Published on October 21st, 2016 | by Kate Harrington
Austin Poised to be Fastest-Growing City in the U.S.
Anyone who has lived in Austin for more than a year has either experienced or heard an earful about the city’s growth. That Austin is growing isn’t news, but just how fast it’s growing is. According to new research from American City Business Journals, the parent company of the Austin Business Journal, Austin is going to grow faster than any other U.S. city in the next 25 years.
It’s long been projected that Austin’s population doubles every 20 years, and that appears to be holding true, according to the research. Austin’s metro area reached a population of 2 million last year, and is predicted to reach 4 million by 2040.
As the trend toward population shifts toward cities increases, other metro areas are also projected to see some major increases in population. In the South, Raleigh, Orlando, Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston are also poised to experience rapid growth.
While some of that growth is great news – Austin enjoys a low unemployment rate and fast job growth – it will also increase challenges the area is already experiencing, such as mobility and affordability, economist Angelos Angelou said earlier this year when discussing the city’s growth.
Angelou pointed out that many of the area’s new residents are moving to unincorporated areas outside of the central metro region in order to find affordable housing. As residents spread farther out, the more they have to drive in order to get into the city, further compounding Austin’s mobility issues.
With a mobility bond on the ballot in November, Austin residents will have at least some say in how the city shapes future transportation. City initiatives like the Mobility Challenge, which asks employers to develop policies that will reduce the number of employees driving alone at rush hour by 20%, might also make a dent in some of that congestion.