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 over 1.3 million.
Williamson and Hays Counties continue to grow at the fastest rates. Williamson increased its population by 20% over the last six years and reached a population of over half-a-million people. Hays grew the fastest with a six year growth rate of 27%, and reached a total population of 214,485. Bastrop County, with an 13% growth rate, and Travis County, with a 12% growth rate, were the counties with least growth in the Austin MSA region.
The U.S. Census Bureau reports that almost one-half of Travis County residents are White, one-third are Hispanic, 8% are Black and 7% are Asian. Forty-seven percent of the child population is Hispanic, while the population over age 65 is mostly 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 28% of Black adults over the age of 25, and only 25% 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, as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau. About 25% of all people living in the five-county Austin MSA are low-income. 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.
Dark blue areas are census tracts where more than 50% of the total population are low income. Census tracts that are medium blue represent areas where 30 % to 50% of the total population is low-income.
From 2010 to 2017, the Austin MSA has grown by almost four hundred thousand people, surpassing 2 million people in 2015. This represents a growth of 22%. The number of low-income residents declined by more than fifty thousand, a reduction of almost 10% over the same time period.
CHANGE IN LOW- INCOME
This map depicts the change in the number of low-income people reported for each census tract from 2010 to 2016.
Census tracts that are blue saw a decline in the number of people who are low-income and areas that are green saw an increase of up to 500 people who are low-income over this six year period.
Census tracts that are gold saw between 500 and 1500 additional low-income people, and census tracts that are red saw increases between 1,500 to more than 3,000 additional low-income people.
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.”