Get to Know Austin
Austin is the capital city of the U.S. state of Texas and the seat of Travis County, with portions extending into Hays and Williamson counties. It is the 11th-most populous city in the United States, the fourth-most-populous city in Texas, and the second-most-populous state capital city. It is also the fastest-growing large city in the United States and the southernmost state capital in the contiguous United States.
As of the U.S. Census Bureau’s July 1, 2018 estimate, Austin had a population of 964,254 up from 790,491 at the 2010 census. The city is the cultural and economic center of the Austin–Round Rock metropolitan statistical area, which had an estimated population of 2million. Located in Central Texas within the greater Texas Hill Country, it is home to numerous lakes, rivers, and waterways, including Lady Bird Lake and Lake Travis on the Colorado River, Barton Springs, McKinney Falls, and Lake Walter E. Long. Austin’s mild climate allows you to enjoy outdoor activities virtually year-round. Austin has 300 days of sunshine a year and an average temperature of 71 degrees in November.
In the 1830s, pioneers began to settle the area in central Austin along the Colorado River. The city grew throughout the 19th century and became a center for government and education with the construction of the Texas State Capitol and the University of Texas at Austin. By the 1990s it emerged as a center for technology and business. Several Fortune 500 companies have headquarters or regional offices in Austin including, 3M, Amazon.com, Apple Inc., Cisco, Dell Computers, eBay, General Motors, Google, IBM, Intel, Oracle Corporation, PayPal, Texas Instruments, and Whole Foods Market. Dell’s worldwide headquarters is in the nearby suburb of Round Rock.
The city’s official slogan promotes Austin as “The Live Music Capital of the World,” a reference to the city’s over 200 live music venues, as well as the long-running PBS TV concert series Austin City Limits. The city also adopted “Silicon Hills” as a nickname in the 1990s due to a rapid influx of technology and development companies. Austin is known as a “clean-air city” for its stringent no-smoking ordinances that apply to all public places and buildings, including restaurants and bars.
U.S. News & World Report named Austin the No. 1 place to live in the U.S. for 2017 and 2018. In 2016, Forbes ranked Austin No. 1 on its “Cities of the Future” list, then in 2017 placed the city at that same position on its list for the “Next Biggest Boom Town in the U.S.
The Greater Austin metropolitan statistical area had a gross domestic product (GDP) of $125 billion. Austin is a major center for high tech. Thousands of graduates each year from the engineering and computer science programs at the University of Texas at Austin provide a steady source of employees that help to fuel Austin’s technology and defense industry sectors. The region’s rapid growth has led Forbes to rank the Austin metropolitan area number one among all big cities for jobs for 2018 in their annual survey and WSJ Marketwatch to rank the area number one for growing businesses. By 2018, Austin was ranked No. 14 on Forbes’ list of the Best Places for Business and Careers (directly below Dallas, No. 13 on the list).