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The Zilker Park moontower is lit up every year during the holidays. (Mark Scott/CC)

There are many urban legends of how Austins' moonlight towers came to be: some say they were put up to scare off an Austin serial killer—the Servant Girl Annihilator, who terrorized the town—other rumors suggest they were put up to keep crops growing and chickens laying eggs 24 hours a day.

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(Emma Freer)

Between 2000 and 2019, when the last available population estimates were tallied, the population of Texas increased 39% and that of the city of Austin increased 49%, fueling countless headlines referencing boomtown status.

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A 1954 image of IBM's Austin office. (Austin History Center)

Austin is often called a boomtown, but the city's population has been growing at a rapid clip since its founding in 1839, nearly doubling its population every 20 years except for two periods. During the 20th century, major historical events such as World War II gave way to new migration patterns that fueled this growth and set the stage for the birth of Austin's big tech industry.

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Congress Avenue in 1916. (Austin History Center)

New Austinites Joe Rogan and Elon Musk recently discussed their new home on an episode of "The Joe Rogan Experience": "I think Austin's going to be the biggest boomtown that America has seen in a half a century," Musk told the podcast host.

We've all heard the statistics. The Texas Demographic Center expects the five-county Austin metro to double in size by 2040, a projection that has spurred concerns about whether the city's infrastructure will be up to the task. But the city of Austin has been growing at a rapid clip since its founding in 1839, nearly doubling its population every 20 years, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

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