By the numbers: See how Austin and Dallas compare to Amazon’s other HQ2 finalists

Amazon narrowed its list of candidates for HQ2 Thursday to include these 20 cities and areas.

Amazon narrowed its list of candidates for HQ2 Thursday to include these 20 cities and areas.

Seattle-based online retailer Amazon named Austin and Dallas as two of 20 finalists for the company’s potential second headquarters, HQ2, in an announcement Jan. 18. The company says it could make an estimated $5 billion capital investment to create 50,000 jobs across 8.1 million square feet of office space in one of the 20 locations selected.

The finalists include 18 cities—one in Canada—one county and one geographical area, each with varying populations and sizes.

Finalists by population
Ignoring combined metropolitan statistical areas, the most populous city on the list is New York City, with an estimated 2016 population of 8,537,673, according to the United States Census bureau. The least populous is the city of Newark, with an estimated 2016 population of 281,764, according to the census.

Of the 20 Amazon finalists…

  • 5 have a population above 2 million people;

  • 3 have a population between 1 and 2 million people;

  • 7 have a population between 500,000 and 1 million people; and

  • 5 have a population below 500,000 people.

According to the census, the city of Austin’s 2016 population is estimated at 947,890 and the city of Dallas’ 2016 population is estimated at 1,317,929.

New York City and Newark both fall into the largest combine metropolitan statistical areas, with an estimated population of 20,153,634 people. Raleigh and Nashville are located in the two smallest metropolitan areas, with an estimated 1.3 and 1.8 million people respectively.

To compare, the Austin-Round Rock metropolitan area has an estimated population of 2,056,405 people. The Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex has an estimated population of 7,233,232 people.

Political leanings
Of the 16 states with entries on Amazon’s list of finalists…

  • 9 governors are members of the Republican Party, including Texas Governor Greg Abbott; and...

  • 7 governors are members of the Democratic Party.

Of the 17 U.S. cities on Amazon’s list of finalists…

  • 15 mayors, including Austin and Dallas, are members of the Democratic Party;

  • 1 mayor, Miami Mayor Francis X. Suarez, is a Republican; and...

  • 1 mayor, Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane, identifies as an independent.

Finalists by time zone
The majority of Amazon's finalists were located near the east coast of the country. Of the 20 finalist…

  • 14 are located in the Eastern time zone;

  • 4 are located in the Central time zone, including Austin and Dallas;

  • 1, Denver, is located in the Mountain time zone; and...

  • 1, Los Angeles, is located in the Pacific time zone.

Neighboring finalists and metropolitan areas
Two metropolitan statistical areas—the New York metropolitan area and the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria metropolitan area—included multiple finalists for Amazon's HQ2.

Finalists New York City and Newark are located within the New York metropolitan area. Parts of Northern Virginia, Montgomery County in Maryland and Washington D.C. are included in the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria metropolitan area, with an estimated population of 6,131,977.

Two states had multiple finalists on Amazon's list: Philadelphia and Pittsburgh represent Pennsylvania, while Austin and Dallas represent Texas.

Finalists by city size
Nashville is the largest city on Amazon’s list of finalists at 525 square miles, and Newark is the smallest city on the list at only 26.1 square miles.

Of the 18 cities on Amazon's list…

  • 2 are more than than 500 square miles;

  • 3 are between 300 and 500 square miles

  • 4 are between 200 and 300 square miles

  • 4 are between 100 and 200 square miles

  • 5 are less than 100 square miles.

The city of Austin has an area of approximately 271 square miles and the city of Dallas has an area of approximately 385 square miles.

Montgomery County has an area of 507 square miles.

The exact parameters of Northern Virginia were not specified in Amazon’s list.

By Nicholas Cicale

Nick was born in Long Island, New York and grew up in South Florida. He graduated from Florida State University in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in writing and a minor in music. Nick was a journalist for three years at the St. James Plaindealer in Minnesota before moving to Austin to join Community Impact Newspaper in 2016.


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