According to a report from the Brookings Institution, Austin ranked 61st of the 300 fastest growing metropolitan economies worldwide. The Metropolitan Policy Program of the Washington, D.C. think tank based this finding from data compiled by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB). For a complete list, see this.
Austin recovers from the “Great Recession”
Despite the effects of the “Great Recession” of 2007 – 2008, the Austin metro area’s economic growth rebounded in 2011 and 2012. Employment rose by 3.1% while real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita increased by 0.9%. People kept moving into the area as the population in the Austin Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which includes Round Rock and San Marcos, tallied at just below 1.8 million. Austin is the fifth-highest ranked MSA in the U.S. behind Houston (40), San Jose, CA (46), Salt Lake City (56) and Louisville, KY (57).
Like Salt Lake City and Louisville, Austin is smaller than North American urban behemoths NYC, Chicago or LA; the business friendly climate and the relative affordability appeals to the many “millennials” who have transplanted to Austin and have started or are planning their families. But it’s not just the younger demographic inhabiting the area. Austin is the 11th most popular retirement center in Texas, drawing in those who favor a milder climate and have a disposable income for the many amenities Austin offers. In fact, Yahoo! Finance named Austin as one of the best U.S. cities in which to live during retirement, citing factors such as cost-of-living, the quality of health care, public transportation, educational resources and a modern airport. AARP Magazine reports that the number of residents over fifty in Austin is likely to increase by 32% in the next fifteen years. And ‘Businessweek’ ranks Austin as the 8th Best City in America.
Austin is among the best-performing cities in the U.S.
The Milken Institute Index of Best-Performing Cities consistently places Austin in the top five based on metrics of employment and technology performance. Between 2006 – 2010, Austin had the third fastest job growth in the nation. In fact, it is the largest MSA to exceed its peak level of employment prior to the recession. In the technology sector, companies such as Samsung, eBay, Facebook, Dell, IBM, AT&T, Apple, National Instruments and AMD all have a presence, as well as other Austin tech startups. Thanks to the continuing influx of new residents, housing prices mostly held steady during the recession.