Austin is a fun, unique city…but it’s also an economic powerhouse. It’s hilly, green, highly educated, liberal, and laid-back. Once you’ve been here, you’ll see why Austin reigns supreme as the most livable city in the Lone Star State. Thousands of people are moving to Austin every month. It’s a magnet for entrepreneurs, college students, creatives, and hipsters. It’s also a great place for single people and married couples. And of course it’s ideal for families looking for a good place to raise kids.
Austin prides itself on being different from the rest of Texas. The unofficial slogan is “Keep Austin Weird.” If you are a liberal who doesn’t want to move to Texas, then Austin is probably the best choice for you. Especially if you think you aren’t going to survive living in the South. And if you’re a conservative or libertarian, well, Austin is still Texas. So, it’s a good place to live regardless of your politics. According to Forbes, Austin is now the fastest growing city in America.  Let’s look at why so many people are living in Austin.
Newsmax reports that Austin is the number one city in America for job creation. There are now more jobs here than before the 2008-09 recession. Austin boasts a diverse economy. Many people find jobs in Austin working in the high-tech industry, state government, or at the University of Texas. The metro area is also home to two Fortune 500 companies; Whole Foods and Dell.
2) Low Unemployment
A strong job market obviously means low unemployment. As of May 2013, Austin has a 5.4% unemployment rate, below the national average. And keep in mind that many unemployed people move to Austin looking for a job…which skews unemployment numbers higher.
3) Low Cost Of Living
The cost of living in Austin, TX is less than East or West coast cities. Your dollar stretches farther here. Austin ranked as the 5th most affordable city in the country in 2012; where average annual wages are weighed against the average cost of living. Austin is one of the most expensive cities in Texas (when compared to places like Dallas or Houston), but it’s still affordable. Most of the extra cost in Austin is due to higher housing prices and rents. But again, it’s still Texas. So costs are lower for things like services, utilities, food, and gasoline.
4) Cheaper Real Estate
Austin didn’t experience the same real estate bust felt by the rest of the country, although there were some price declines. Homes in Austin are more expensive than other Texas cities. This make Austin less affordable overall. But house prices in Austin are still quite a bit lower than the national average. As of this writing the median list price for a home in Austin is around $294,000.
5) Entrepreneurial Vibe
Texas is a business-friendly state. It has lower taxes and fewer regulations. Many people move to Austin for the strong entrepreneurial climate. It’s a top destination for the creative class; artists, designers, writers, programmers, musicians, filmmakers and other entrepreneurs. And business owners have a large pool of talented and well-educated workers to chose from, given the proximity of UT and other colleges.
6) Great Nightlife
Austin is famous for nightlife. Party up with college kids on 6th Street, dress up and sip cocktails in the Warehouse District, or rub elbows with hipsters in East Austin. Or, take advantage of the Rainey Street bar neighborhood before it’s all turned into condos.
7) Longhorn Football
It doesn’t matter if you didn’t go to UT. If you live in Austin then the Longhorns become your hometown team. Watching a live game at the Darrell K. Royal Texas-Memorial Stadium is a must for every Austinite. Austin is also home to minor league sports teams including Austin Toros basketball, Round Rock Express baseball, and Texas Stars hockey in Cedar Park.
8) Parks & Green Space
Austin boasts over 19,000 square acres of parkland. Outdoor activities are one of the main reasons for moving to Austin. Run, bike, or walk your dog at Lady Bird Lake. Go swimming at Barton Springs or the Barton Creek Greenbelt. Water-ski off Pace Bend Park on Lake Travis. Or, hike the Bull Creek Greenbelt. Austin also has other outdoor activities like rock-climbing, camping, shooting, kayaking, paddle-boarding, boating, and spelunking.
9) Physically Fit
Texas isn’t known for having the nations slimmest residents. But despite the many amazing dining options in Austin, it actually ranks as the 11th fittest cities in the United States. Not too shabby.
10) Higher Education
Austin is home to one of the largest and most illustrious universities in the nation. The University of Texas at Austin is a tier one school with over 51,000 students. Austin also has several smaller local schools including St. Edward’s University, Austin Community College, Huston-Tillotson University, Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas State University in San Marcos, and Le Cordon Bleu Academy. Austin is also home to the Texas School For The Deaf.
11) Day Trips
Visit lakes, wineries, and B&B’s in the Texas Hill Country west of Austin. Fredericksburg is a popular day-trip destination. Highlights include Enchanted Rock and the world-class National Museum of the Pacific War. This amazing World War II museum is located in downtown Fredericksburg. The Shiner Bock Brewery in Shiner is another day trip worth taking. Austin is fairly close to Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio. You can drive to any of these cities in several hours, or take a short flight.
12) Arts & Culture
Austin lacks a large art district like Houston or Dallas. But if you’re living in Austin you’ll find a thriving local arts scene with a variety of museums, art spaces, galleries, tours, and events. The Blanton Museum on the UT campus and the Austin Museum Of Art host traveling exhibits. The Texas State History Museum and the Laguna Gloria branch of the AMOA are also worth seeing.
13) Great Food & Restaurants
Austin is great place to live if you like food. It’s famous for breakfast tacos and brunch. Austin has many types of food to choose from. Once you live there you will be spoiled for options….Japanese, Tex-Mex, Cajun, BBQ, Mexican, Vietnamese, Dim Sum, Indian. Whatever you want, most likely Austin has it.
14) Formula 1
The new Formula 1 Circuit Of The America’s racetrack in Southeastern Travis county was completed in 2012. The track will host annual races for the next 9 years, with the economic impact similar to holding a Super Bowl each year.
15) Live Music & World Class Events
Austin is officially known as “The Live Music Capital of The World.” If live music is your thing then you’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven. Austin hosts annual institutions like South By Southwest, which went from a music festival to a full-fledged music, film, and interactive event. Austin City Limits is another favorite. And there’s always events like concerts, car shows, rodeos, gun shows, tattoo conventions, and art shows.
Yes, there are some downsides to living in Austin. It’s really crowded now, so traffic is a major problem. It has no extensive public transit. And central Texas is hot and humid in the summer time. Fall, spring, and winter time can be very pleasant. Overall, you can see that the positives far outweigh the negatives. It’s entrepreneurial, youthful, diverse, and full of happy locals. If you’re moving to Austin, you’ll find that it’s a great place to get a job, start a business, get educated, or raise a family.
Read More: Top 10 Reasons For Moving To Texas