New U.S. Census Bureau estimates show Central Texas remains one of the fastest-growing regions in the country, although the pace of the Austin area's annual population growth is slightly slowing.

The big picture

The Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos metropolitan area—including Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis and Williamson counties—saw population growth of 7.53% between July 2020 and July 2023 with 173,000 new residents added.

New Census Bureau reporting ranks the population of the five-county region as the 26th-largest nationally, and behind others in Texas including the Metroplex, Greater Houston and the San Antonio-New Braunfels metro to the south.
Between 2022 and 2023 alone, the region added about 50,000 people. That more than 2% population increase wasn't enough to keep the Austin area as the fastest-growing major metro in the U.S. year over year, a distinction it held for more than a decade. The new Census Bureau estimates placed the Austin metro second, with a growth rate that was 0.13 percentage points behind Jacksonville, Florida.

"These population estimates show a continued trend of strong and rapid population growth for the Austin metro area even if we’re not at the very top of the list," Austin Demographer Lila Valencia said in a statement.

Zooming in

The slightly slower growth pace was attributed to dwindling migration from elsewhere in Texas and the U.S., which fell to decade-low levels.

A total of 118,411 people moved to Central Texas from within the U.S. between 2020 and 2023, compared to 24,775 internationally. In Travis County, 2,000 more people left than entered over that three-year period—the only of the five Central Texas counties to experience negative net domestic migration.
Williamson County maintained its place as one of the more rapidly-growing counties in both Texas and the U.S., adding 81,639 people—a more than 13% increase—between 2020 and 2023.

Bastrop County also grew by nearly 13%, while Hays County saw an almost 15% population jump. Caldwell County grew by 8.52%, and Travis County grew at the slowest pace of less than 3%.

Valencia said Austin staff will be reviewing more information about the patterns of those entering and leaving Central Texas.

“Historically, the Austin metro area receives about 50% of domestic migrants from other parts of Texas and about 20% from out of state. When we receive additional data on migration flows, we’ll have a better understanding of the number and origins of domestic migrants to the Austin metro area," Valencia said.

City- and town-level population estimates, and new information on housing trends, are expected from the Census Bureau in May.