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Austin Metro, Hays County among fastest-growing in U.S.

austin at sunsetThe Austin- Round Rock metropolitan area is the third fastest-growing metro area in the United States, according to new data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The 2014 population estimate shows 1,943,299 people live in the Central Texas counties of Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis and Williamson.

The Austin – Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area grew 3.0 percent in 2014 compared to 2013 and ranked behind The Villages, Fla. at 3.2 percent and Myrtle Beach at 3.2 percent in the same time frame.

The Villages, a master planned retirement community just west of Orlando, saw its population grow to 114,350 while the Myrtle Beach MSA saw its population increase to 417,668.

In 2013, the Austin-Round Rock MSA was the third fastest growing metro area ranked behind Odessa and Midland. Fast forward to 2014 and the West Texas cities come in at No. 4 nationally (2.9 percentage population growth over 2013) and No. 9 at 2.6 percent, respectively.

Hays County Boom

Continued growth in Hays County catapulted it to the top of the list of fastest-growing counties in Texas and fifth-fastest in the U.S. The data show Hays County’s population changed 4.8 percent to 185,025 in 2014 compared to 176,483 in 2013 when it was the fifth fastest-growing county in Texas.

“By having new businesses come in, not only are they providing services that we were having to get elsewhere, they are providing a stronger tax base to keep our property taxes down. They’re creating jobs so we don’t have to drive some place else to go to work, we can work in our city,” said Julie Snyder, Kyle Chamber of Commerce CEO.

The addition of an estimated 8542 people appears to be largely due to the number of people moving to Hays County. The Census Bureau estimated nearly 80 percent of the increase can be attributed to people moving to the county from other counties as opposed to a baby boom or an increase in immigration. With the increase in people, comes the rising concern of the ability for the city to keep up with it’s infrastructure.

“Our city council, our mayor, our commissioners are all looking at transportation issues and workforce development and really looking at the infrastructure and how we need to develop to make sure we are able to keep up with the needs,” Snyder said.

Williamson County continues growing

Weighing in as the state’s 7th fastest growing county, Williamson County continues its growth and is within reach of a half-million people. The Census Bureau estimates 489,250 people now reside in Wilco.

Central Texas Population Estimates

Travis 1,151,145 2.53
Williamson 489,250 3.83
Hays 185,025 4.84
Bastrop 78,069 2.59
Burnet 44,943 1.27
Caldwell 39,810 1.43
Fayette 24,833 0.19
Llano 19,510 0.54
Lee 16,742 0.93
Blanco 10,812 1.67

By Patrick Tolbert and Alicia Inns info courtesy of the U.S. Census Bureu

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