Money matters

Austin rings up 50 percent hike in household income over past decade

Austin rings up 50 percent hike in household income over past decade

Austin skyline city buildings
Cheers to us! Kumar Appaiah/Flickr

As Austin home prices and rents soared during the 2010s, so did household income. In fact, the city of Austin notched one of the country’s biggest bumps in household income from 2010 to 2019.

Data compiled by apartment website RentCafé and published December 16 shows median household income inside the city of Austin (not the five-county metro area) jumped 54.6 percent during the decade.

That puts Austin in eighth place for the rise in household income among the country’s 50 largest cities. And it puts Austin slightly ahead of higher-cost coastal cities like San Jose, California, and Brooklyn, New York, but well ahead of Texas’ other major cities of Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio.

Austin’s median household income zoomed from $47,434 in 2010 to $73,332 in 2019, according to RentCafé. For 2010 income, the website pulled data from the U.S. Census Bureau; it estimated 2019 household income based on a predicted 2.5 percent increase in the U.S. Consumer Price Index.

By comparison, the U.S. median household income stood at $63,179 in 2018, according to the Census Bureau, and Texas median household income checked in at $60,629.

“We’re better off by almost all measures than we were 10 years ago,” Carl Tannenbaum, chief economist for Northern Trust, told the Wall Street Journal in September. “But there are still some … flags that show that economic security remains more elusive for some families.”

As ranked by RentCafé, here are the top 10 cities for growth in median household income from 2010 to 2019:

  1. Atlanta, 60.9 percent
  2. San Francisco, 60.5 percent
  3. Oakland, California, 59.3 percent
  4. Seattle, 59.1 percent
  5. Portland, Oregon, 58.8 percent
  6. Miami, 57.1 percent
  7. Denver, 55.5 percent
  8. Austin, 54.6 percent
  9. San Jose, California, 50.9 percent
  10. Brooklyn, New York, 48.9 percent

Well down the ladder is Dallas, at No. 27. From 2010 to 2019, the city’s median household income surged 31.6 percent — from $40,650 to $53,515.

At No. 38 is Fort Worth, where median household income increased 24.2 percent during the 10-year span — from $48,224 to $59,909.

Houston appears at No. 40. From 2010 to 2019, median household income climbed 23.9 percent, going from $42,355 to $52,483.

San Antonio hovers close to the bottom of the 50-city list. Alamo City ranked 46th, with a 14.8 percent gain over the 10-year period. Median household income went from $43,758 to $50,250.