If you are searching for the best place to live in the country, our city of Austin, Texas sits firmly near the top. U.S. News and World Report placed Austin #1 for three years in a row from 2017-2019, and Bankrate put Austin at #1 in 2020. And they’re not alone. It seems people love Austin.
All this love has resulted in huge growth. The population has risen from just under 500,000 in the 1990s to over 2 million today, resulting in 100 new residents a day. But Why?
Austin has a number of traits that make it ideal – so many that they have multiple slogans to cover them all. Read on to discover each one.
A big reason for the city’s demand is job growth. According to the Austin Chamber of Commerce, Austin averages a 4% growth in jobs each year since 2011. It has added 27,200 new jobs from March 2019 to March 2020 – a 2.5% increase, making it the 6th fastest-growing major metropolitan area in that timeframe.
Tech is a big reason for the growth. The tech industry is booming here, and Austin will most likely surpass Silicon Valley as the country’s tech hub. As shown in the Austin Business Journal, there are currently over 7,700 tech employers today. The industry makes up 30% of the area’s new jobs and 31% of the metro’s payroll. These are big numbers compared to the 8% national average. 2019 alone saw a 7.7% increase in tech jobs over 2018, which almost doubled the metro’s job growth.
From Dell’s move to Austin in the ’90s to today’s biggest tech giants like Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Apple, growth is happening fast. Apple alone put a 1 billion dollar investment for a new campus here that is slated to open in 2023.
It’s Well Suited for Growth
The growth of tech stems from lower operations costs, favorable taxes, and lower-priced real estate for businesses and residents. Austin is easier to deal with than Silicon Valley, a place where real estate pricing has gone through the roof. The city also benefits from quality education in Texas that directly feeds into the tech sector, making it easy to feed continued growth.
The tech has been a huge benefit for Austin, even during 2020. Tech hasn’t been hit as hard by the negative effects of the coronavirus as other sectors have, such as food and tourism. The blend of tech business and government sectors has helped the city navigate today’s economic challenges, keeping it healthier than other areas.
But smart business opportunities aside, it just seems people like it here. Let’s take a closer look at why.
Austin is a remarkably welcoming city. Sure, it is known as the liberal center of Texas (some people jokingly call it the “People’s Republic of Austin,”), but it also picks up on other aspects of “liberal,” – like being likable and accepting of a wide audience. It is the home to hippies, hipsters, indie lovers, and techies, as well as mild-mannered lawyers, doctors, and business owners.
The city is so accepting, messages get a bit confusing and even overlap. An Austinite may love BBQ just as much as vegan food, and then roll them both up in a taco. And as much as there are progressive ideas here, Austinites love to keep the past alive with vintage and retro living.
Austin loves its contradictions and doesn’t like being pocketed. The stranger things are, the better. Its most popular motto is “Keep Austin Weird,” and it does. And people love it.
The University of Texas at Austin is a powerhouse. It ranks as #33 in the world, number 21 in the U.S., and number 7 among U.S. public universities.
Higher learning aside, Austin also has many Top 10 Texas elementary and high schools, including Meridian High School, which ranked #1 in the state’s list of best high schools in 2018. The schools also average a 14-to-1 ratio of students per teacher, allowing teachers to focus on individual results. The area has a 9% higher graduation rate than the Texas state average.
Austin is free of natural disasters. Three are no earthquakes, tornadoes, or hurricanes – and this last one has become a growing issue for Texans living closer to the Gulf of Mexico.
The winters are mild, averaging between 40 to 60 degrees, and it hardly ever snows. It averages 35 inches of rain a year, on par with the national average of 38 inches. It also has a blend of dry and humid air. (Like the people’s interests here, it depends on where the wind blows.) It isn’t as humid as Houston and Dallas, and this helps in summer. Like many areas of Texas, life gets hot here. It reaches the 90’s and a few days are over 100 degrees. Cutting down on humidity when it is hot makes life more livable.
A Huge Music Scene
Austin also has the distinction of being the “Live Music Capital of the World.” Along with regular live music in its bars and clubs, its South by Southwest festival brings 400,000 people a year, and Austin City Limits brings in another 450,000. The city hosts a further 22 festivals a year. And in true Austin form, there isn’t one style of music. Choose from styles like folk, blues, jazz, punk, indie, bluegrass, Tejano, zydeco, and country.
Plenty of Green Spaces and Outdoor activities
The Austin area is a great place to enjoy the outdoors, and one of the best things to do in Austin is to take advantage of its green spaces. You can go for a walk, run, bike, or even paddle along Lady Bird Lake and Lake Austin, as well as enjoy parks like Zilker Park, Auditorium Shores, Domain Central Park, Barton Creek Greenbelt, Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park, Emma Long Metropolitan Park, Festival Beach Park, and the list goes on.
Help for New New Residents
Austin is a truly unique and wonderful place to live, and it’s a city we’re proud to call home.
If you are new to Austin or planning to move here, we can help. We have services for people who are buying a home in Austin as well as for people looking to rent. We have a designated section of our site dedicated to new residents. We can help you find the right neighborhood and provide you with a Relocation Specialist – your personal Austin relocation guide who will make the process of moving here easy.
We also have a free 112-page moving to Austin, Texas guide to help get your feet wet with buying real estate here. You will learn about mortgages, closing, moving, and more. Along the way, you can speak with our realtors on current properties, check out our online real estate listings, and join our email list to get new listings as they become available.
We are here to help you experience first hand the benefits of living in one of the top areas to live in the country, and we will make you feel right at home.