Leander, Texas is a large, rural town, though it is rapidly becoming a suburb of Austin. Austin is roughly twenty five miles to the south, and people are moving north to escape high housing costs and crime. The average home in Leander is roughly 120,000 dollars cheaper than a comparable home in Austin. This is why Leander is one of the fastest growing cities in the state of Texas.
In 2010, it had a population of 26,000. In 2020, it had more than 60,000 residents. This is partially due to the fact that the city has a commuter rail connection to downtown Austin via the CapMetro Commuter Rail line; this stop is the northern terminus of the Capital Metro rail system. This rail station ties into Leander’s history. The town was originally founded because of a stop on the Austin and Northwestern Railroad Company. The city also has several bus lines that connect to Austin.
The town itself is named for Leander “Catfish” Brown. He was one of the officials responsible for completing the rail line. Leander also made history when a ten to thirteen thousand year old burial was found in the area. Named the Leanderthal Lady, it is one of the earliest intact burials found inside of the continental United States.
The town is located between Cedar Park and Liberty Hill. It is west of Georgetown. It sits in both Williamson and Travis counties. The town has annexed land along Highway 183 and Farm to Market Road 279 though there is little there yet. Highway 183 splits into Highway 183 and 183A (business 183) inside of Leander. However, the city has not yet annexed the area where State Highway 29 and Highway 183 meet. Furthermore, the city has annexed a narrow strip of land so that it could claim a long stretch of Ronald Reagan Boulevard. This has resulted in a large unincorporated area full of suburban homes like the Marbella-Pacesetter subdivision and the homes around Rouse High School. Neighboring Knox Wily Middle School is within the city limits. Glenn High School sits at the north end of town.
Leander has its own independent school district or ISD. That school district covers Leander, Cedar Park, a few neighborhoods in northwest Austin and a few people in Round Rock and George Town. This explains how a city of less than seventy thousand people can justify having six high schools. The school district was given an A plus rating by Niche.com It is considered the best school district in Williamson County. Leander is home to the newest Austin Community College campus. The San Gabriel Campus is located in Leander.
Devine Lake Park is next to Devine Lake. Benbrook Ranch Park is a large park a few blocks west of Devine Lake, but it does not reach the waterfront. There are a number of small parks inside of the city like Lakewood Park and Robin Bledsoe Park. The Crystal Falls Golf Club is inside of the city limits. The massive Cimarron Hills Golf and Country Club are outside of the city limits. It sits on Highway 29. It almost touches Sawyer Park to the north. That park borders the North Fork of the San Gabriel River. Sandy Creek and Lakewood Park are located along Lake Travis. Lakewood Park also has splash pads and a playground. Southwest Williamson County Regional Park is several miles to the east off FM 175.
Leander was ranked the fourth best place to buy a house in the Austin area by Niche. It received an A for its public schools, a B for crime and safety, A for the amenities like parks and a B minus for nightlife. However, you can go to Round Rock to the east and enjoy the amenities of what has been nicknamed a super suburb. Round Rock has all the amenities of a city, because it is home to a number of high tech employers like Dell. This results in a large number of people with high incomes and everything from bars to indoor obstacle courses you won’t find in a small town. Leander maintains its rural feel, and eighty percent of residents own their home. Of the twenty percent that do rent, average rents are 1500 dollars a month. This is similar to the rental rates in Austin. This is due to the relative lack of rental units and the high average household income in the area. The median household income in Leander is 100K, 40K above the national average.