For the fourth straight year, the city of Austin, Texas has been designated by Forbes Magazine to have the fastest growth rate of any city in the United States. In 2013, Austin had a 2.5 percent population growth rate, which was the biggest of any area. In addition, 2013 saw the economy in the Austin area grow by 5.9 percent, which is a marvel in these shaky economic times. However, Austin hasn’t always been this glowing vision of a growth paradise.
The Road to Recovery
When the first tech bubble burst in 2000, Austin was severely impacted. The city was a center of semiconductors, dotcoms and software companies, which meant that the area fell on extremely hard times when the tech bubble burst. In order to ensure that the recovery would be swift in Austin, the Austin Chamber of Commerce launched a supreme effort in 2000 to attract a diverse array of businesses to the area. They searched exclusively in the Midwest, Northeast and California, which are all areas where it costs a lot more to do business than it does in Austin.
This effort has rewarded the Austin Chamber of Commerce handsomely. The city has attracted 307 companies since the initiative was begun nine years ago, and more than 100 of those companies came from California alone. The perks of doing business in Austin are a very powerful incentive for companies of all kinds to set up shop in the area.
A Diverse and Talented Workforce
One of the primary reasons that so many companies are moving to Austin to do business is because they have access to such an amazing workforce. The University of Texas has a student body of 48,000 that is known for its high-quality education especially in engineering and computer sciences. In addition, the area is a big draw for young people who are looking for a place to move when they graduate from college. More than half of the adult transplants in Austin possess a college degree, keeping the area’s workforce a well-educated one.
These young folks are drawn to Austin’s reputation for great weather, an amazing culinary scene, loads of cultural attractions and overall excellent quality of living. The city is home to a wide range of outdoor and indoor attractions that ensure that residents will always be able to find something to do. The many outdoor activities in the Austin mean that is a remarkably fit city as well. The year-round good weather allows residents to get plenty of exercise, and this keeps Austin one of the fittest cities in America.
Low Cost of Living
Another reason that people and businesses are flooding into Austin is that the cost of enjoying such a high standard of living is so cheap. Scott Felder Homes, a home building company in Texas, points out that the residents of Austin have a cost of living that is 15 percent below the national average. In addition, the crime rate is well below average in Austin.
The schools in Austin are very good, which helps to attract even more workers to populate its stellar workforce. Even with these great schools, the taxes in Austin are remarkably low. The state of Texas is known for having one of the lowest tax rates in America, which is a huge draw for both companies and individuals alike.
As long as Austin can sustain this growth, it will continue to draw in a large number of companies and people. However, there is some worry about a housing shortage as the construction of new housing cannot keep up with the rate of population growth. As long as this can be attended to, Austin looks to have a bright future of growth ahead.
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