Austin, Texas: Once a small, sleepy city in central Texas, is now a major technology hub and relocation destination for many. Just 15 years ago, the Austin-Round Rock metropolitan area had a population of 1.25 million people. As of 2013, the greater Austin metropolitan area had a population of 1.9 million people. Austin is currently the 11th-most populous city in the United States and the 4th-most populous in Texas, a result of the region's economic growth and affordable cost of living.
Austin's explosive growth isn't all good news, though. Forbes ranks Austin 4th in the U.S. for "The Most Traffic-Jammed Cities In The U.S." and the GPS maker, TomTom, ranks Austin as the 16th most-congested city in America.
But traffic aside, Austin has a lot to offer its current and prospective residents. Let's take a look at some of the reasons why people are moving to Austin.
Austin, At A Glance
- Many employers and career opportunities
- Cyclist and bike rider friendly
- Well known for music and live performance venues
- A very safe city, low crime rate
- Lot's of traffic
- Higher than average cost of living
Austin is dubbed the “Live Music Capital of the World”, if you're a music junkie like me, then Austin may be a top relocation destination for you. Austin has over 250 live music venues, more per capita than any other U.S. city. Austin is also known for its large music events, like South by Southwest (SXSW) and Austin City Limits. Austin is deeply rooted in America's music history and has helped start or grow the careers of many big-time artists, like Janis Joplin, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Willie Nelson.
Years ago when people talked about Austin they would quickly mention the music, but that's just the beginning of what they're saying these days. Austin is also home to a wonderful ballet, world-class museums, one-of-a-kind shopping, and beautiful outdoor spaces. You can just as easily spend your morning paddling the lake as you can strolling through a celebrated history museum. Austin is surrounded by natural springs, grotto's, lakes, numerous hikeable and bikeable trails, caverns, and much more. Austin is great for biking and cycling and is known as the most bike-friendly city in Texas. And, if you're missing the beaches, the gulf coast is only a 3-hour drive away, perfect for long weekends!
Economy and Employment
Austin is considered to be a major center for high tech industries and has experienced exponential employment growth over the past 10 years. The unemployment rate in Austin is a mere 4.6% when compared to the national average of 5.8%.
Forbes ranked Austin #1 on their list of "The Next Biggest Boom Towns In The U.S.", #1 on "Best Cities for Job Growth" , #19 on "Best Places for Business and Careers", and #1 on " The U.S. Regions To Watch In 2014".
Rankings aside, it's clear that high tech companies have a clear interest in the city. Some of the major companies that have set up shop in town include Dell, IBM, Apple, Hewlett-Packard (HP), Facebook, Oracle, Applied Materials, Cisco, eBay/PayPal, Google, Hoover’s, Intel, Samsung, Silicon Laboratories, and many, many more. Having all of these high profile tech companies in close proximity attracts recent graduates from nearby colleges and universities, such as the University of Texas.
Cost of Living in Austin
Until recently Austin was considered a very affordable place to live. However, as one might expect, Austin's exponential growth has strained resources and created a high demand for housing, resulting in rising costs. It's important to keep in mind that Texas does not have an income tax, which reduces the overall cost of living.
Because Austin has grown so much in such a short time we found that economic data was inconsistent, with many sources reporting wildly different figures. Because of this, it was quite difficult to accurately rank the cost of living in Austin. Ultimately we decided to report the average of the different figures that were reported from reputable sources.
- Cost of Living: 9.2% Above Nat'l Average
- Median Home Price: $274,000
- Median Household Income: $56,000
- Apartment Rent Index (2BR): $1,074/mo (Highest in Texas)
How Safe is Austin?
If you're concerned about safety then you've found a winner in Austin. Despite Austin's size and growth it continually ranks as one of the safest cities in the U.S. The FBI ranked Austin as the second safest major city in the U.S. for the year 2012. And, in 2015, the FBI ranked Austin the 21st (of 24) most dangerous cities in Texas, essentially declaring it a very safe city. Is Austin crime free? Of course not. But Austin is a considerably safer city than most, especially when compared to other Texas cities.
How's the Weather?
Austin has a predictable climate, with hot and humid summers followed by mild winters. Each year Austin receives many days of sunshine (23 days/yr above the national average) and little precipitation (17 days/yr less than the national average).
On average, summer temperatures reach the high 90s-100's. Too hot for me, thankfully they have plenty of natural springs, lakes, swimming holes, etc to cool off in!
Winter temperatures occasionally drop below freezing, but usually hover in the mid to low 40s. Snowfall is rare in Austin, but it's not uncommon to have an ice storm.
Moving to Austin?
If this moving guide has you ready to relocate to the Austin area, you can rest assured that Elite Moving Labor is here to help with your move. We can help with your local or long distance move by providing you with professional moving help for your load and unload, both in Austin and your current city.
Already live in the Austin area? We can help with that too, whether you're moving furniture within your existing home or need movers to load and unload locally. Give us a call at (888) 354-8303 or request a quote online.