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With numbers just under 1 million, Austin challenges headcount in 2020 Census report

Austin has become the largest U.S. city to challenge the U.S. Census count in 2020. (Andrea Guzmán/Austonia)

After falling just short of the 1 million mark in the 2020 U.S. Census, Austin has become the biggest city to challenge the Census Bureau's findings in an appeal sent last week.


City officials believe Austin has more than the 961,855 residents tallied in the census due to 7,000 housing units that were missed in the once-a-decade count.

Austin city demographer Lila Valencia told AP she mostly associates this with new housing units that were misplaced in the rapidly-growing metro.

“We are one of the fastest-growing regions in the country,” Valencia said. “Any region growing as fast as Austin is going to be hard to count.”

Aided by the tech exodus—including the relocation of Elon Musk's Tesla factory to Travis County—an outpouring of remote work to the city and the promise of relatively cheap living, Austin swelled by 21.7% from 2010-2020. As the 11th largest city, the city grew faster than all top 50 cities in the U.S. except for Fort Worth.

Just nearby, two Austin suburbs—Georgetown and Leander—were named the fastest-growing cities in the U.S. in 2020 alone.

The appeal comes after the Bureau reported that Texas was undercounted by 1.9%, or around 560,000 residents, in the 2020 count.

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