The City Of Austin
Austin is the capital of Texas, and it is located in the Texas Hill Country. This is why the state Capitol building is in the middle of downtown Austin TX. The city has grown north and south along I-35. The city is built around several water sources such as the Colorado River, Barton Springs, and Lady Bird Lake.
The Greater Austin area includes Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Hays, Lee, Llano, Mason, Milam, Travis, and Williamson counties. Some Census reports include Burleson, Colorado and Gillespie counties. However, Travis County is the most populous one. It is home to more than a million people. Williamson County has roughly half as many people.
Austin is roughly 150 miles from Houston, 200 miles from Dallas and 75 miles from San Antonio. The city covers over 300 square miles. But downtown Austin TX was built on the Colorado River.
Austin was incorporated on December 27, 1839. At the time, it was the fourth largest city in the state of Texas and eleventh largest in the country. Note that this was after Texas became its own country.
Today, Austin is the second most populous state capital. Only Phoenix is larger in terms of population. Since 2010, it has been one of the fastest growing large cities in the United States. In 2010, it was home to almost 800,000 people and added nearly 200K over the proceeding ten years.
Austin is home to almost a million people. The greater Austin area or Austin metro area is home to just over two million people. According to Census data, the Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos area is home to 2.3 million people, making it the twenty-ninth largest metro area in the country.
The cities along I-35 are expanding, meaning that San Marcos and its suburbs are barely outside of the San Antonio metro area. Some of the largest suburbs of Austin are Round Rock, San Marcos and Georgetown.
Roughly half of Austin’s population is white. A quarter is Hispanic. Asians are nearly ten percent of the population. Almost as many Austinites are black.
Austin has a diversified economy. It has a large public sector. It also has a large IT and telecommunications sector. It has been nicknamed Silicon Prairie and Silicon Hills.
Dell opened up a massive facility in the Austin suburb of Round Rock. AMD, Amazon, Apple, Cisco, eBay, Nvidia, National Instruments, Applied Materials, Facebook, Google, Paypal, Adobe, Blizzard Entertainment, Roku, Entertainment Arts, and many other companies have offices in the area. Texas Instruments is based out of Dallas but has facilities in Austin. These high tech firms like to recruit graduates from UT Austin and other area colleges.
Austin has a large education sector, in part because it is the home of the flagship University of Texas campus, the University of Texas at Austin. This school is simply called UT, because there is a University of Texas at Arlington campus called UTA.
There are around fifty thousand students at UT Austin. This is one reason why the average age of Austin residents is one to two years below the state average. And the school is one of the largest universities in the country.
Austin Community College District runs several community colleges. These are schools that issue professional certifications and associates degrees. Austin is also the home of Saint Edward’s University. This is a private Catholic university.
Southwestern University is located in Georgetown. Texas State University is located in San Marcos. That is a thirty minute drive from Austin. The Texas State University system is the fifth largest public college system in the state.
The South by Southwest event is a collection of film, music and interactive media festivals held in Austin. It is sometimes called South By or SXSW for short. The event began in 1987. It has grown in size and scope over the years. In 2017, it lasted more than ten days from start to finish. The company that runs it, SXSW LLC, also runs the SXSW EDU conference on educational innovation.
Austin calls itself the Live Music Capital of the World. The PBS series called “Austin City Limits” helped it to earn that reputation.
Austin is home the Harry Ransom Center. It features the first photograph ever taken and a Gutenberg Bible. The Blanton Museum, Mexic-Art Museum, Carver Museum and Jones Center contemporary art museum are located in Austin. Austin has a ballet, too.
The median household income for Austin was 75,000 dollars a year in 2019. This is well above the 62,000 dollars a year earned by the average Texas household. Roughly thirteen percent of Austin residents live in poverty.
This is actually in line with the state average.
The relatively high local incomes have led to a relatively hot housing market. The average home in Texas costs around 200K. The average home in Austin is 450K to 550K, depending on the source.
Austin has a much larger luxury home market than the rest of the state, and that pulls the average up.
Some of the most expensive neighborhoods in Austin are Zilker, Rosedale, Windsor Road, South River City, and Old West Austin. Old West Austin is located in Central Austin.
It is a historic residential district. It is one of the city’s original neighborhoods and dates back to the mid-1800s. It is separated from UT Austin by the West Campus or West University neighborhood. That neighborhood is overwhelmingly full of college students.
One Census study ranked the Austin area thirty-fifth out of all metro area in terms of gross domestic product. Austin achieved that due to the massive value of the high tech output of companies like Dell, IBM and Samsung’s Austin semiconductor plant.
Austin is located on the Balcones Fault. This is a transition point between the rich fertile black soils of east Texas and the rough, rocky karst-laden rock of the Texas Hill Country.
Interstate 35 is built along the Balcones Fault. The heavier rains of the Texas coastal plains eat into the limestone. This explains why central Texas has so many caves compared to the rest of the state.
The area is watered by the Colorado River. It has been dammed to create the Highland Lakes. These artificial lakes provide water for the growing metropolitan area.
The Balcones fault line marks the transition point between the humid American Southeast and the drier American Southwest. Officially, Austin is in a subtropical climate zone. It has hot summers and mild winters. The city is at the southern end of Tornado Alley.
Well Known Neighborhoods Of Austin:
- St. Johns
- Coronado Hills
- Windsor Park
- University Hills
- East MLK
- East Austin
- Central Austin
- Old West Austin
- Bouldin Creek
- Heritage Hills
- Northwest Hills
- East Riverside Oltorf
- South Lamar
- North Shoal Creek
- Northwest Hills Austin
- Anderson Mill