10 Reasons Everyone’s Moving to Austin | (And Texas. But Mostly Austin.)

BY Ori Zohar

moving to Austin

Who’s Moving to Austin?

Well, a lot of people are: 124,000 new folks moved to Austin in 2014, most from out of state. By comparison, the rest of the top 10 counties nationwide welcomed 10,000 – 30,000 new residents.

This intel comes from the Internal Revenue Service’s recent migration report, which told us know how many folks moved in and out of every county in the country between 2013 and 2014. With migration overall at a near all-time low, the report seems to prove one old adage:

Everything’s bigger in Texas. (Including migration rates.)

So what’s the big deal about Austin, anyway? Well, read on…

Food1) The Food Scene (EAT)

Most everyone knows that Austin’s BBQ is second to none (settle down, Memphis: y’all can tie on this one). What folks may or may not know is that Austin also has a wide variety of awesome food that extends well beyond the pit. From breakfast tacos to organic and vegetarian fare to high-end dining (Top Chef winner Paul Qui has his namesake restaurant there), Austin has an option for every palate – and every budget.

2) Rooftop Bars (DRINK)

I took this photo myself at SXSW 2014, from the rooftop of a bar whose name shall forever be lost in a delicious haze of bourbon. While New Orleans may win the “Best places to drink on a historic balcony” award, Austin most assuredly wins the “Best places to drink on a rooftop” award.

3) The Music (BE MERRY)

guitarThe local music scene is SXSW and Austin City Limits (ACL) are the best-known festivals in town, but not everyone wants to see their favorite band with 75,000 other fans. The great thing about both these festivals, though, is that there’s music in bars all over town during those times – and a lot of free parties and shows to be had, too. If the crowds aren’t your thing, though, Austin has a booming music scene all year round.

Diversity

Austin is, in the words of its city demographer (yes, this is a real position: another point to Austin for hiring someone in this capacity), a “Majority-Minority city.” This means that there is no ethnic or demographic group that exists as a majority (read: above 50%) of the city’s population. In addition to having ethnic diversity, Austin is also known for being The Place in Texas Where It’s OK to Be Gay.

austin

The Job Market

It’s probably no secret that Austin has become a hotbed of technology jobs: those 124,000 people didn’t arrive in Texas by accident. While locals (read: people who have lived in Austin for longer than 3 years) may bemoan the influx of tech employees and what it’s doing to the cost of living, the tide isn’t looking like it’ll turn soon. And that brings us to…


The Housing Market

Yes, Austin has become a lot more expensive over the past 5 years: Forbes has in fact voted Austin as the #1 most overvalued housing market in the country. This is based on the fact that Austin’s real estate market has grown at 34% since 2011, which is significantly outpacing its 23% gross metro product growth. That said, Austin is still relatively inexpensive given the other 4 points above – and starkly so for people coming from housing markets that are essentially out of reach (the Bay Area, for example).