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population

Welcome to Austin!

400 years ago, refugees fleeing their home country’s hostile political environment bravely headed west over the Atlantic ocean in search of a better life. They arrived on a rock, unprepared for the challenges that come with moving to a new land: a shortage of food and inadequate shelter. A group of Americans called the Wampanoag took pity on these pilgrim refugees, shared their soil and helped them gain a foothold on it. In an act of goodwill and diplomacy, the grateful immigrants hosted the Americans for a large shared feast. Their meal has since become celebrated in the quintessential American tradition, Thanksgiving.

Migration, the core theme of this story, is one of the great forces of history. Not only internationally, but internally within the states. Texas itself has been a migration magnet throughout its history, which helps explain the record of growth that now makes it the second most populous state in America following California. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s annual Population Estimates program, regionally, the Austin MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area) has shown a growth rate with consideration of births and deaths of over 55,000 people annually over the last decade – that’s over 150 people per day! Consequently, with so many people moving in large numbers, there is inevitable impact and influence on the current flavor of our local culture. How will all these new flavors meld into our sweet Central Texas? Let’s take a look at where and why migrants are joining our Thanksgiving table in Texas.

Population Growth Texas 2016-2017
Data Estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau

Growth in Texas
Texas in general is growing at a rate of 1,000 people per day, and roughly half of these new Texans are migrants, according to State Demographer Lloyd Potter. The other half are newborns, Potter added. The strong U.S. economy and low unemployment rates have caused net domestic migration to Texas from other states to slow since 2015. Instead, in 2018, the majority of migrants to Texas — 104,976 people — came from other countries. While historically, Latin countries have accounted for the majority of those migrating to Texas, recently, Texas has seen an increase in migration from Asian countries, particularly China and India, with those countries accounting for around 45% of international migration to Texas in 2016. “Over the 2000s, we saw a pretty significant opening of China and kind of increasing number of Indian students coming over to study”, Potter said, “and I think what happens frequently is once they finish studying, they are able to get sponsored by a company for a work visa… once they get a green card, then they can start sponsoring their family to come over as well.” With Central Texas hosting a university culture that welcomes a large international student population, it’s not surprising that Austin ends up drawing a chunk of this international student demographic within that Texan growth.

Population Growth Austin 2016-2017
Data Estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau

Growth in Austin
Despite the increasingly international migration numbers for Texas, net migration to Austin remains primarily domestic. This also differs from other comparatively fast growing cities such as Miami, San Jose, New York, Boston, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., which experience mostly international migration.

  • The greatest source of growth in Austin outside of local births is migration from other parts of Texas, followed by California, Florida, New York, and Colorado.
  • The most significant metro areas making a net positive contribution to annual migration to Austin are Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, New York, and Los Angeles.

A large part of what’s behind this growth trend can be found in the city’s employment opportunity, prosperity, and its evolution into a tech hub. While Central Texas provides massive employment opportunities in the service industry and in government, in 2018, the Austin Chamber of Commerce recorded 46 tech company relocations to the Austin area (these numbers do not include companies opening second offices as expansions locally like Apple, Amazon, and Google). Those 46 relocations translated into 9,424 new jobs in the city last year. That compares to 51 relocations in 2017 leading to 3,050 jobs. The incoming companies have justified the move due to the region’s lower cost of doing business and a growing pool of tech talent, who in turn are drawn to Austin’s flouishing job market and attractive cost of living.

So what does this kind of migration without RSVP mean for the Austin area? Have we run out of room at the table? A common fear is overcrowding and changes to Austin’s beloved physical and cultural landscape. What it really boils down to is increased population diversity brings with it new ideas, business opportunity, and varied cultures. This has the potential to beautifully blend into our “you be you” or “keep it weird” city, making it thrive. Without question, with this growing population will come the usual suspects – a surplus of traffic and an increased need for affordable housing. But let’s pull up some extra chairs to our table since the diversity of incoming minds will be an invaluable resource in addressing these twists and turns that come on the road to growth. In closing, it’s important to remember the positive lessons embedded in the American Thanksgiving story – our country was founded and fostered by a combination of native and migrant people. We will continue to grow gracefully as long as we embrace our diversity, and work together to build an Austin that we’re proud to call our home.

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SOURCES:

“Where is Texas’ growing population coming from?” By Maria Mendez, 5/8/2019 | Texas Tribune | www.texastribune.org/2019/05/08/texas-keeps-growing-where-are-newest-transplants-coming/

Yep. A Lot More People Have Moved To Austin, The Census Bureau Confirms, By Andrew Weber, 4/18/2019 | KUT Online | www.kut.org/post/yep-lot-more-people-have-moved-austin-census-bureau-confirms

Austin Migration Insights, By Chris Ramser, 2/21/2019 | Austin Chamber of Commerce | www.austinchamber.com/blog/02-21-2019-austin-migration

State and Local Taxes Influence Homebuyer Migration

Overall taxation increasingly determines where people and companies choose to relocate. Last week Rob Chrisman talked about what makes homebuyers move in his daily newsletter. According to MarketWatch jobs are the determining factor for someone to relocate, second to state and local taxes.

ATTOM Data Solutions, national property database provider, released its 2017 property tax analysis for more than 86 million U.S. single family homes which shows that property taxes levied on single family homes in 2017 totaled $293.4 billion, up 6 percent from $277.7 billion in 2016 and an average of $3,399 per home — an effective tax rate of 1.17 percent.

For Daren Blomquist, Attom’s senior vice president, the story of national property taxes is the story of migration around the country. Blomquist told MarketWatch that taxes are “the icing on the cake” in areas that are seeing strong population inflows anyway.

“Among the counties that saw the biggest percentage of in-migration in 2017, according to Census data, all are in Texas, Florida, Georgia, or the Carolinas. Texas doesn’t have particularly low property taxes, but it has no personal income tax, making the overall tax burden much more manageable,” said Andrea Riquier of MarketWatch.

Texas is a pro-business state that continues to attract business and population.

Business Facilities Magazine ranked Texas as the top state in the nation for the Best Business Climate in the magazine’s 13th Annual Rankings Report. Out of all 50 states, Texas achieved the best overall performance in the 2017 State Rankings Report.

According to Texas Governor Abbott, “economic liberty is why Texas leads in job creation and in corporate expansion and relocations.  Restrained government, lower taxes, smarter regulations, right-to-work laws and litigation reform—these are the pro-growth economic policies that help free enterprise flourish and that attract business to Texas from states that overtax and overregulate.”

Austin continues to attract businesses, and is a hub for corporate and regional headquarters, including AMD, Apple, Bazaarvoice, Cirrus Logic, Dell, Dimensional Fund Advisors, eBay, Facebook, Freescale, General Motors, Hanger, Hewlett-Packard, HomeAway, Home Depot, IBM, LegalZoom, National Instruments, Oracle, Whole Foods, and Visa. Check out the  Austin Chamber of Commerce Austin’s major employers map.

Best and worst business climates.

24/7 Wall Street ranked best and worst business climates looking at nearly 50 measures of doing business, including economic conditions, business costs, state infrastructure, the availability and skill level of the workforce, quality of life, regulations, technology and innovation, and cost of living.

Massachusetts ranked No. 1 with a well-educated population that is a boon for state businesses. Such a population presents a more flexible and skilled talent pool for employers. Also, people with college educations tend to have higher incomes, which means they have more disposable income to spend. A nation-leading 42.7% of Massachusetts adults have a bachelor’s degree, compared to 31.3% of adults nationwide. The typical state household earns $75,297 a year, the fourth highest median income of any state and over $17,000 greater than the national median.

And, Louisiana ranked last. Working-age Louisianans are less likely than working-age Americans to have the qualifications for higher-skilled, higher-paying jobs. Just 23.4% of adults in the state have a bachelor’s degree, nearly the lowest percentage of all states. Unlike most states, Louisiana’s working-age population is also declining. In the Census’ American Survey of Entrepreneurs, 46% of state businesses reported unpredictable conditions having a negative impact on their business, and 48% reported slow business or lost sales, each among the highest shares in the country.

Texas ranked among the top states at No. 13.

  • 1-yr. real GDP change: -0.3% (7th largest decrease)
  • salary: $53,838 (12th highest)
  • Adults w/ bachelor’s degree: 28.9% (tied — 22nd lowest)
  • Patents issued/100,000 people: 35.7 (18th most)
  • Working-age population change, 2020-2030: -14.9% (4th largest growth)

According to USAToday, “like North Dakota and a few other oil-producing states, Texas’ economy has taken a beating from the more-than-three-years-long stretch of depressed crude oil prices. However, the state’s economy is more diverse than that of North Dakota, and GDP has contracted by just 0.3% in the most recently reported year. Credit agencies Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s clearly recognize the state’s stability and rate its debt a perfect AAA and Aaa, respectively, with a stable outlook. The state’s businesses not only benefit from a stable economy, but also from a growing labor force. Texas’ working age population is projected to grow by 14.9% between 2020 and 2030, the fourth most of any state.”

Austin MSA stands out with 42.8% having a bachelor’s degree or higher, as compared to 28.9% in Texas, and 31.3% in the United States. And, WalletHub ranked Austin-Round Rock No. 9 in the Most & Least Educated Cities of America.

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of the Census, American Community Survey

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SOURCE:
http://www.robchrisman.com/daily-mortgage-news-commentary/page/2/
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/americas-new-great-migration-in-search-of-lower-property-taxes-2018-04-05
https://www.attomdata.com/news/market-trends/home-sales-prices/attom-2017-property-tax-data-analysis/
https://gov.texas.gov/news/post/texas-ranked-top-state-for-business-climate-by-business-facilities-magazine
https://businessfacilities.com/2017/07/business-facilities-13th-annual-rankings-report/
https://www.austinchamber.com/upload/files/ed/MajorEmployersMap.pdf
https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2018/03/05/economic-climate-best-and-worst-states-business/376783002/
https://www.austinchamber.com/economic-development/austin-profile/population#Educational%20Attainment
https://wallethub.com/edu/most-and-least-educated-cities/6656/

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