If you’ve ever relocated to a big city, you’ll understand that knowing how far your paycheck can stretch is an important consideration, and when looking at the most popular destinations for Americans on the move, Austin seems to be among the hottest options.  Its population is rapidly expanding, with the metropolitan area having more than 2 million residents. But what is it that makes it so attractive?

Apart from the amazing weather, the warmth and friendliness of the people and the one-of-a-kind culture, there is much more to Texas’ capital city. One particular area that attracts people to Austin is its growing tech sector.

Austin’s Tech Sector Acts as an Incentive for New Residents

According to Austin’s Chamber of Commerce, the city is one of the top destinations for incoming talent, raking third among the 50 largest US metros based on net migration. The metropolitan area has seen a 32.7% increase in total population from 2008 to 2018, and according to the US Census Bureau it is currently the fastest-growing major metro in the US.

The tech industry that made itself at home here has much to do with Austin’s increasing appeal. The metropolitan area’s reputation as a technology hub boosts its tremendous increase in new job development, and it attracts more and more new residents who are interested in tech jobs. Looking at the country’s most well-known tech-oriented companies, Facebook, Google, Oracle and Atlassian already have thousands of employees working in Austin.

Moreover, compared to many other cities with strong tech markets, Austin also has a considerably lower cost of living, making it more affordable and attractive for those who seek an urban lifestyle without compromising on costs.

Among the ten best cities for tech, Austin is the 3rd cheapest. Only Atlanta and Dallas have lower housing costs.

According to data provided by Yardi Matrix, Austin renters paid on average $1,455 per month in March 2020. Even though the average rent in Austin is slightly higher than the national average of $1,406, it is lower than the average rates in other comparable cities across the US.

Austin has an affordable self storage market

Apart from residential rent, another area that may be of interest to anyone who’s relocating is self storage. In terms of this service, Austin turns out to be one of the country’s most affordable markets, with an average street rate of $105 for a standard 10×10 unit. With a national average street rate of around $116, the capital city of Texas offers something much more affordable. The prices also appear to have lowered compared to the previous year, showing a -2.8% y-o-y decrease.

If we take a look at other big cities like San Francisco or Seattle, the difference in prices is astonishing – more than double in San Fran, where average street rates reach $254 per month, and $191 in the Emerald City.

On the other hand, another Texan metropolis, namely Dallas-Fort Worth, comes close to Austin in terms of average self storage rents, at $93 per month.

Management and Legal Positions are the Highest-Paid Occupations in Austin

According to data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the occupations that exceed a yearly wage of $100,000 in Austin are managers and legal workers.

Management positions appear to be the highest-paid jobs on a national level, and Austin sticks to the pattern, with residents earning a mean wage of $123,150 for management positions. With this impressive paycheck, Austin surpasses many other big cities for the same occupation, for instance Columbus, where the yearly mean is $116,970, Indianapolis, where it’s $108,870, and Jacksonville, where they earn $105,680.

Of the cities we studied, the ones recording the highest mean income levels are San Francisco, with a substantial mean wage of $158,880, and Washington, D.C., with $150,870.

Apart from management, Austin residents who work within the legal profession have the second-highest mean income, with a yearly wage of $103,450. Next in line are architecture and engineering jobs, where workers bring home an average of $92,010 per year, making it the third-best paid occupation in Austin. Furthermore, if you are interested in computer and mathematical occupations, chances are you’ll also earn a considerable amount of money on a yearly basis, an average of $90,990.

Most people in Austin are employed in the office and administrative sector, accounting for a total of 162,240 employees, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What Makes Austin Special?

Apart from being one of the top tech cities in the US, Austin has many other assets that make it a unique place. The city is a perfect destination for people who love outdoor adventures, eclectic live music events, vibrant art, delicious food or quirky museums. Here are some memorable activities that you can do in the colorful state capital of Texas:

Enjoy the Live Music Capital of the World

Known as the Live Music Capital of the World, Austin seems to have the most diverse selection of music festivals and live music venues available at any given time. The Texan capital is home to some of the largest music events in the world, including the famous South by Southwest (SXSW), which blends music, film and interactive media, being a unique opportunity for creative people from all around the globe to meet and share ideas. Other well-known festivals are Austin City Limits Music Festival (ACL), The Urban Music Festival, Fun Fun Fun Fest and The Pachanga Festival, all of which contribute to the city’s reputation as the best place for music enthusiasts.

Don’t skip a visit to Lady Bird Lake

Another one of Austin’s nicknames is “City of the Violet Crown,” a name that may refer to the purple light that can sometimes be seen right before sunrise and after sunset, creating an stunning atmospheric phenomenon that casts a purple-ish glow on the city’s skyline. Apart from this mesmerizing sight, the capital’s recreational areas also give residents a chance to enjoy nature to the fullest.

Lady Bird Lake is one of Austin’s top tourist attractions, with the majority of its shoreline open to the public. The miles of excellent trails for pedestrians and cyclists connect downtown Austin with the southern shore as well as with many of the city’s parks, making it the perfect choice for an enjoyable long walk or a recreational afternoon by the water.

Take a look at the world’s first photograph at The Harry Ransom Center

In addition to housing distinguished works of art, Austin’s museums seem to promote the city’s unofficial motto – “Keep Austin Weird,” which symbolizes the quirky spirit of the place.

If you are looking for an insight into the Lone Star State’s past, make sure to visit the Bullock Texas State History Museum, which proudly features live action exhibits and a fascinating IMAX theater.

For the bookworms of Austin, The Harry Ransom Center is the place to be. It is known to hold one of the largest archives of original manuscripts and other highly important historical documents. One of its most treasured exhibits is The First Photograph – which is exactly what is sounds like, the actual oldest surviving photograph, taken in 1827 in France – as well as a first edition of the Gutenberg King James Bible.

If you’re already captivated by Austin’s charm, don’t hesitate to consider it as your next travel destination or even a city to call home.


Diandra is a creative writer for RENTCafé.com. With an academic background in English literature and linguistics, Diandra has a strong passion for real estate. She covers a variety of topics, from marketing trends to entertaining articles about urban development. When she’s not catching up on the latest real estate deals, she’s usually busy traveling, reading, or learning new languages. You can get in touch with Diandra via email.

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