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Rapidly growing cities Charlotte and Austin have a lot in common. But each city has its strengths—and weaknesses. (Pexels, Shutterstock)

Is Charlotte the Austin of the East Coast?

Both southern cities are home to big universities and have up-and-coming economies—fueled by banking and tech, respectively—that share a love of barbecue, a penchant for live music and rapidly growing millennial populations.

But the two cities present different benefits—and growing pains—to their residents and prospective transplants. Similar to how many Austinites look to San Francisco as an example of what lies ahead for the Capital City, at least one Charlottean is looking to "Austin as a guide (and in some cases a warning) for what's to come in Charlotte."

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Austin's "boomtown" status is more than a headline: the Texas capital had the highest tech migration rate over the past year, according to data from Microsoft Corp.'s LinkedIn profiles.

Austin brought in 217 software and information technology workers per 10,000 pre-existing employees, a number nearly 1.5 times higher than the runner-up, which was Nashville, Tennessee.

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Austin is one of the leading Heartland metros when it comes to foreign-born population growth, according to a new report from the Arkansas-based think tank Heartland Forward. (Shutterstock)

Austin's foreign-born population grew by nearly 40% between 2010 and 2019, placing it among the most attractive Heartland metros among immigrants and ensuring the city's future as one of the country's critical economic hubs, according to a recent report published by Heartland Forward.

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Suburban markets, including Round Rock / Georgetown, are attractive to those renters who are priced out of more urban areas or want more space. (Bexley Round Rock)

Austin rents have surpassed pre-pandemic levels after a temporary slump that was a rare boon to tenants. The most in-demand submarkets right now are:

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