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How Austin’s rapid growth is changing city demographics

We read the City of Austin’s recent report on changing demographics in ATX. Here are five takeaways.

The Sixth and Guadalupe building being constructed downtown, with cranes in the foreground.

Austin is a rapidly growing city — how is that affecting the city’s demographics?

Photo by ATXtoday

Between 2010 and 2020, Austin gained more residents than almost any other city in the US, only falling behind New York City, Houston, and Fort Worth. Talk about big changes.

To better understand what that growth means for our city’s demographics, the City of Austin released a report last week on changes to the population of Austinites in the last decade. Read on for five takeaways.

Austin’s population is getting older.

People aged 65+ are the fastest-growing age group in ATX, increasing from 7% of the population to 9.5% between 2010 and 2020. That’s a growth rate of 64.7%.

Two maps of Austin, showing the proportions of older adults in Austin census tracts.

The darker colors on these maps represent high proportions of older adults in Austin census tracts.

Graphic by ATXtoday, maps via the City of Austin’s Age of Change report

Most growth is happening along city edges.

When you’re looking for stark demographic change in ATX, look to East Austin.

Between 2010 and 2020, East Austin neighborhoods grew both whiter and older. In that time frame, the share of Black and Hispanic older adults declined, while the population of older white adults grew significantly.

Children are making up a smaller share of the population.

The number and proportion of children under five years old is smaller now than it was a decade ago. Austin also has a lower percentages of people under 18 — 19.4% — compared to higher rates in Texas (25.8%) and the US (23%).

A graphic showing the changing population by age group across the city between 2010 and 2020.

The City of Austin’s population has grown in almost every age group since 2010.

Graphic via the City of Austin’s Age of Change report.

But Austin is still a young city.

The median age of Austin — 33 years old, up from 31 in 2010 — is still younger than its peer cities. Compare to:

  • The US: 38.8
  • Texas: 35.6
  • Dallas: 33.6
  • Houston: 34.2
  • San Antonio: 35.9

The balance of older adults, younger adults, and children can foresee the economic growth potential of a city. Researchers look at a “dependency ratio,” or a measure of the proportion of dependents to the working population. Austin’s dependency ratio is 40.7, which is substantially lower than the US (63.6) and Texas (62.4).
Explore the full report to learn more.