What is it like living in Austin, Texas?

I hope readers of this blog have learned a lot about Austin, Texas through the personal stories of Austinites. It’s great to get first hand accounts, but sometimes it’s good to see the larger picture:

A profile of Austin, Texas AKA how I describe Austin to people:

Austin is a mid sized city and known for it’s friendly attitude and laid back lifestyle. For a city of it’s size, there’s a whole lot to do here thanks to a world class university, being known as the Live music capital of the world, and a growing and nationally recognized restaurant scene. People are generally very friendly, happy to be here and positive on the city (except for the heat). It’s very easy to meet new people in Austin or to strike up a conversation with a stranger at a bar or an event.

Austin has a highly educated population thanks to the university, a healthy jobs environment, and a vibrant high tech and entrepreneurial scene.

Austin is a quickly growing city as a result of immigration from all parts of the USA. Currently, Austin is the 3rd fastest growing city in the nation and the 13th largest city in the country.

According to the official Austin census numbers from 2012, there are over 1.8 million people in the Austin metro area and approximately 800,000 people in Austin proper.

According to the official Austin census figures, Austin grew:
26% between 1990-2000
15% between 2000-2010

While most people here are positive about Austin, there are some people here that think that Austin is changing too fast (see Lori’s story) Those who moved to Austin from a larger city such as LA or NYC might think Austin a bit small.

Having lived here for 10 years, I can definitely see that Austin is going through a growing phase. It used to seem that Austin was quite far behind the curve on the latest trends, but now Austin is a very fast follower or even a trend setter in terms of music, fashion, and food.

There are new buildings popping up all around the city – despite the real estate bust of 2008-2009, Austin’s skyline has consistently been filled with tall construction cranes over the last 5 years. But with growth comes some of the big city problems such as traffic, overcrowding, and a change in the friendly small town feel of the city.

Additional Resources:

What should you know before moving to Austin?
Demographic Trends in Austin, Texas

A book that will help you see what Austin is like – AKA shameless self promotion (I am the photographer):

Buy my Austin coffee table book