Georgetown, Texas ARNOLD WELLS/STAFF

Austin Business Journal writes, "For the third-straight year, Georgetown is the fastest-growing city of at least 50,000 people by percent change, according to an analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Other Austin-area cities weren't far behind.

Georgetown's population reached 96,312 last year, according to newly released city-level data for the 12-month period spanning July 2022 to July 2023. That represents a gain of roughly 9,250 people from the year before — the eighth most in the country among cities of any size based on numeric gains.

An analysis of the data also shows that the city north of Austin grew 10.6% year-over-year, making it the fastest-growing city of at least 50,000 people. Kyle, south of Austin, ranked No. 2 with a 9% increase to 62,548 people, up from its third-spot ranking last year, while Leander, northwest of Austin, saw a 7.6% boost in population to 80,067 people, according to the data.

At least in Georgetown, the rapid population gain is no surprise. The city, which is about 30 miles north of Austin, has been a target for employers and homebuilders because of its proximity to big highways, large swaths of open land and a strong base of talent. Companies that have set up shop in Georgetown in recent months and years include GAF Energy LLCCelLink Corp.US Farathane Corp.Hanwha Advanced Materials LLC and ZT Systems.

“Continued job growth in and around Georgetown is bringing new residents to our city," Georgetown Mayor Josh Schroeder said in a statement. "As people move to Georgetown for the same reasons many of us did — like our safe neighborhoods, vibrant parks, and welcoming people — we remain committed to preserving and enhancing our quality of life. Through strategic planning and ongoing infrastructure development, we will continue to ensure our city maintains its small-town charm and high-quality services.”

The Census Bureau also released a list of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S. with populations of at least 20,000 people. Georgetown placed No. 8 on the list, followed by Kyle at No. 11. The North Texas city of Celina topped the list, reaffirming the growth happening in other parts of Texas, as well.

In the new data set, Austin's population is pegged at 979,882 in 2023 — up 0.5% from the year prior — dropping it from the 10th to the 11th most populous city in the country behind Jacksonville, Florida, which has an estimated population of 985,843.

Still, the Austin metro isn't stagnating. The new data shows that a number of Austin suburbs with at least 5,000 people logged big gains: Dripping Springs (23.3%), Liberty Hill (14.9%), Georgetown (10.6%), Kyle (9%) and Leander (7.6%). Only five of the qualifying 25 local cities saw a population decrease, topped by Bee Cave (-2.7%).

But the trends are more a reflection of other cities' rapid growth than a knock on the Austin suburbs. In Texas, Celina, Fulshear and Princeton led this year's fastest-growing cities list by topping the 20% year-over-year growth mark.

For Austin, the data continues to underscore how the city is struggling to maintain its growth. Some will blame an inability to bring its zoning standards to a big-city level — thus exacerbating housing-affordability issues and causing many people to look to the suburbs for a lower cost of living — although recent gains have been made for developers who want to make room for additional people.

Overall, however, developers have been opting for the outskirts, where land is cheaper and local governments are viewed as more friendly to business and willing to provide subsidies. The region's biggest projects, like Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. factory in TaylorTesla Inc.'s factory in eastern Travis County and the dual-site of Space Exploration Technologies Corp. and The Boring Co. in Bastrop County, are outside of Austin city limits."


Source: Austin Business Journal 

Written by: Justin Sayers

Published: May 21, 2024


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