The City of Austin's population grew by 21 percent to 961,855 persons over the last decade, according to official 2020 census numbers released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Thursday.
The Census found that roughly 171,465 people have been added to the Austin community since 2010. That population growth extended across demographic sectors, with the largest growth among non-Hispanic White residents, expanding by 67,723 to 452,994 persons, followed by Asian American residents growing by 36,694 to 85,853 persons, Hispanic residents growing by 34,741 to 312,448 persons, and African American residents growing by 5,242 to 66,002 persons.
Throughout the country and the state, population growth was driven by populations of color. In Austin, we see a unique pattern of diversity. Non-Hispanic Whites are driving growth in Austin, contributing nearly 40 percent of all growth throughout the decade. The Asian population is now the third largest race/ethnicity group in the City, making up nearly 10 percent of the total population. One of every 5 people added to the Austin population in the last decade was of Asian descent. Hispanics also made up about 20 percent of growth in the city in the last decade. The African American population also grew this decade but at a slower rate and now make up 7 percent of the total population.
Another fast-growing race/ethnicity group was the multi-racial or two or more races population. However, some of the growth in this group may also be attributed to recent changes in coding made by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Austin remains the 11th largest city in the country, and trailed only New York City, Houston, and Fort Worth in the rate of population increase since 2010. Austin was the second-fastest-growing major city in Texas behind Fort Worth, which grew nearly 24 percent.
“These population estimates show a continued trend of strong and rapid population growth for the Austin Metro Area and the city,” said City of Austin Demographer Lila Valencia.
Valencia encouraged Austinites to delve deeper into the Census numbers by accessing the raw numbers on the City of Austin’s Open Data Portal. A new demographics dashboard that depicts the City’s and Metro Area’s 2020 U.S. Census Bureau population totals for Austin, as well as the race/ethnicity make up and voting age population, will be made available in the coming days.
The Decennial Census is conducted every ten years to provide a full count of the population and gather basic information on households, demography, and income distribution. The data is crucial in determining how the federal government proportionately distributes billions of dollars in grants and program funding for social services, community development, and the construction of schools, roads, and hospitals.
Data from the Census also play a central role in redrawing boundaries for representative districts for the U.S. Congress, Texas Legislature, and Austin City Council districts.
Valencia noted the official totals released Thursday fell below earlier initial estimates that suggested Austin’s population could exceed a million residents for the first time. The discrepancies may reflect limits in the estimate methodologies but may also have been influenced by the count occurring during a global pandemic and other factors, even as strong efforts by the City, County, and countless community groups worked to ensure communities were effectively counted.
While there are some opportunities to revise and correct counts for some programs and funding, Valencia said that these are the official Census numbers that governments will rely upon.
"In the end, the Census is the official count and that is what we have to go with; especially when it comes to redistricting," Valencia said.
For more information visit AustinTexas.gov/Demographics.
About Housing and Planning Department
The Housing and Planning Department provides resources related to planning, zoning, housing, and community development to enhance the quality of life of all Austinites. Equitable, efficient, and comprehensive planning with displacement prevention as a prioritized focus is the Department’s core charge in delivering housing services to the community.