The five-county Austin MSA passed 2,000,000 in total population in 2015. Travis County makes up more than half of that total with a population of almost 1.2 million.
Williamson and Hays Counties continue to grow at the fastest rates. Williamson increased its population by 24% over these six years and reached a population of over half-a-million people. Hays grew the fastest with a six year growth rate of 29% with a total population of 204,470. Bastrop County, with an 11% growth rate, and Travis County, with a 16% growth rate, were the counties with least growth in the Austin MSA region.
The U.S. Census Bureau reports that one-half of Travis County residents are White, one-third are Hispanic, 9% are Black and 6% are Asian. Forty-seven percent of the child population is Hispanic, while the older population is majority White.
There are stark differences in educational attainment levels and median household income by race and ethnicity. The first graph depicts median Household Income. The second graph depicts the percent of people in Travis County, over the age of 25, who have a Bachelor’s degree or higher. Approximately 26% of Black adults over the age of 25, and only 23% of Hispanic adults over the age of 25, have a Bachelor’s degree, and this contributes to lower household incomes for these groups. Increasing educational opportunity and educational success for people of all races and ethnicities is one way we can bridge the economic divide and increase access to opportunity.
CONCENTRATIONS OF LOW-INCOME PEOPLE
This map shows the percentage of people within each census tract who are low- income, or earn less than two- times the federal poverty level. The Center for Public Policy Priorities estimates that it takes at least two times the federal poverty level for families to meet their basic needs.
Red areas are census tracts where more than 40% of the total population are low income. Census tracts that are gold represent areas where 20% to 40% of the total population is low-income.
CHANGE IN LOW- INCOME
This map depicts the change in the number of low-income people reported for each census tract from 2009 to 2015.
Census tracts that are blue saw a decline in the number of low-income people and areas that are green saw only a slight increase in the number of people who are low-income over this six year period.
Census tracts that are gold, saw between 301 to 900 additional low income people and census tracts that are red saw increases between 901 to more than 3,000.
Census tracts with small low-income populations may be unreliable.
The number of Travis County residents, aged five and older, who speak a language other than English has grown by 53% from 2000 to 2015, and the number of residents who speak English less than “very well” has grown by 41%. This exceeds the growth of the total population 5 and older, which grew by 38% over the same period.
Spanish was the most commonly-spoken non-English language in Travis County and the five-county Austin MSA in this five- year American Community Survey data estimate. Almost half of the Spanish speakers in the Austin MSA speak English “less than very well,” which indicates a need for English language and adult literacy classes as well as translation and interpretation services. Chinese and Vietnamese are the second and third most commonly spoken languages in Travis County and in the five-county Austin MSA. A little less than half of the people who speak these languages speak English “less than very well.”