Greater Austin

Last updated

Austin-Round Rock
AustinSkylineLouNeffPoint-2010-03-29-b.JPG
Austin skyline
Austin MSA.png
Map showing the area of the Austin-Round Rock MSA
Country Flag of United States.svg United States
State Flag of Texas.svg Texas
Principal cities
Area
  Urban
523.0 sq mi (1,355 km2)
   MSA 4,279 sq mi (11,080 km2)
Population
(2018) [1]
   Urban
1,362,416 37th
  Urban density2,604.8/sq mi (1,005.7/km2)
  MSA
2,168,316 (30th)
  MSA density472.17/sq mi (182.31/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (CST)
  Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)

Austin–Round Rock is a five-county metropolitan area in the U.S. state of Texas, as defined by the Office of Management and Budget. [2] Commonly referred to as Greater Austin, the metropolitan area is situated in Central Texas on the eastern edge of the American Southwest , and borders San Antonio–New Braunfels to the south.

U.S. state constituent political entity of the United States

In the United States, a state is a constituent political entity, of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a political union, each state holds governmental jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory and shares its sovereignty with the federal government. Due to this shared sovereignty, Americans are citizens both of the federal republic and of the state in which they reside. State citizenship and residency are flexible, and no government approval is required to move between states, except for persons restricted by certain types of court orders. Four states use the term commonwealth rather than state in their full official names.

Texas State of the United States of America

Texas is the second largest state in the United States by both area and population. Geographically located in the South Central region of the country, Texas shares borders with the U.S. states of Louisiana to the east, Arkansas to the northeast, Oklahoma to the north, New Mexico to the west, and the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas to the southwest, and has a coastline with the Gulf of Mexico to the southeast.

Office of Management and Budget United States government agency

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is the largest office within the Executive Office of the President of the United States (EOP). OMB's most prominent function is to produce the President's Budget, but OMB also measures the quality of agency programs, policies, and procedures to see if they comply with the president's policies and coordinates inter-agency policy initiatives.

Contents

Austin–Round Rock is the 30th largest metropolitan area in the United States, with a population of 2,168,316 people and 16th largest GDP per Capita as of the 2018 U.S. census estimate. [3] The metropolitan area is centered on the City of Austin—the fourth-largest city in Texas and the 11th-largest city in the United States with a population of 950,715 people. Austin's largest suburbs are Round Rock, Cedar Park, Georgetown, San Marcos and Pflugerville.

Austin, Texas Capital of Texas

Austin is the capital of the U.S. state of Texas and the seat of Travis County, with portions extending into Hays and Williamson counties. It is the 11th-most populous city in the United States and the 4th-most populous city in Texas. It is also the fastest growing large city in the United States, the second most populous state capital after Phoenix, Arizona, and the southernmost state capital in the contiguous United States. As of the U.S. Census Bureau's July 1, 2017 estimate, Austin had a population of 950,715 up from 790,491 at the 2010 census. The city is the cultural and economic center of the Austin–Round Rock metropolitan statistical area, which had an estimated population of 2,168,316 as of July 1, 2018. Located in Central Texas within the greater Texas Hill Country, it is home to numerous lakes, rivers, and waterways, including Lady Bird Lake and Lake Travis on the Colorado River, Barton Springs, McKinney Falls, and Lake Walter E. Long.

Round Rock, Texas City in Texas, United States

Round Rock is a city in the U.S. state of Texas, in Williamson County, which is a part of the Greater Austin, Texas metropolitan area. The population was 99,887 at the 2010 census.

Cedar Park, Texas City in Texas, United States

Cedar Park is a major suburb of Austin in the state of Texas, the center of which is approximately 16 miles (26 km) to the southeast. According to the U.S. Census, the city's estimated population as of July 2017 was 75,226.

Boundaries

Counties

As of 2013 the U.S. Office of Management and Budget defines the Austin–Round Rock MSA as including Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis, and Williamson Counties.

Bastrop County, Texas County in the United States

Bastrop County is a county in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 74,171. Its county seat is Bastrop. The county was created in 1834 as a municipality of Mexico and organized as a county in 1837. It is named for Felipe Enrique Neri, Baron de Bastrop, an early Dutch settler who helped Stephen F. Austin obtain land grants in Texas.

Caldwell County, Texas County in the United States

Caldwell County is a county in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 38,066. Its county seat is Lockhart. The county was founded in 1848 and named after Mathew Caldwell, a ranger captain who fought in the Battle of Plum Creek against the Comanches and against Santa Anna's armies during the Texas Revolution. Caldwell was also a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence.

Hays County, Texas County in the United States

Hays County is a county on the Edwards Plateau in the U.S. state of Texas. Hays County is part of the Austin-Round Rock, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, its official population had reached 157,107. The county seat is San Marcos. Hays, along with Comal and Kendall counties, was listed in 2017 as one of the nation's ten fastest-growing large counties with a population of at least ten thousand. From 2015 to 2016, Hays County, third on the national list, had nearly ten thousand new residents during the year. Comal County, sixth on the list, grew by 5,675 newcomers, or 4.4 percent. Kendall County, the second-fastest-growing county in the nation, grew by 5.16 percent. As a result of this growth, the counties have experienced new home construction, traffic congestion, and greater demand for public services. Bexar County, which includes San Antonio, grew by 1.75 percent during the year, but its sheer number of new residents exceeded 33,000.

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis includes the counties of Blanco, Burnet, Lee, Llano, Mason, and Milam Counties, in addition to the Austin MSA, in its definition of the Austin Economic Area. [4] The Capital Area Council of Governments, an Austin-area intergovernmental cooperative, adds Blanco, Burnet, Fayette, Lee, and Llano Counties to the MSA counties in its definition of the metropolitan area. [5] Other counties in Central Texas included by some sources are Burleson, Colorado, and Gillespie Counties. [6]

Bureau of Economic Analysis statistical service

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) of the United States Department of Commerce is a U.S. government agency that provides official macroeconomic and industry statistics, most notably reports about the gross domestic product (GDP) of the United States and its various units—states, cities/towns/townships/villages/counties and metropolitan areas. They also provide information about personal income, corporate profits, and government spending in their National Income and Product Accounts (NIPAs).

Blanco County, Texas County in the United States

Blanco County is a county located on the Edwards Plateau in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 10,497. Its county seat is Johnson City. The county is named for the Blanco River which traverses the county. The State of Texas formed Blanco County in 1858 from portions of Burnet, Comal, Gillespie and Hays counties. The city of Blanco served as the county seat from 1858 to 1890, when it was moved to Johnson City.

Burnet County, Texas County in the United States

Burnet County is a county located on the Edwards Plateau in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 42,750. Its county seat is Burnet. The county was founded in 1852 and later organized in 1854. It is named for David Gouverneur Burnet, the first (provisional) president of the Republic of Texas. The name of the county is pronounced with the emphasis or accent on the first syllable, just as is the case with its namesake.

Census Area2018 Estimate2017 Estimate 2010 Census 2000 Census 1990 Census
Bastrop 86,97684,76174,17157,73338,263
Caldwell 43,24742,33838,06632,19426,392
Hays 222,631214,485157,12797,58965,614
Travis 1,248,7431,226,6981,024,266812,280576,407
Williamson 566,719547,545422,679249,967139,551
Austin Metropolitan Area2,168,3162,115,8271,716,3091,249,763846,227

Communities

Cities with more than 20,000 people

CityPopulation (as of July 2017)Image
Austin 950,715 [7]
Austin Skyline.jpg
Round Rock 123,678 [7]
Dell Diamond Southwest Entrance 2017.jpg
Cedar Park 75,704 [7]
Cedar park center 2014.jpg
Georgetown 70,685 [7]
Buildings on the square surrounding the Williamson County Courthouse in Georgetown, Texas LCCN2014633715.tif
San Marcos 63,071 [7]
San Marcos - Downtown 1.jpg
Pflugerville 59,245 [8]
Pflugerville historic district 2012.jpg
Leander 42,761 [8]
Bridge Over South Fork Brushy Creek on Mel Mathis Blvd.jpg
Kyle 39,060 [7]
Kyle Texas City Hall.JPG
Hutto 23,832 [9]
Downtown Hutto, TX (2011) IMG 3047.JPG

Places with 5,000 to 20,000 people

Bastrop, Texas City in Texas, United States

Bastrop is a city and the county seat of Bastrop County, Texas, United States. Located about 30 miles (48 km) southeast of Austin, it is part of the Greater Austin metropolitan area. The population was 7,218 according to the 2010 census.

Buda, Texas City in Texas, United States

Buda is a city in Hays County, Texas, United States. The population was 7,295 in 2010, up from 2,404 at the 2000 census. In 2016 the estimated population was 15,023. Buda is part of the Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos metropolitan statistical area and is one of Austin's fastest growing suburbs.

Elgin, Texas City in Texas, United States

Elgin is a city in Bastrop and Travis Counties in the U.S. state of Texas. The population was 8,135 at the 2010 census. The city is a suburb of Austin, and is part of the Greater Austin metropolitan area. Elgin is also known as the Sausage Capital of Texas and the Brick Capital of the Southwest, due to the presence of three operating brickyards in the mid-20th century.

Places with 1,000 to 5,000 people

Bartlett, Texas City in Texas, United States

Bartlett is a city in Bell and Williamson counties in the U.S. state of Texas. The population was 1,623 at the 2010 census.

Barton Creek, Texas CDP in Texas, United States

Barton Creek is a census-designated place (CDP) in Travis County, Texas, in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the CDP population was 3,077.

Bee Cave, Texas City in Texas, United States

Bee Cave is a city located in Travis County, and within the United States state of Texas. The population was estimated at 6,535 as of 2016.

Places with fewer than 1,000 people

Unincorporated places

Other

More distant communities such as Marble Falls, Burnet, Johnson City, Killeen, and Lampasas are sometimes considered part of Greater Austin though they fall well outside the bounds of the OMB definitions. [10] There are over 4 million people in the San Antonio-Austin corridor.

History

Prehistoric and Archaic Eras

The areas in and around Austin have been the site of human habitation since at least 9,000 B.C., and possibly considerably before that. The earliest known inhabitants of the area, during the late Pleistocene (Ice Age), can be linked to the Clovis people around 9200 B.C. just west of Williamson County. [11] But archeology dig sites show a much greater evidence of Archaic Period inhabitants has been recovered from burned rock middens and rock shelters near Round Rock along Brushy Creek, in Georgetown along the San Gabriel River, and in Austin especially near Barton Springs. The earliest known historical occupants of the area, the Tonkawas, were a flint-working, hunting people who followed the buffalo on foot and periodically set fire to the prairie to aid them in their hunts. During the 18th century they made the transition to a horse culture and used firearms to a limited extent. After they were crowded out by white settlement, the Comanches continued to raid settlements in the county until the 1860s. There also appear to have been small numbers of Kiowa, Yojuane, Tawakoni, and Mayeye Indians living in the Travis and Williamson counties at the time of the earliest Anglo settlements. [12] The prehistory of Texas has been studied by both professional and avocational archeologists for many decades. Pre-historic campsites are found throughout the county along streams or other water sources; most are "open occupation" sites, though caves and rockshelters are often found along various rivers and streams. [13]

19th century

When Europeans first arrived in the area, the Tonkawa tribe was the most prevalent, though the Comanches and Lipan Apaches were known to travel through the area as well. [14] Spanish explorers, including the Espinosa-Olivares-Aguirre expedition, traveled through the area for centuries though few permanent settlements were created for some time. [15] In the mid-18th century the San Xavier missions were established along the San Gabriel River in what is now western Milam County to facilitate exploration. [12]

In 1804 the fort Puesta del Colorado was established by the Spanish in what is now Bastrop. [16] In 1807 the San Marcos de Neve settlement (modern San Marcos) was established on the San Marcos River. [15] Following the independence of Mexico, of which Texas was a part, the empresario Stephen F. Austin issued grants to settlers in what is now Bastrop and Fayette Counties. During the mid-1820s settlements were established along the Colorado River near modern La Grange. [17] The village of Mina (later renamed Bastrop) was established in 1827. Growth of the settlements was stagnant for some time because of conflicts with the Native Americans in the region. [16] Nevertheless, the region sat along an important trade route known as the Camino Real de los Tejas, which ran from Mexico, though San Antonio and San Marcos, to Natchitoches. [18] During the 1830s others, such as Martín Veramendi and Thomas G. McGehee, were issued land grants by the Mexican government to encourage settlement in the region. [15] A string of forts was established east of modern Austin in what was then the western frontier. [19]

In 1835 Texans fought for independence in what was known as the Texas Revolution and won. Following independence other settlements were gradually established including Waterloo and Brushy Creek (modern Round Rock). [12] In 1839 a commission appointed by Texas President Mirabeau B. Lamar selected Waterloo as the site for the new capital and the name Austin was chosen as the town's new name. [20] In 1840 a series of conflicts between the Texas Rangers and the Comanches known as the Council House Fight and the Battle of Plum Creek finally pushed the Comanches westward mostly ending conflicts in Central Texas. [21] Settlement in the area began to expand quickly. Travis County was established in 1840 and the surrounding counties were mostly established within the next two decades. [19] New settlements were established such as Hamilton (now Burnet) in 1852.

An 1873 illustration of Austin Old map-Austin-1873-sm.jpg
An 1873 illustration of Austin

In 1861, with the outbreak of the American Civil War, voters in Austin, Bastrop, and other Central Texas communities and counties voted against secession. [16] [22] However, as the war progressed and fears of attack by Union forces increased, the communities contributed hundreds of men to the Confederate forces. With the end of the war and the emancipation of Texas slaves, the African American population of the area swelled dramatically. Black communities such as Wheatville, Pleasant Hill, and Clarksville were established around Austin by these newcomers. [22] The postwar period saw dramatic population and economic growth. The town of Bastrop became a significant manufacturing center producing iron, coal, and textiles. [16] The Chisolm Trail, one of the major routes for exporting cattle, passed through the region. [23] The opening of the Houston and Texas Central Railway, connecting Austin with Houston, transformed Austin into the major trading center for the region. However, as new railroads were built through the region in the 1870s, Round Rock and other communities took over much of Austin's role as a trading center. [22] In 1868 the Coronal Institute was established in San Marcos and in 1873 Texas University (later renamed Southwestern University) was opened in Georgetown following the consolidation of five earlier colleges. [24] [25] During the 1880s Austin gained new prominence as the state capitol building was constructed and other universities were established in the area, most notably the University of Texas. [22] Cattle and cotton production were major economic drivers for many outlying communities. [26] In the late 19th century Austin expanded its city limits to more than three times its former area and the Austin Dam was built to power a new street car line and the new municipal water system. [22]

20th century

In the early 20th century the Texas Oil Boom took hold creating tremendous economic opportunities in Southeast Texas and North Texas. The growth generated by this boom largely passed by Austin at first, with the city slipping from 4th largest to 10th largest in Texas between 1880 and 1920. [22] Bastrop, however, became a significant center for oil drilling and coal mining in the early-to-mid-20th century. [16] San Marcos, and some other communities, established significant manufacturing operations during the world wars substantially diversifying their economies. [26]

Beginning in the 1920s and 1930s, Austin launched a series of civic development and beautification projects that created much of the city's infrastructure and parks. In addition, the state legislature established the Lower Colorado River Authority that, along with the City of Austin, created the system of dams along the Colorado River that formed the Highland Lakes. These projects were enabled in large part by the fact that Austin received more Depression era relief funds than any other Texas city. [22]

During the mid- and later 20th century, Austin became firmly established as the major metropolitan center of what is now Greater Austin. Communities such as Round Rock, Georgetown, and San Marcos increasingly became attractive bedroom communities for Austin, even as each of these communities has maintained its own economic core as well. [26] /. In the late 20th century, the face of the Austin community was changing rapidly. [27] [28]

Geography

Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge. Balcones-canyonlands-nat-wildlife-refuge.jpg
Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge.

Greater Austin is located in Central Texas along the Balcones Fault and Interstate 35, northeast of San Antonio. As a result of its straddling the Balcones Fault the eastern part of the city is flat, whereas the western part and western suburbs consist of rolling hills on the edge of the Texas Hill Country. [29]

The region is crossed by the Colorado River with several man-made lakes, known as the Highland Lakes, along its length. [22] Because the hills to the west are primarily limestone rock with a thin covering of topsoil, the western portions of the area are frequently subjected to flash floods from the runoff caused by thunderstorms. [30] [31] To help control this runoff and to generate hydroelectric power, the Lower Colorado River Authority operates a series of dams that form the lakes. [32]

The Austin area is located at the intersection of four major ecological regions and is consequently a temperate-to-hot green oasis with a highly variable climate having some characteristics of the desert, the tropics, and a wetter climate. [33] The area is very diverse ecologically and biologically, and is home to a variety of animals and plants. [34]

Highland Lakes
LakeDam
Lake Buchanan Buchanan Dam
Inks Lake Inks Dam
Lake LBJ Wirtz Dam
Lake Marble Falls Max Starcke Dam
Lake Travis Mansfield Dam
Lake Austin Tom Miller Dam
Lady Bird Lake Longhorn Dam

The soils of Central Texas range from shallow, gravelly clay loams over limestone in the western outskirts to deep, fine sandy loams, silty clay loams, silty clays or clays in the city's eastern part. Some of the clays have pronounced shrink-swell properties and are difficult to work under most moisture conditions. Many of Austin's soils, especially the clay-rich types, are slightly to moderately alkaline and have free calcium carbonate. [35]

Climate

Greater Austin has a humid subtropical climate, characterized by hot summers and mild winters. [36] On average, the City of Austin receives 33.6 inches (853.4 mm) of rain per year, with most of the precipitation in the spring, and a secondary maximum in the fall. [37] To the east, away from the Hill Country, precipitation is typically higher. For example, Bastrop receives an average of 38.0 inches (965.2 mm) of rain per year. [38] During springtime, severe thunderstorms sometimes occur, though tornados are rare in the city. Austin is usually at least partially sunny.

Central Texas summers are usually hot and humid, with average temperatures of approximately 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 Celsius) from June until September. Temperatures above 100 °F (38 °C) are common. [36] [37] [39] For the entire year there is an average of 111 days above 90 °F (32 °C) and 198 days above 80 °F (27 °C) in the City of Austin. [36] In general temperatures are somewhat cooler to the west in the Hill Country than in the plains to the east. The average August high temperature in Marble Falls is 94 °F (34 °C) compared to 96 °F (36 °C) in Bastrop, and the average January low in Marble Falls is 33 °F (1 °C) compared to 37 °F (3 °C) in Bastrop. [38] [40] Winters in the Austin area are mild and dry. For the entire year, Austin averages 88 days below 45 °F (7 °C) and 24 days when the minimum temperature falls below freezing. Snowfall is rare in Central Texas, but the area suffers occasional ice storms each year that freeze over roads and can affect parts of the region for as much as 48 hours or more. [36]

Economy

Employment by industry for MSA [45]
SectorPercentage
Government21.9%
Professional and
business services
13.3%
Retail trade10.4%
Education and
health services
10.2%
Leisure and hospitality10.1%
Manufacturing8.6%
Financial activities6.0%
Construction and mining5.6%
Wholesale trade5.3%
Information3.0%
Transportation, warehousing,
and utilities
1.6%
Other services3.9%

Greater Austin has a diverse economy heavily anchored by government activities and education. High-tech firms, particularly related to semiconductors and software, are also important economic pillars. The five-county MSA had a gross domestic product of $90.9 billion in 2011, making it the 35th largest metropolitan economy in the U.S. [46]

Most of the area's largest employers are all within the City of Austin. These include Advanced Micro Devices, Apple, Inc., Austin Independent School District, the City of Austin, Freescale Semiconductor, IBM, Seton Healthcare Network, the Texas Government, the United States Government, and the University of Texas at Austin. [45] Major employers outside of Austin include Dell (Round Rock), MD/Totco in Cedar Park (a division of National Oilwell Varco), Southwestern University in Georgetown, and Texas State University in San Marcos.

Transportation

Highways

The principal highways in the metropolitan area are Interstate 35 and the MoPac Expressway (State Highway Loop 1), both of which are the primary North/South roadways. Other important arteries in the city and its immediate vicinity are U.S. Highway 183 (also known as "Research Blvd."), and U.S. Highway 290 which provide East/West thoroughfares. Other important highways include State Highway 71 (also known as "Ben White Blvd.") which connects Austin with Houston to the south, and to Marble Falls and the Highland Lakes chain to the west. And State Highway Loop 360 is a scenic highway which runs to the North/South on the west side of Austin but curves westward into the hills. Loop 360 carries special scenic zoning as well preventing billboards and minimizing views of the surrounding buildings. Austin's new toll roads include State Highway 130, U.S. Highway 183-A, and State Highway 45 discussed below. Interstate 10 also runs through the extreme southern portion of Caldwell County.

Interchange of Interstate 35 and State Highway 45 under construction in 2004. Texas45.jpg
Interchange of Interstate 35 and State Highway 45 under construction in 2004.

In November 2006, the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (CTRMA) [47] opened the first segment of the region's first toll road system. Both State Highway 130 and State Highway 45 toll roads run through portions of Austin and provide greatly increased mobility to the city. State Highway 130 prior to 2013 ran just south of Austin Bergstrom International Airport at US Highway 183 and ended at Interstate 35 north of Georgetown. It provides mobility and access to the easternmost part of Austin and Travis County, and allows residents in Williamson County easy access to the airport. This project, completed in October 2012, now ends at Interstate 10 just east of Seguin, about 30 miles east-northeast of San Antonio. The speed limit on the newly completed stretch is the highest in the United States at 85 mph (137 km/h).

SH 45 was built on a fast-track basis with bonds sold in advance based on the projected toll revenues. SH45 sign-don.jpg
SH 45 was built on a fast-track basis with bonds sold in advance based on the projected toll revenues.

State Highway 45 is part of an eventual partial loop that runs east from U.S. Highway 183 in Cedar Park to State Highway 130 at Pflugerville (east of Round Rock) where it merges with the SH 130 toll road, and then intersects with the southern portion of SH 45 near Buda, south of Austin. SH 45 is one of the very few East/West connectors in Austin, but it also connects to a tolled extension of Loop 1 (also known locally as the "Mopac Expressway") and allows direct access from to I-35 to Loop 1 by use of flyover connections rather than ground level intersections. The toll roads also provide access to the Dell headquarters and its approximately 16,000 employees. [48] Despite the overwhelming initial opposition to the toll road concept, both toll roads have improved mobility in and around the Austin area and are significantly exceeding their revenue projections. [49]

Public transportation

The metro area is served by buses of the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Capital Metro). Capital Metro operates 48 fixed-route, 1 flex-route, and eight express bus services within the city of Austin and several nearby suburbs in Travis and Williamson counties. Capital Metro also operates the shuttles of the University of Texas, which provides limited-stop services to and from neighborhoods where many university students reside. A commuter rail service—the Red line of Capital MetroRail—began service on 22 March 2010, connecting Downtown Austin with the city of Leander. [50]

The region's primary airport is Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.
1950 160,980
1960 301,26187.1%
1970 398,93832.4%
1980 585,05146.7%
1990 846,22744.6%
2000 1,249,76347.7%
2010 1,716,28937.3%
Est. 20152,020,45217.7%
U.S. Decennial Census
2011 estimate

In 2000, U.S. Census Bureau estimated that in the Austin–Round Rock–San Marcos MSA there were 1,249,763 people, 471,855 households, and 295,781 families. The racial makeup of the metropolitan area was 72.5% White, 8.0% African American, 0.6% Native American, 3.5% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 12.8% from other races, and 2.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 26.2% of the population.

As of 2010, U.S. Census Bureau estimated that in the Austin–Round Rock–San Marcos MSA there were 1,719,289 people. The racial makeup of the metropolitan area was 72.9% White, 7.4% African American, 0.8% Native American, 4.8% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 10.9% from other races, and 3.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 31.4% of the population.

Municipal population history 1950–2017 [51]
#Largest cities in Greater AustinCounty19501960197019801990200020102017 (estimate)
1 Austin Travis 132,459186,545251,808345,496472,020656,562790,390950,715
2 Round Rock Williamson 1,4381,8782,81111,81230,92361,13699,887123,678
3 Cedar Park Williamson2023856923,4745,16126,04948,93775,704
4 Georgetown Williamson4,9515,2186,3959,46814,84228,33947,40070,685
5 Pflugerville Travis--5497454,44416,33546,93663,359
6 San Marcos Hays 9,98012,71318,86023,42028,73834,73344,89463,071
8 Leander Williamson---2,1793,3987,59626,52149,234
7 Kyle Haysn/a1,0231,6292,0932,2255,31428,01643,480
9 Hutto Williamsonn/a4005456596301,25014,69825,367
10 Taylor Williamson9,0719,4349,61610,61911,47213,57515,19116,982
Metropolitan Area total160,980301,261398,938585,051846,2271,249,7631,716,2892,056,405

The median income for a household in the MSA was $46,512 and the median income for a family was $54,361. Males had a median income of $35,612 versus $27,095 for females. The per capita income for the MSA was $20,721.

As of 2014, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated the population of the Austin–Round Rock MSA had increased to 1,943,299. [3] In 2010, the urban area population (as defined by the Census Bureau) was estimated to be 1,362,416 while the 2013 population of Austin proper estimated at 885,400. [52] [53]

Education

Universities and colleges

Texas State University Elmcreek67.jpg
Texas State University

The region contains numerous universities. Major area universities include the University of Texas at Austin (flagship of the University of Texas System), Texas State University, and Southwestern University (Georgetown). The city of Austin itself contains numerous other institutions of higher education including Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Concordia University, Huston-Tillotson University, St. Edward's University, and others. Additional institutions in the suburban communities include Temple College in Taylor and the Texas State University extension in Round Rock.

In 2006, 35% of adults in the City of Austin held college degrees, placing fourth among the 77 largest cities in the U.S. [54] As of 2010 this percentage had climbed to 43.3%. In Round Rock 37.2% of adults held degrees, in Pflugerville 40.50% held degrees, in Cedar Park 39.1% held degrees, and in San Marcos 34.1% held degrees. [55] This compares to 23.2% for all of Texas and 24.4% for the entire U.S. making the Austin area one of the most educated metropolitan areas in the U.S. [56] [57]

Primary and secondary

Austin Independent School District headquarters AustinIndependentSchoolDistrictHeadquarters.JPG
Austin Independent School District headquarters

The region is served by numerous school districts. As of 2010 the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce lists 29 public school districts, 17 charter schools, and 69 private schools. [58]

The Chamber lists as the primary districts Austin ISD, Bastrop ISD, Del Valle ISD, Eanes ISD, Georgetown ISD, Hays CISD, Lake Travis ISD, Leander ISD, Pflugerville ISD, and Round Rock ISD. [59] Adding to this list the San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District, there are a total of 11 core districts. As of 2009 the Texas Education Agency ranks one district, Eanes, as "Exemplary", the highest rating. Three districts, Del Valle, Leander, and Round Rock, are ranked as "Recognized", the second highest rating. All of the others are ranked as "Academically Acceptable". These 12 districts operate 330 individual schools. Of these schools 98 (30%) are ranked as "Exemplary", and 87 (26%) are ranked as "Recognized". [60]

Major private schools in the area include Redeemer Lutheran School, Brentwood Christian School, Hill Country Christian School, Hyde Park Baptist School, the Regents School, Round Rock Christian Academy (Round Rock), Summit Christian Academy (Leander), St. Andrew's Episcopal School, and St. Michael's Academy. [61]

Culture and recreation

Annual events and festivals

The communities in Greater Austin hold many annual events. In Austin two of the most well known festivals are the South by Southwest Music and Film Festival and the Austin City Limits Music Festival, which draw artists and spectators from around the world. Many other Austin festivals take place including the Old Pecan Street Festival, Blues on the Green, and the Laguna Gloria Art Museum Fiesta. [62] The Texas Hill Country Wine and Food Festival is centered in Austin but takes place at restaurants and venues in multiple communities. [63]

Outside of Austin many communities host local events of their own. Marble Falls hosts the Bluebonnet Blues and Fine Arts Festival, an event that attracts artists and performers from around the state to the community's downtown. Burnet hosts the Spring Bluebonnet Festival, which features a golf tournament, car shows, vintage airplane shows, and other activities. [64] The Old Settler's Music Festival in Driftwood features live outdoor performances ranging from folk music to bluegrass and jazz. [65] Some area communities host civic heritage festivals including the Cedar Park Heritage Festival and the Chisolm Trail Round Up in Lockhart. [66] [67] The Oktoberfest celebration in Fredericksburg is one of the largest and most traditional in Texas. [68]

Rodeo fairs occur annually including the Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo and the Burnet Rodeo.

Arts and music

Austin has adopted the nickname "Live Music Capital of the World" based on its claim of having the highest percentage of music performers of any other major city. [69] The city has a variety of venues for live music performance of popular and country music including famous clubs such as Antone's and Emo's. The long-running television program Austin City Limits has for decades showcased the city's music scene, as has the South by Southwest festival and other events in the city. Apart from these the city hosts major classical music performances via the Austin Lyric Opera and the Austin Symphony Orchestra.

Other communities in the Austin Area host their own music venues and organizations as well. The Williamson County Symphony Orchestra, founded in 2002, offers performances at locations throughout the county. [70] The Starlight Symphony, a community orchestra, offers performances at various venues within the southwestern areas of Greater Austin including San Marcos, Dripping Springs, and Johnson City. [71] The Round Rock Symphony, a recently established organization, offers performances within Round Rock. [72]

Sports

The Austin metropolitan area has no major-league professional sports teams (making it the largest market in North America not to have any such franchises), but is home to several minor-league teams, as well as the Texas Longhorns collegiate sports programs and the Circuit of the Americas motor-racing circuit.

Regional professional sports clubs include the Round Rock Express in AAA baseball, the Texas Stars in AHL hockey, the Austin Spurs in G-League basketball, the Austin Aztex in USL soccer, the Austin Outlaws in WFA football, and the Austin Aces in WTT tennis. In professional motorsport, the Circuit of the Americas hosts the United States Grand Prix and the Motorcycle Grand Prix of the Americas, as well as the X Games. Austin also hosts the Texas Rollergirls flat-track roller derby league.

The region is also home to several endurance and multi-sport race events, including the Austin Marathon, the Capitol 10K race, and the Capital of Texas Triathlon. Sizeable running, swimming and bicycling communities make use of a network of trails and greenbelts centered on the Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail and local pools like Barton Springs Pool.

Parks and preserves

Bastrop State Park Bastrop state park lake.jpg
Bastrop State Park

The Austin area has long been known for its outdoor attractions and is home to numerous parks and nature preserves.

Major parks within the City of Austin include McKinney Falls State Park, Emma Long Metropolitan Park, Zilker Park, and Hippie Hollow Park. Mount Bonnell Park is a popular destination, located at one of the highest points in the city. Outside of the Austin various other parks, including Bastrop State Park, Lockhart State Park, and Longhorn Cavern State Park, are available. Further from the area's core is the Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, a 640-acre (260 ha) park near Fredericksburg featuring a large granite mound that is popular with hikers and climbers. Additionally Pedernales Falls State Park in Johnson City, and Inks Lake State Park in Burnet, are among the many other parks available in Central Texas.

The largest nature preserve in the area is the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge, a preserve northwest of Austin near Burnet and Marble Falls comprising 21,436 acres (8,675 ha). [73] Other preserves in the area include the Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve, the Indiangrass Wildlife Sanctuary, and the Onion Creek Wildlife Sanctuary. These preserves are all part of the Heart of Texas Wildlife Trail, a network of trails and sites for viewing wildlife habitats, created by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Austin Chinatown

Austin's Chinatown (Chinese :奥斯汀唐人街; pinyin :Àosītīng tángrénjiē), established in 2006, is located at 10901 N. Lamar Blvd., [74] and features top reviewed restaurants and supermarkets according to an article by the Austin Chronicle. [75] According to Cam Rossie and Hilary Hylton, Austin's Chinatown is a series of stores anchored by a supermarket called "MT Supermarket." [76]

See also

Notes

  1. Mean monthly maxima and minima (i.e. the highest and lowest temperature readings during an entire month or year) calculated based on data at said location from 1981 to 2010.
  2. Official records for Austin were kept at downtown from September 1891 to July 1942, Mueller Airport from August 1942 to June 1999, and at Camp Mabry since July 1999. For more information, see Threadex

Related Research Articles

Williamson County, Texas County in the United States

Williamson County is a county in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2016 census estimate, the population was 545,412. Its county seat is Georgetown. The county is named for Robert McAlpin Williamson (1804?–1859), a community leader and a veteran of the Battle of San Jacinto.

Travis County, Texas County in the United States

Travis County is a county in south central Texas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,024,266; the estimated population in 2017 was 1,226,698. It is the fifth-most populous county in Texas. Its county seat is Austin, the capital of Texas. The county was established in 1840 and is named in honor of William Barret Travis, the commander of the Republic of Texas forces at the Battle of the Alamo.

San Marcos, Texas City

San Marcos is a city in the U.S. state of Texas, within the Austin–Round Rock–San Marcos metropolitan area. It is on the Interstate 35 corridor between Austin and San Antonio and is the seat of Hays County. Its limits extend into Caldwell and Guadalupe Counties, as well. Its population was 44,894 at the 2010 census and was an estimated 63,071 in 2017.

Pflugerville, Texas City in Texas, United States

Pflugerville is a city in Travis County, Texas, United States, with a small portion in Williamson County. The population was 46,936 at the 2010 census, and 63,359 in the 2017 Census estimate. Pflugerville is a suburb of Austin and part of the Austin–Round Rock–San Marcos Metropolitan Statistical Area. It was named after the original German settlers who farmed the area; Pfluger means "ploughman."

Pflugerville Independent School District (PfISD) is a public school district based in Pflugerville, Texas (USA). The District encompasses approximately ninety-five square miles and includes all or part of six municipalities including Pflugerville, Austin, Coupland, Hutto, Manor and Round Rock. As of 2013 PISD covers 10.7 square miles (28 km2) of land within the City of Austin, making up 3.4% of the city's territory.

Area codes 512 and 737

512 and 737 are North American telephone area codes serving Austin, Texas, and its suburbs. Counties currently served by these area codes include Bastrop, Burnet, Caldwell, Hays, Travis, Milam and Williamson.

Capital Area Council of Governments organization

The Capital Area Council of Governments (CAPCOG) is a voluntary association of cities, counties and special districts in Central Texas.

Coupland, Texas city in Texas, United States

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Greater San Antonio Metropolitan area in Texas, United States

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Cedar Creek, Texas human settlement in Texas, United States of America

Cedar Creek is an unincorporated community in Bastrop County, Texas, United States, located 11 miles west of Bastrop at the intersection of State Highway 21 and Farm to Market Road 535. Although it is unincorporated, Cedar Creek has a post office, with a ZIP code of 78612. The community takes its name from a tributary of the Colorado River named Cedar Creek.

Central Texas geographic region

Central Texas is a region in the U.S. state of Texas surrounding Austin and roughly bordered by Brady to Brenham to Seguin to Waco. Central Texas contains the Texas Hill Country and corresponds to a physiographic section designation within the Edwards Plateau, in a geographic context.

Paige, Texas City in Texas, United States

Paige is an unincorporated community in Bastrop County, Texas, United States. Although it is unincorporated, Paige has a post office, with the ZIP code of 78659.

Pettytown, Texas Unincorporated community in Texas, United States

Pettytown is an unincorporated community in Bastrop and Caldwell counties in the U.S. state of Texas. According to the Handbook of Texas, there are currently no population estimates available for the community. It is located within the Greater Austin metropolitan area.

Stairtown, Texas Unincorporated community in Texas, United States

Stairtown is an unincorporated community in Caldwell County, Texas, United States. According to the Handbook of Texas, the community had an estimated population of 35 in 2000. It is part of the Austin–Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area.

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