The cost of living while low on a national scale is highest in Texas, while home prices, high by state standards, are low by national standards and are a good value.Incomes are very high relative to cost of living and the area has one of the highest expected job-growth rates in the country.
The town is growing rapidly, with a 72 percent population increase since 1990, highest nationwide for a larger city aside from Las Vegas.
Sprawl is a major threat, and the city continues to struggle with traffic and growth but not to the degree of many larger cities.
There are some struggles between suburban national-chain retail and local, mostly-downtown businesses.
The area continues to be a magnet for business and particularly high-tech and small business startups.
The list of names with facilities in town could form a NASDAQ high tech stock index.
These businesses are located mainly to the east and north.
Growth is spreading mainly north, towards Round Rock and Pfluglerville accompanied by plenty of middle-class housing, and large areas of more upscale housing lie to the west among the hills and towards Lake Travis.
The Austin area continues to be regarded by most as the best choice in Texas, with a balance of a strong economy, good education, attractive housing, a relatively pleasant climate, and plenty to do.
Highlights include the University of Texas, an important music scene, and a large high-tech industry, including Dell, Inc. The 50,000-student university is located on a large campus north of downtown.