For all of you wondering just how quickly the Austin-area is growing, the official numbers for 2016 is in and the number is higher than what you expected! The regional population now accounts for more than 2 million people and the Austin area alone has a net gain of 159 people a day.
The federal agency released July 2016 estimates for 382 metros and 3,142 counties across the nation. Eleven major metropolitan areas, led by the Texas duo of Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth, are growing at a pace of more than 1,000 persons per week.
When just looking at migrants, about 110 people per day moved to the Austin area — largely because so many jobs are being added across all sectors, principally technology. The influx is the primary reason why affordability is such a problem. Put simply, homebuilders can't keep up with this demand.
The Austin area — which includes Travis, Hays, Williamson, Burnet and Caldwell counties — expanded by 2.9 percent from July 1, 2015, and July 1, 2016, according to the Census. While that's the ninth-fastest rate of growth among U.S. metro areas, Austin is the fastest-growing metro of its size.
Meanwhile, Hays County to the south of Austin was the third-fastest growing county in the nation last year, expanding by 5.1 percent with the addition of 9,896 new residents to a total estimated population of 204,470. The fastest-growing county in the U.S. was San Juan County in Utah, which expanded 7.6 percent to a total population of 16,895. It's much easier for smaller cities, like companies, to have such distinct growth spurts.
Angelos Angelou, Austin economist and principal of the Angelou Economics consultancy, said the Austin region continues to grow because of its strong economy.
"Despite comments that the Austin economy is slowing down, or concerns or panic created from those reports — and while it is slowing just a tad — it is still the biggest metro area with the highest growth in the country in terms of population and jobs," Angelou said.
Information courtesy of Michael Theis at Austin Business Journal and Angelou Economics