Austin could be 3rd biggest metro in U.S. by year 2100, new report says
Start spreading the news: Austin will eclipse New York City as the 3rd biggest metro area by the year 2100, a new report predicts.
An analysis by moving services site moveBuddha published June 22 says Austin's population could swell to 22.29 million people in the next 77 years.
Based on current population and migration trends, in fact, America’s three biggest metropolitan areas by 2100 will be Dallas-Fort Worth (No. 1), Houston (No. 2), and Austin (No. 3), replacing New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago as the country’s most populous metros, the report predicts.
Dallas-Fort Worth's population is estimated to grow to 33.91 million, and Houston's is projected to jump to 31.38 million.
"The future of America may lie in Texas," the report's author says.
The latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau says Austin is currently the No. 10 biggest city in the country, and the Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown metro area has a population of nearly 2.3 million and a 10-year growth rate of about 33 percent.
There are some risks to continued population booms, including the effects of climate change, moveBuddha points out. While heat will be a major issue, there are much more dangerous possibilities.
"Like the rest of Texas, Austin will be much hotter by 2100," the report's author says. "Along with sweltering temperatures, water scarcity could be an issue."
Thankfully for Austin and other Texas cities, a plan is already in place to address looming water availability issues.
"Austin’s city government adopted a 100-year water plan in 2018 that calls for conserving, recycling, and re-engineering its water infrastructure system," the report says.
The study also comes with an obvious caveat: no one is sure what the future looks like in terms of population growth. Academics, scientists, and futurists alike haven't been able to agree on population predictions. Climate change isn't just a risk for Austin, but for the entire world, the report reminds.
"According to one GDP projection through 2099, over three-quarters of U.S. counties will suffer economically because of climate damage," the report says. "That could be from everything from heat-related deaths to sea-level rise to increased natural disasters... But if global warming is held in check, Texas may be America’s haven in 2100. New technologies may help us adapt to extreme weather and heat."
According to the report, the top 10 largest metros and their populations by 2100 will be:
- No. 1 – Dallas-Fort Worth (33,907,275)
- No. 2 – Houston (31,384,122)
- No. 3 – Austin (22,293,980)
- No. 4 – Phoenix (22,271,212)
- No. 5 – New York City (20,810,467)
- No. 6 – Atlanta (18,370,497)
- No. 7 – Los Angeles (15,502,798)
- No. 8 – Washington-Arlington, D.C.-Virginia (14,972,830)
- No. 9 – Orlando (14,172,727)
- No. 10 – Miami (13,779,843)