Local News

Austin Metro Area Population Breaks 2 Million Residents

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In the population report released last week, Austin is officially home to over 2 million residents and is the fastest growing metro areas in the country.

The Austin-Round Rock metropolitan area, according to the Austin American-Statesman, “includes Travis, Williamson, Hays, Bastrop, and Caldwell counties.” The population of this area, from July 2014 to July 2015, grew from 1,943,465 to 2,000,860, “making it the fastest-growing metropolitan area with a population over 1 million for the fifth year in a row.”

While this news isn’t very surprising to Hill Country residents, the biggest question is still what the Austin metro area will do in terms of expansion now that they’ve officially reached the two million mark. Population growth both helps and hurts, as the economy strengthens while transportation in the area becomes more and more outdated.

The housing market, also, has specifically taken a turn as home prices and property taxes continue to rise. This steep incline in prices have turned both newcomers and longtime Austin residents to move outward, “relocating in outlying cities and counties, contributing to urban sprawl.”

Additionally, keeping school systems up to date with the expanding population in Hays and Bastrop counties. In the last ten years, Hays alone has seen “a 76 percent increase from the 10,565 students it had in 2005-06,” and is expected to increase even further in the next 10 years with an estimated arrival of 8,000 new students.

The Austin metro area is expected to keep expanding at least for the next 10 years, and whether the Hill Country is ready or not, there’s little to stop it.