Here's Why It Seems Like Everyone You Meet in Austin Is from Out-of-State

Jul 8, 2016

If it seems like most of the people you meet in Austin just moved here from some other state, it turns out, many of them have. 

The numbers – analyzed by Brian Kelsey of the Austin-based economic research firm Civic Analytics – come from the IRS, which tracks where people file their tax returns from year-to-year.

Kelsey says Travis County ranked third among U.S. counties receiving the most new residents from other states – about 265,000 people came from out-of-state between 2011 to 2014.

Obviously, this isn’t something unique to Travis County – other big Texas counties get plenty of out-of-town transplants – but, he says, it feels more noticeable here.

“The interesting thing about Travis County is that newcomers coming from other states make up a larger share of the total population here,” he says. “Part of that [difference] is because Travis County is a smaller county than, say, Dallas County or Harris County. Given a hundred people you run into off the street, you’re more likely to run into somebody from another state than some of those other places.”

What’s more, only about a third of Travis County newcomers from 2011 to 2014 were from Texas – compared to 60 percent in Dallas and a near-50-50 split in both Bexar and Harris counties. Kelsey says that’s a relatively new trend.

“If you go back 10 years – even five or six years – the majority of people moving into Travis County were from other parts of Texas…based on this new data that’s actually now flipped,” he says.

Like last year’s analysis, which only examined 2012-2013 data, Florida tops the list of states other than Texas that sent the most citizens to the Austin area, followed by California, Georgia, New York and Illinois. 

You can read Kelsey's full analysis here.