4 interesting Austin population trends revealed in city auditor’s new data

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Updated Dec. 15 at 1:40 p.m.

Austin is going to continue growing over the next five years, with its population projected to reach 943,555 by 2020, according to a city of Austin report obtained Wednesday by Community Impact Newspaper.

The report from the Office of the City Auditor reveals some interesting citywide data as well as snapshots of what affordability, or lack thereof, looks like in all 10 of Austin’s geographic single-member districts.

Corrie Stokes, city auditor, said her office did not set out to draw conclusions, but instead aimed to collect and summarize data in a response to the Austin City Council’s request for information about affordability broken down by district. One observation was that spending on cost drivers across districts was mostly consistent from a percentage standpoint, but amounts spent per district varied significantly, Stokes said.

“We have a phase two of our assignment … to take those categories, the cost drivers, and actually do an inventory of city policies, programs and initiatives that affect those cost drivers, to get a handle on [the question of]‘What is the city already doing in these areas to try to address household costs?’” she said.

Here are some of the report’s findings:

Austin income distribution, 2015

Austin income distribution, 2015 (via )

1. People are most likely going to keep moving here.

The population of Austin in 2015 reached an estimated 855,136 and is expected to grow by about 88,419 over a five-year period, according to the report. The data does not specify whether those new faces will be children or transplants from other cities. The number of households is expected to increase to 395,686 in 2020 compared with 356,998 estimated in 2015, and the number of families is expected to increase from 183,564 to 201,371. Of the residents surveyed, 47 percent were white, 36 percent were Hispanic, 7 percent were African-American, 7 percent were Asian and 2 percent identified as other. About 20 percent of the population in Austin was between the ages of 25 and 34, 15 percent were between 35 and 44, and about 12 percent were between 45 and 54.

2. Austinites are, for the most part, making and spending money.

Number of Austin renters versus homeowners, 2015

Number of Austin renters versus homeowners, 2015 (via )

The median household income in the city of Austin was $52,460, but median household income figures varied drastically by geographic City Council districts. The top five industries for employed individuals were professional and tech services, followed by educational services, retail, accommodation/food services and health care. The average Austinite spent $9,020 on food, $10,850 on transportation costs, $4,370 on health care expenses and $8,980 on education and retirement in 2015.

3. People are spending most of their money on housing.

The 2015 median appraised home value in Austin was $270,610, and the median estimated property tax bill was $4,910. Citywide, renters spend 48 percent less on average on housing costs than homeowners. Annual household spending on affordability cost drivers increased, with renters spending $12,430 annually on housing and homeowners spending $S23,690 on average annually.

Stokes noted this is the first year city staff has compiled this report, and it would be interesting to see trends year-on-year if the report is conducted again next year with 2016 data.

“Annual spending on rent being less than an owner spending on [housing]doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s cheaper to rent in the long run. It’s one snapshot in time,” she said.

Austin affordability cost drivers, 2015

Austin affordability cost drivers, 2015 (via )

4. There are a lot of kids in Austin.

There are approximately 58,700 children younger than 5 years old in Austin. In 2015, the average cost per child of full-time child care in Travis County was $7,720 per year or $643 per month, according to the report, which did not specify differences in the cost of child care by age group. For the city overall, 2.36 was the average household size.

To see the localized information by City Council district in each Community Impact Newspaper’s Austin-area coverage areas, follow the links below.

Central Austin (Austin City Council districts 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 10)

Northwest Austin (Austin City Council districts 4, 6, 7, 10)

Southwest Austin (Austin City Council districts 2, 3, 5 and 8)

For more information, the report is available online (PDF).

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Kelli joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter and has been covering Southwest Austin news since July 2012. She was promoted to editor of the Southwest Austin edition in April 2015. In addition to covering local businesses, neighborhood development, events, transportation and education, she is also the beat reporter covering the Travis County Commissioners Court.

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