The Austin metro swelled by almost a third and added over half a million residents to become the nation's fastest-growing large metro in the United States from 2010-2020.
Within that metro is San Marcos' Hays County, which ranked as the fastest-growing county in the States (with a population over 100,000) in the same time frame with 53.4% growth, and Williamson County, which came in fourth with 44.1% growth.
And with that growth came change-namely, in the area's racial and ethnic makeup. Austin's Asian population nearly doubled with 96.8% growth and expanded into the third-largest racial demographic in the metro as Austin officially flip-flopped into a minority-majority region. The Non-Hispanic Whites population fell from 54.7% of the population to 49.6% in 2020, representing less than 50% of the population for the first time in census history.
While every major ethnic group increased in population in the last decade, some saw little to no change in percentages—those identifying as Hispanic or Latino increased just 0.5% to make up 31.9% of the population, while the metro's Black population fell by 0.4% to 6.6%. Those that identify as being two or more races or "some other race," exploded by over 200% each. Residents who identify with multiple races now make up 4.1% of the population as part of a nationwide trend dubbed the "diversity explosion."
Austin's Asian and mixed race population exploded as the metro flipped to a minority-majority region. (Austin Chamber)
The Austin metro also saw increasing density as it continues to grow to "boomtown" status. In 2010, 254 block groups in the region showed the population density at 5,000 or more residents per square mile. By 2020, that number had increased to 403—or 2.11% of the area.
And it seems like Austin pushed up as well as out—areas near downtown continued to pile in newcomers, but high density can now be found across the I-35 strip from San Marcos to Round Rock and Leander. Areas to the east and west saw less growth, but density still pushed outward in regions including Bee Cave, Cedar Park and Manor.
The Austin metro saw large population density increases along the I-35 stretch. (Austin Chamber)
Austin was joined by its Texas neighbors on the leaderboard for fastest-growing metros. Houston's Harris County saw the biggest numerical population change in the U.S. with over 600,000 new residents, capping out at No. 10 in percentage change in the metro with 20.3% growth. Dallas was the metro with the 11th-most percentage change and saw 245,000 more residents in Dallas County, while Austin's I-35 neighbors in San Antonio came in 12th with 19.4% growth.
Looking for more data to crunch? More detailed statistics will be released by the Census Bureau in 2022. For now, check out the full report here.
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- San Marcos favorite Industry Burger opens "mid-October" on E. 5th, featuring "low key healthy" Texas fare.
- Still Austin Whiskey Co. introduces "The Artist," its new rye whiskey.
- Domain NORTHSIDE favorites Bakery Lorraine, Grimaldi's Pizzeria, Jeni's Ice Cream and Sprinkles released their fall flavors.
- Cinnaholic at The Arboretum opens Friday, October 14, serving "create your own" cinnamon rolls and other sweet treats.
- San Francisco's Marufuku Ramen opens next Wednesday, October 12, in the Mueller District.
- Carpenter Hotel announces its popup food truck, Lil Carpenter, open Fri-Sun both ACL weekends, serving what you want, early to late, coffee to donuts, to dogs/burgers/fries/beer.
With major entertainment events slated for October, the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is gearing up for a busy month.
Artists and music lovers are set to pack into Zilker Park for The Austin City Limits Music Festival in the coming two weekends. Following that, Formula One will bring racing fans to the Circuit of the Americas.
For those two events, the airport is anticipating high passenger days with 30,000 or more people departing flights.
ABIA recommends arriving at least two and a half hours in advance for domestic flights on those days. For ACL, it's expected on both Sundays of the festival along with the Monday and Tuesday after. The F1-driven high passenger days are expected on Oct. 20-21 and Oct. 23-26.
\u201c#AustinCityLimits visitors, you\u2019re in for a weird and wild ride \ud83e\udd18\u262e\ufe0f \n\nFlying in or out of our airport? We got firm and fun tips for you: https://t.co/RawVRalOXN\u201d— Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) (@Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS)) 1664894083
F1, especially, could draw in loads of travelers as the three-day event saw 400,000 attendees last year. ABIA warns that highways leading to the airport may see even higher traffic than usual around the event and that travelers should plan their route accordingly.
Bailey Grimmett, a spokesperson for ABIA, said travel numbers come in 24 hours in advance. So, it's hard to predict if the airport will see travel volumes at the same levels that have happened around previous F1 races or if it'll top ACL's flight traffic.
Still, she says historical knowledge points to a chance for it.
“We've had that Monday after F1 break the record for single busiest in airport history," Grimmett said. "So context clues I would say yes, but I can't confirm that. But the historical background points to that."
In anticipation of the high volume of flyers, the airport received additional TSA officers for security screening through the end of October. To prepare even further, the Department of Aviation and partners hosted a job showcase and hiring fair to address the continued labor shortage the airport has experienced.
Relief from hectic travel days is on the horizon with November likely to see a slowdown.
"I don't anticipate it will be as busy as October just because we don't have as many events going on," Grimmett said. "Thanksgiving is kind of our primary holiday that we see a lot of passengers coming in and out of the airport."