Growth spurt

Austin and Round Rock zoom onto list of America’s biggest boomtowns

Austin and Round Rock zoom onto list of America’s biggest boomtowns

Austin skyline with Barton Springs Pool and Lady Bird Lake
Austin is No. 17 among American boomtowns. RoschetzkyIstockPhoto/Getty Images

There’s no denying that Austin — and the surrounding areas — are booming. A new study from personal finance website SmartAsset ranks Austin and neighboring Round Rock as two of the nation’s top 50 boomtowns. 

To come up with its list of boomtowns, SmartAsset evaluated data for 500 of the largest U.S. cities. It looked at growth factors for each city such as five-year population change, average yearly growth in economic output (GDP), five-year change in number of businesses, five-year growth in housing, and August 2021 unemployment rate.

Austin clocks in at No. 17 in the U.S. and No. 3 in Texas. The Capital City saw an 8.03 percent change in population, 16.4 percent change in establishments, and 12.8 percent change in housing growth during the time period studied. On SmartAsset’s 100-point boomtown scale, Austin earns a score of 89.51.

Round Rock ties for 25th in the U.S. and takes fourth place in Texas, with an 18.53 percent change in population, 29.9 percent growth in businesses, and 23.15 percent change in housing. In total, Round Rock scores 86.97 points.

Nearby New Braunfels, with a score of 89.82, zooms ahead of Austin and Round Rock in the rankings, tying for No. 14 in the U.S. and ranking No. 2 in Texas. New Braunfels’ population skyrocketed 36.03 percent in five years, and the housing rate jumped more than 50 percent.

But it’s not just Central Texas that is booming by SmartAsset’s measurements. Three other Texas cities broke into the U.S. top 50:

  • Conroe (Houston metro area), No. 3, tied with Meridian, Idaho. Boomtown score: 97.56. Conroe did not appear in SmartAsset’s 2019 boomtown study.
  • Denton (Dallas-Fort Worth metro area), No. 36. Boomtown score: 83.87. Denton appeared at No. 2 in SmartAsset’s 2019 boomtown study.
  • McKinney (Dallas-Fort Worth metro area), No. 39. Boomtown score: 83.59. McKinney appeared at No. 14 in SmartAsset’s 2019 boomtown study.

Four Texas cities dropped out of the boomtown ranking from 2019 to 2021: Frisco, which ranked 13th two years ago; College Station, ranked 16th; Flower Mound, ranked 24th; and Allen, ranked 37th.