From 2015 to 2016, the five largest cities in Texas were among the 10 fastest-growing U.S. cities in terms of the sheer number of new residents. (And we’re happy about that, because that translates into a lot of potential new laundry and dry-cleaning customers for Press Cleaners.)
But for as much as we in Austin complain about how many people are moving here, the Capital City didn’t pick up as many new residents during that one-year period compared with its big-city counterparts in Texas.
According to figures released recently by the U.S. Census Bureau, Austin added 17,738 new residents from July 1, 2015, to July 1, 2016. That works out to 49 new residents a day during the one-year period — the lowest per-day total for any of Texas’ five largest cities.
Keep in mind that these numbers are for each city, not for the entire metro area.
As of July 1, 2016, Austin’s population stood at 947,890, the Census Bureau says. In calculating year-to-year population change, the bureau takes into account births, deaths, move-ins and move-outs.
If you think 49 new residents a day sounds like a lot — and it is — Austin doesn’t measure up to the per-day population increases for Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth or San Antonio from 2015 to 2016. Here’s the complete rundown.
July 1, 2016, population: 947,890
One-year gain: 17,738 new residents
Per-day increase: 49 new residents
National rank for numeric growth in population among cities with at least 50,000 residents: 9
July 1, 2016, population: 2,303,482
One-year gain: 18,666 new residents
Per-day increase: 51 new residents
National rank for numeric growth in population among cities with at least 50,000 residents: 8
July 1, 2016, population: 854,113
One-year gain: 19,942 new residents
Per-day increase: 55 new residents
National rank for numeric growth in population among cities with at least 50,000 residents: 7
July 1, 2016, population: 1,317,929
One-year gain: 20,602 new residents
Per-day increase: 56 new residents
National rank for numeric growth in population among cities with at least 50,000 residents: 6
July 1, 2016, population: 1,492,510
One-year gain: 24,473 new residents
Per-day increase: 67 new residents
National rank for numeric growth in population among cities with at least 50,000 residents: 3
As you can see, San Antonio picked up more new residents from 2015 to 2016 than the four other big cities in Texas. It even outpaced New York City for the number of new residents added during that period.
In part, San Antonio is benefiting from an influx of millennials — some of the same millennials who are presumed to be flooding into Austin. Millennials are being drawn to the Alamo City by a lower cost of living than Austin’s, most notably cheaper housing.
As Forbes noted in 2016, San Antonio — not Austin — has in recent years evolved into the country’s biggest magnet for college-educated millennials.
San Antonio’s River Walk
“Austin, as most know, has become Texas’ yuppie capital, reinforced by SXSW and the slogan ‘Keep Austin Weird.’ San Antonio, although only 80 miles away, has long been viewed as a far-poorer settling point for humble Mexican immigrants and Mexican-Americans,” according to Forbes. “Recent local calls to ‘Keep San Antonio Lame’ tap into this perception of the city as family-oriented and working class. However, while Austin remains a Millennial stronghold, the same can increasingly be said of San Antonio, perhaps in response to Austin’s high prices.”
Still, that doesn’t mean traffic on I-35 in Austin is going to improve anytime soon.
DIY moving and storage company U-Haul ranks Austin fifth on its list of the top destination cities for 2016, based on the number of rental trucks headed there during the year. However, Houston appears at No. 1 on the list and San Antonio at No. 3. Meanwhile, Dallas ranks 17th and Fort Worth comes in at No. 24.
Not too shabby, Austin. We just wish that all the new residents in Austin didn’t drive cars.