Thinking of moving to Austin? You’re not alone. Recent reports show the Austin area has been growing at an impressive pace and is expected to keep growing significantly over the next two years. It’s clear that Austin, TX is a happening place, but what does continued growth mean for us locals?

Austin Population by the Numbers

Austinites didn’t need the 2010 Census to tell us that the city had seen steady growth. For years there’s been a feeling that, while keeping its down-home appeal, Austin has been maturing into a full-blown metro. However, having hard numbers that laid out just how much it had grown since 2000 was eye-opening. Recent reports suggest that the capital city will be just as popular in the second decade of the 21st century.

Austin Population (metropolitan statistical area)

2000:  1,249,763*

2010:  1,716,289*

2013:  1,870,000+

Angelou Economics recently published a report that predicted the Austin population would grow another 130,000 over the next two years. Much of this growth is a result of people migrating to the city, rather than the population growing from within. The biggest draw is clearly the economy.

The recession may have slowed things down, but business in Austin has kept chugging right along. Angelou Economics estimates that the Austin GDP will continue to grow at a rate of 3.0-3.7% over the next two years. This growth will support the addition of 29,000 jobs in 2013 and 30,000 in 2014.


* U.S. Bureau of the Census, Decennial Census

+ Business Journals’ On Numbers analysis


Pros and Cons of Population Growth in Austin

Talk to locals that have been in Austin more than a decade, and one of the first things they’ll tell you is how much Austin has grown in the last ten years. There may be a tinge of discontent in their voice, but the going pains do come with benefits.

Population Pros

Highly skilled job market. It’s a classic ‘chicken or the egg’ scenario. Many of the people moving to Austin are talented professionals that are attracted to the job potential. A talented workforce is a big draw for businesses, especially those in the health, education and high-tech industries. It’s a cyclical affect that’s nothing but positive for the city.

Appreciating real estate. Austin homeowners were fortunate to escape the brunt of the real estate recession. We didn’t have astronomical escalation in the early 2000s, but there has been a healthy, steadily paced appreciation that’s still going strong. The Austin Business Journal reported that between Q3 2011 and Q3 2012 home prices rose 2.9%.

Population Cons

One word – traffic. Experts agree that traffic is going to continue to be the biggest issue for Austin as the population grows. Angelos Angelou himself said that, “the only factor that can reduce our growth is transportation, if we don’t build our infrastructure, if we have gridlock just like the Silicon Valley did in the ’80s.” The solution – don’t rely on state or federal help for improving and expanding transportation options.

Energy and water consumption. Texas has experienced record droughts in recent years and the high summer temps are no secret. Both these environmental factors, in addition to population growth, have put a strain on resources.

Moving to Austin is undeniably amazing. The city that’s captured the nation’s attention has a stable and growing economy, a well-known music scene, acres of outdoor areas to enjoy, a flourishing art world and a keep it weird mentality that even the most straight-laced newbies openly adopt. What’s not to like!