So you’re thinking about moving to Austin, Texas. We aren’t surprised, seeing as this Texan state capital doesn’t run out of attractions for potential new residents. But there is so much more to this thriving metropolis than the simple fact that it’s the Lone Star State capital. From live music to the thriving tech industry, Austin, Texas, is a desirable place to call home for young professionals and their families from all over the country. If you haven’t heard about the ample opportunities and reasons behind Austin’s immense appeal, you’ve probably been living under a rock for the past few years. Still, you found yourself clicking on this article, so you probably know at least some things that sparked your interest on Austin Texas.
The inland located city is surrounded by abundant outdoor activities that give the residents ample opportunities to enjoy the great natural scenery. Still, the city’s economy draws many new residents to the area. The steady but rapid population growth significantly impacted the city’s development, so let’s take a closer look at those who call themselves Austinites.
- Austin, TX, Demographics
- Racial Composition of Austin, TX
- Pros and Cons of Living in Austin, Texas
Austin, TX, Demographics
The residents who choose living in Austin, Texas, over any other Texan city contribute to the city’s growth. As Austin became the fourth-largest city in Texas, it also became the 11th most populous city in the U.S., with a population of 996,000. While it does fall behind the much bigger Texan cities of Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio, it comes in first as the best place to live in Texas.
As the economic and cultural center of the Austin-Round Rock-an Marcos metropolitan statistical area known as Greater Austin, it contributes to the combined population of approximately 2.35 million people. These residents have diverse employment opportunities in government, high-tech, business people, and blue-collar jobs. There are also ample opportunities for domestic and foreign students and musicians as the world’s live music capital.
The city’s median household income reached $110,000, and the unemployment rate is at 2.7% as people thrive in the city’s strong and diverse economy. While the highest paying jobs are in Legal occupations with median earnings of $96,000, the highest paying industry is the management of companies and enterprises with median incomes of $111,000, also being the most common positions in Austin, TX.
Racial Composition of Austin, TX
While Austin attracts many young professionals due to the employment opportunities mentioned above, the city is also rather diverse regarding the population’s background and ethnic composition. With a sizable Hispanic population, the only racial demographic that is shrinking in the city is the African-American community, as they tend to move away from the city center. The city’s racial composition is as follows:
- White (non-Hispanic White): 48.9%
- Hispanic or Latino: 34.5%
- African American: 7.6%
- Asian: 6.8%
- Other: 2.2%
Looking at homeownership rates, we can see that 44.5% of housing units are owner-occupied, while 55.5% are at the disposal for renters. Of these, around 7.4% of all housing units are vacant. For more detailed information related to the city’s housing market, you can contact real estate agents in Austin, TX. Still, for some general information, the median home value in Austin is currently $677,000, while the median rent is $1,700. The average size of Austin, TX, households was 2.47, while the average size of an Austinite family was 3.14.
Now that we got that out of the way let’s take a closer look at what it’s like to live in the city of Austin, Texas. After all, life in a city is more than facts and demographics. You surely want to know all the bits and pieces of what life is like for Austinites.
Pros and Cons of Living in Austin, Texas
Whether you live in Texas and just want to change cities, or are coming from an outer state, life in Texas is surrounded by the mantra “Keep Austin Weird”. It’s no surprise that people love living in Austin, Texas, with hoards of people moving here every year due to the cost of living in the city, especially if you consider that Texas doesn’t have state income taxes.
Still, figuring out whether the city of Austin, Texas is right for you means you have to consider everything. That means that, while there is a lot to love about living in this city, you have to be aware of the pros and cons of living in Austin, Texas. Otherwise, you might make a choice that you regret, not because Austin isn’t a great place to live, but simply because it doesn’t fit your lifestyle. After all, you can’t make everyone happy, and Austin is no different.
Through the following section of this article, we aim to answer all your unasked questions to make it easier for you to determine whether Austin is a good fit for you. The pros and cons of living in Austin, Texas, may be subjective, but we’ll try to give ample information for you to make the best decision for your future hometown.
Pros of Living in Austin, Texas
From outdoor recreation to the incredible food scene, we aim to bring to light the most appealing aspects of living in Austin, Texas. While some cities may fit better for some people than others, Austin is no different. If you find that the following characteristics fit your lifestyle, you’ll probably place Austin on top of your list for prospective cities to move to in the immediate future.
One of the most welcoming aspects of living in Austin, Texas, is the friendliness of the locals. Here is where you’ll find some of the genuinely friendliest and happiest people in the state, if not the country, despite its almost 1 million population. Austin isn’t by any means a small city, and the level of friendliness may come as a surprise. Still, it doesn’t affect its ability to make you feel welcome and included as it is customary to that southern hospitality we hear so much about.
Striking up conversations couldn’t be easier in Austin as Austinites are looking for any excuse to boast about their city. It may very well be the easiest city to make friends from strangers as locals are easy to talk to, and they will help you get out of your comfort zone without struggle and anxiety. Austin, Texas, is an incredibly friendly city, so if you want to have an active lifestyle where you interact with people regularly, Austin is the city for you.
With a median age of 33.3 years, it won’t come as a shock to find out that around 31% of Austinites are millennials, and that number is growing every year as more millennials are attracted to the city’s great quality of life. In part, this can also be attributed to the effects of the COVID pandemic as remote work became a possibility for many young professionals. Now, more people are striving for those jobs than ever. A Smaartasset[dot]com study discovered that Austin, Texas, was the 4th most desirable city for millennials in 2021. It’s easy to see and understand why this happened. Still, for those that want to go into details, let’s look at a few factors that influenced this migration of millennials.
Firstly, we have to talk about the job market and opportunities in Austin, Texas. As world-renowned companies are moving their headquarters to Austin, the city’s job growth is predicted to increase by 47% in the following 10 years. With the likes of Google and Tesla choosing Austing as their hometown, Austin was recently ranked the second highest job market in the U.S. As these companies will pave the road for the future of high-tech, many millennials are drawn to the ample opportunities they, and many others, provide.
Secondly, as the Live Music Capital of the World, Austin is proud to host more live music events than any other city in the U.S. There’s no shortage of music venues to explore for any genre and music taste while, at the same time, it’s highly unlikely that you won’t find someplace to enjoy some amazing live music any day of the year. Besides this, Austin also homes the South by Southwest festival, regarded as one of the best live music festivals in the U.S.
Thirdly, and lastly in this section, the food scene. That should be enough for those who know what the Austin food scene has to offer, but for those new to this area, let’s see what the fuss is all about. Did you know that Austin consistently ranks as one of the best food cities in the U.S.? Things like Tex Mex and Barbeque are all you need to know as Austin made a name for itself at both. Austin is also highly regarded for its food truck scene, outshining much bigger cities in the U.S., and some of the best meals throughout the city can be found at food pods. Don’t be frightened by this overwhelming cuisine, as the flavor itself will flood your senses as soon as you get close to a truck, restaurant, or food court. Just enjoy it responsibly if you care for your figure!
The third pro of living in Austin, Texas, has to be the outdoor recreation opportunities, as the word “nature” is seen as a great adjective to describe the city. There’s no shortage of outdoor activities that you can experience in Austin, and homes could very well be used only for sleeping. If you’re into hiking, biking, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, or just walking and jogging, you’ll enjoy plenty of it if you move to Austin, Texas. Furthermore, living in Austin allows you to provide your children with high-quality education and with a love for nature that will grow into responsible adults with well-founded respect for the natural world and everything it offers.
The Colorado River cuts through Austin providing ample water-related activities for Austinites, and the year-round agreeable weather doesn’t limit these activities to a few months a year in Texas. Due to this close proximity and love for nature, the residents of the Texas capital are more environmentally-conscious, and living in a city that takes care of the environment is definitely something to be proud of as an Austinite.
Cons of Living in Austin, Texas
Given the list of pros we covered above, it might be shocking that there even are cons to talk about. Still, as we don’t want anyone to make uninformed life-changing decisions that they might regret, we’ll also focus on some of the cons of living in Austin, TX.
Yes, you read that right. Despite a strong focus on protecting the environment like many other U.S. cities, Austin is dependent on cars. Austinites are tied to their cars in their daily lives as the lack of quality public transportation is the city’s biggest drawback. While some public transportation is available, it can not be seen as a viable alternative for commuters or really anyone. It isn’t reliable or efficient, making it difficult to move around for those that don’t drive or have a car. While you can ride a bike through the city, the traffic makes it a dangerous option so buying a car is essential if you move to Austin car-free.
A direct result of this car dependency in Austin is the sheer amount of traffic, with many people choosing to live in close proximity to their jobs as traffic makes it difficult to get from one part of the city to another. While some Austinites are likely to say that there’s worse traffic in other cities, this is true if those cities are New York, Los Angeles, or other similarly packed cities. Still, as the 6th fastest-growing city in America, it is difficult for the road infrastructure to keep up with the growing population. As the city’s biggest con, make sure to give yourself enough time to get to where you’re going in Austin if you decide to move here.
Gentrification has its pros and cons, but the big con is that it makes it difficult to afford housing for those in the lower income range by uprooting them in order to upgrade some affordable parts of the city. This leads to many people who can no longer afford to live in their neighborhood moving outside of the city center and a decreasing demographic diversity.
This ever-present trend in Austin directly impacts the housing market. While there have been many factors influencing the increasing housing prices, it didn’t get to grow by 30% solely based on inflation and housing shortages. The housing market in Austin is hotter than the summer temperatures, and it might be helpful to underline that the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is somewhere around $1,400.
Lack of 4 seasons
Especially if you move to Austin from other northern cities and states, you should bid farewell to winters. This is a personal perspective for many, but if you are used to four seasons, it might take a while to get accustomed to the lack of winters, snow and the Christmas wonderland from, let’s say, New York. There’s just something about a white Christmas that many people miss when they move to Austin, but if you don’t like the cold, Austin might be ideal for you. While temperatures do drop in the so-called winter months, it hardly feels like winter in Austin.
On the other hand, summers can be another difficult adjustment if you move from northern states. While the average summer temperature is around 96°F, you’ll have to deal with several consecutive days where temperatures go above 100°F. It’s best to refrain from outdoor activities that don’t revolve around water during those days, but the city offers plenty of parks and green spaces with lakes, rivers, and pools that you won’t be restricted to the indoor spaces either.
Moving to Austin, Texas, can prove to be the best decision for many people. The city is welcoming. It has a thriving job market and provides ample entertainment opportunities for its residents based on different interests and passions. It’s not difficult to find your own place in this great Texan city, and the community aims to improve the locals’ quality of life every day. Whether you are looking for a great place to set down roots and start a family or want to follow your career path to success, Austin is one of the best places to do that in the United States. Make sure you jump at any opportunity you get and make the best out of it because Austin will make sure you enjoy your life while you call it your home.
Let us know in the comment section below what made you decide to move to Austin or what makes you think twice about relocating to the capital of the Lone Star State. We’ll try to clarify any uncertainty you may have in this regard. Like & Share this article with friends and family so they too can understand why Austin is one of the best places to live in Texas. Who knows … maybe they’ll follow in your footsteps as well.