Unlike Europe, the US is growing fast mostly due to continued immigration. But today's immigrants are not going to the same cities as before when New York, Chicago and Los Angelos were the only options. Today, those coming to the United Sates are looking for cities with less populations (around 1 million) and room for expansion. Newcomers are seeking comfortable cities with the capacity to accomodate big, global business. They are passing over the once sought-after large-scale urban populations and giving small-scale urban cities like Austin a chance to grow.
Austin is increasingly popular among those outside the US because of its low-cost, high-growth environment. With affordable housing prices and a growing economy, Austin stands out from bigger urban cities like New York or Los Angelos and is more attractive to those wanting to live in the U.S.
Big cities are becoming more unattractive to newcomers and tend to suffer from high rates of domestic outmigration
because they have longer commute times to work and lack of affordable
The reason Austin is so attractive is largely due to its job growth. This year, cities in central Texas ranked higher than other US metros for job growth in a survey done by Forbes. One of the major catalysts behind Austin's steady job growth is its growing high-tech industry. Facebook, IMD, Dell and many other internet companies have offices in Austin, a continuous supply of job opportunites lowering Austin's unemployment rate well below the national average. And continuous job creation means more people.
Due to the fact that Austin's unemployment rate is so low (in the 7% range while the national average is well above 9%), Austin's population continues to grow well past its current population of 1.7 million. Both job rate and growth rate have increased as a result of Austin's public institutions providing more and more jobs, including the University of Texas and the Texas State Capitol, which continue to add education and government jobs every year despite the recession. Austin also has a growing private sector with lots of venture capital investing in technology startups and city incentives for companies opening offices in Austin. With all these factors combined, Austin's population growth is an absolute; Austin will soon become a major player in the nation's population.
Read more about how Austin is reaching the big leagues here.