Welcoming the masses

This is how much Austin's population could surge through 2029, study says

This is how much Austin's population could surge through 2029

Austin skyline with Barton Springs Pool and Lady Bird Lake
Austin's population is expected to keep booming. RoschetzkyIstockPhoto/Getty Images

Brace yourselves, Austin. Following 10 years of eye-popping population growth, the Capital City is expected to once again be among the nation's top 10 metro areas for number of new residents this decade.

New data from commercial real estate services company Cushman & Wakefield shows the Austin metro area gained 549,141 residents from 2010 through 2019. In terms of the number of new residents tallied during the past decade, Austin ranked ninth among U.S. metro areas, the data indicates.

Over the next decade, Austin is expected to retain its No. 9 ranking for headcount growth among U.S. metro areas, according to Cushman & Wakefield. From 2020 through 2029, another 602,811 new residents are on tap, data shows. 

Cushman & Wakefield envisions a 26.5 percent population growth rate for the Austin area from 2020 through 2029, down from 31.8 percent in 2010-19. At that pace, the Austin area is on track to have roughly 2.9 million residents at the outset of the next decade.

The outlook is based on data from Moody’s Analytics and the U.S. Census Bureau. The company published its findings January 7. The outlook takes into account a metro area’s birth and death rates, along with the number of people moving into and out of an area.

The forecast indicates Austin won’t be alone among Texas metro areas in terms of rolling out the welcome mat for lots of new residents.

Just up the road, Dallas-Fort Worth is expected to once again lead the nation’s metro areas for the number of new residents. DFW gained 1,349,378 residents from 2010 through 2019, ranking first among U.S. metro areas for the number of new residents.

From 2020 through 2029, DFW is projected to tack on another 1,393,623 residents. For the second decade in a row, that would be the highest number of new residents for any metro area, the company says. 

The 2020-29 forecast would represent a population growth rate of 17.9 percent, down from 20.9 percent for 2010 through 2019, Cushman & Wakefield says.

As of July 2018, the Census Bureau estimated 7,539,711 people lived in DFW, making it the country's fourth largest metro. Under the Cushman & Wakefield scenario, DFW’s population would swell to about 9 million by the time the calendar flips to 2030.

Houston is predicted to add 1,242,781 residents from 2020 through 2029, which would put it in second place behind DFW for metro population growth during the new decade, according to Cushman & Wakefield. Houston ranked second from 2010 through 2019 as well, gaining 1,284,268 residents. 

As of July 2018, the Houston area was home to nearly 7 million people, making it the country’s fifth largest metro. If the Cushman & Wakefield projection is correct, the metro population would easily exceed 8 million by the end of 2029.

Houston’s population growth rate for 2020-29 is projected at 17.2 percent, compared with 21.6 percent from 2010 through 2019, according to Cushman & Wakefield’s outlook.

The Cushman & Wakefield report doesn’t include figures for the San Antonio metro area.