THE ORIGINAL AUSTIN
Austin grew from the tiny village of
Waterloo, originally settled by Native Americans. The area was chosen later to become
the capital of the new Republic of Texas.
Texas was an independent country for nearly
ten years before being annexed by the United
States in 1845.
Waterloo was renamed after Stephen F.
Austin, “the father of Texas” and the
founders’ vision included a state capitol
building to look down from a hill over the
city. The State Capitol was built on that hill in
1888, with stunning views of the city.
The Texas State Capitol was built as a result
of one of the largest barter transactions in
history – the Capitol’s builders received 3
million acres in the Texas Panhandle, which
later became the largest cattle ranch in the
world, the XIT Ranch. The Capitol is one of
the state’s most popular attractions with more
than 1 million visitors each year. Constructed
from limestone and pink granite from nearby
Marble Falls in the same architectural style as
the nation’s Capitol, it’s actually taller than its
distant D.C. sibling by seven feet – making it
the largest state capitol in the U.S.
Today, with a population of just over 885,400,
Austin is the fourth-most populous city in
Texas, and now officially the 11th largest
city in the U.S., according to the Census. The
area continues to grow, and the Austin city
demographer’s office anticipates the population inside city limits to reach 1 million by
2025. For the five-county Austin-Round Rock
MSA – which covers 4, 279 square miles and
includes Travis, Williamson, Hays, Caldwell,
and Bastrop counties – they expect to reach 3
million by 2030 and 4 million by 2045.
No matter how long they’ve been here, most
people who live in Austin say they wouldn’t
live anywhere else – and for good reason. The
state capital of Texas inspires fierce home-
town dedication to its rolling terrain, natural
living, liberal attitudes, interesting people,
quality of life, stellar educational opportuni-
ties, and thriving business community.
The combination has attracted the attention
of those relocating from all over the country
and internationally – and plenty of accolades from diverse sources in recent years.
For instance, in 2013, Austin ranked first on
the Milken Institute’s list of best-performing
metro areas, up from second place in 2012.
Forbes consistently highlights Austin’s remarkable growth, naming it the “#1 City to Watch
in 2014,” the “Fastest Growing City for the
4th Year in a Row,” and second-place among
best U.S. cities for future job growth.
The city also regularly leads “best of” lists
for places where your dollar goes farthest
– which include such critical factors as
affordable housing, gas prices, inflation, and
job market. The bottom line is that Austin
has a lot to offer – and that has inspired a
passionate dedication in those who live here,
especially when it comes to community