catholic Church. The city's Catholic population is served by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Austin, headquartered at the Cathedral of Saint Mary. Nationwide, 23% of Americans identified as Catholic in 2016. Other significant Christian groups in Austin include Baptists (8.7%), followed by Methodists (4.3%), Latter-Day Saints (1.5%), Episcopalians or Anglicans (1.0%), Lutherans(0.8%), Presbyterians (0.6%), Pentecostals (0.3%), and other Christians such as the Disciples of Christ and Eastern Orthodox Church (7.1%). The second largest religion Austinites identify with is Islam (1.7%); roughly 0.8% of Americans nationwide claimed affiliation with the Islamic faith. The dominant branch of Islam is Sunni Islam. Established in 1977, the largest mosque in Austin is the Islamic Center of Greater Austin. The community is affiliated with the Islamic Society of North America. The same study says that eastern faiths including Buddhism, Sikhism, and Hinduism made up 0.9% of the city's religious population. Several Hindu temples exist in the Austin Metropolitan area with the most notable one being Radha Madhav Dham. Judaism forms less than 0.1% of the religious demographic in Austin, although Orthodox, Reform, and Conservative congregations exist. In addition to those religious groups, Austin is also home to an active secular humanist community, hosting nationwide television shows and charity work.
As of 2019, there were 2,255 individuals experiencing homelessness in Travis County. Of those, 1,169 were sheltered and 1,086 were unsheltered. In September 2019, the Austin City Council approved $62.7 million for programs aimed at homelessness, which includes housing displacement prevention, crisis mitigation, and affordable housing; the city council also earmarked $500,000 for crisis services and encampment cleanups.
In June 2019, following a federal court ruling on homelessness sleeping in public, the Austin City Council lifted a 25-year-old ban on camping, sitting, or lying down in public unless doing so causes an obstruction. The resolution also included the approval of a new housing-focused shelter in South Austin. In early October 2019, Texas Governor Greg Abbott sent a letter to Mayor Steve Adler threatening to deploy state resources to combat the camping ban repeal. On October 17, 2019, the City Council revised the camping ordinance, which imposed increased restrictions on sidewalk camping. In November 2019, the State of Texas opened a temporary homeless encampment on a former vehicle storage yard owned by the Texas Department of Transportation.
In May 2021, the camping ban was reinstated after a ballot proposition was approved by 57% of voters. The ban introduces penalties for camping, sitting, or lying down on a public sidewalk or sleeping outdoors in or near Downtown Austin or the area around the University of Texas campus. The ordinance would also prohibit solicitation at certain locations.
HOUSING UNITS: 276,611
OWNER-OCCUPIED HOUSING UNIT RATE: 45.1%
MEDIAN VALUE OF HOUSING UNIT: $551,200
MEDIAN GROSS RENT: $1,280
Austin has seen the job market increase by 3.5% over the last year. Future job growth over the next ten years is predicted to be 47.0%, which is higher than the US average of 33.5%.
Tax Rates for Austin
The Sales Tax Rate for Austin is 8.3%. The US average is 7.3%.
The Income Tax Rate for Austin is 0.0%. The US average is 4.6%.
Tax Rates can have big impact when Comparing Cost of Living.
Income and Salaries for Austin
The average income of a Austin resident is $32,672 a year. The US average is $28,555 a year.
The Median household income of a Austin resident is $55,216 a year. The US average is $53,482 a year.
The Greater Austin metropolitan statistical area had a gross domestic product (GDP) of $86 billion in 2010. Austin is considered to be a major center for high tech. Thousands of graduates each year from the engineering and computer science programs at the University of Texas at Austin provide a steady source of employees that help to fuel Austin's technology and defense industry sectors. The region's rapid growth has led Forbes to rank the Austin metropolitan area number one among all big cities for jobs for 2012 in their annual survey and WSJ Marketwatch to rank the area number one for growing businesses. By 2013, Austin was ranked No. 14 on Forbes' list of the Best Places for Business and Careers (directly below Dallas, No. 13 on the list). As a result of the high concentration of high-tech companies in the region, Austin was strongly affected by the dot-com boom in the late 1990s and subsequent bust. Austin's largest employers include the Austin Independent School District, the City of Austin, Dell, the U.S. Federal Government, NXP Semiconductors, IBM, St. David's Healthcare Partnership, Seton Family of Hospitals, the State of Texas, the Texas State University, and the University of Texas at Austin.
Other high-tech companies with operations in Austin include 3M, Apple, Amazon, AMD, Apartment Ratings, Applied Materials, Arm Holdings, Bigcommerce, BioWare, Blizzard Entertainment, Buffalo Technology, Cirrus Logic, Cisco Systems, Dropbox, eBay, Electronic Arts, Flextronics, Facebook, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Hoover's, HomeAway, HostGator, Intel Corporation, National Instruments, Nintendo, Nvidia, Oracle, PayPal, Polycom, Qualcomm, Rackspace, RetailMeNot, Rooster Teeth, Samsung Group, Silicon Laboratories, Spansion, Tesla, United Devices, VMware, and Xerox. In 2010, Facebook accepted a grant to build a downtown office that could bring as many as 200 jobs to the city. The proliferation of technology companies has led to the region's nickname, "Silicon Hills", and spurred development that greatly expanded the city.
Austin is also emerging as a hub for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies; the city is home to about 85 of them. In 2004, the city was ranked by the Milken Institute as the #12 biotech and life science center in the United States and in 2018, CBRE Group ranked Austin as #3 emerging life sciences cluster Companies such as Hospira, Pharmaceutical Product Development, and ArthroCare Corporation are located there.
Whole Foods Market, an international grocery store chain specializing in fresh and packaged food products, was founded and is headquartered in Austin.
Other companies based in Austin include NXP Semiconductors, GoodPop, Temple-Inland, Sweet Leaf Tea Company, Keller Williams Realty, National Western Life, GSD&M, Dimensional Fund Advisors, Golfsmith, Forestar Group, EZCorp, Outdoor Voices, Tito's Vodka, Indeed, Speak Social, and YETI.
In 2018, Austin metro-area companies saw a total of $1.33 billion invested. Austin's VC numbers were so strong in 2018 that they accounted for more than 60 percent of Texas' total investments.
According to the Nielsen Company, adults in Austin read and contribute to blogs more than those in any other U.S. metropolitan area. Austin residents have the highest Internet usage in all of Texas. In 2013, Austin was the most active city on Reddit, having the largest number of views per capita. Austin was selected as the No. 2 Best Big City in "Best Places to Live" by Money magazine in 2006, and No. 3 in 2009, and also the "Greenest City in America" by MSN.
South Congress is a shopping district stretching down South Congress Avenue from Downtown. This area is home to coffee shops, eccentric stores, restaurants, food trucks, trailers, and festivals. It prides itself on "Keeping Austin Weird," especially with development in the surrounding area(s). Many Austinites attribute its enduring popularity to the magnificent and unobstructed view of the Texas State Capitol.
The Rainey Street Historic District is a neighborhood in Downtown Austin consisting mostly of bungalow style homes built in the early 20th century. Since the early 2010s, the former working class residential street has turned into a popular nightlife district. Much of the historic homes have been renovated into bars and restaurants, many of which feature large porches and outdoor yards for patrons. The Rainey Street district is also home to the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center.
Austin has been part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network under Media Arts the category.