The census data released last Thursday, September 22, 2016, shows financial improvement across Central Texas. The trend holds true in Austin, Travis County, Williamson, Hays and Bastrop counties.
Austin’s median family income of $76,600 has changed little since 2014. That said, the median family incomes in Austin and Travis County have increased faster than those for the state of Texas and the nation since 2011. For many this is not a surprising fact as industry (most notably technology firms) continue to move into surrounding Austin areas.
Bastrop County had the sharpest increase in median household income rising more than 12% to $75,918 from 2014 to 2015.
Williamson County’s median family income rose more than 4% to $89,761.
The 2015 American Community Survey data was released on Thursday. Austin’s city demographer, Ryan Robinson, cautions that is questionable whether this is a story of economic empowerment or an illustration of displacement due to affordability in housing in Austin surrounding areas.
At the national level, income for the poorest 10% of households rose 7.9% last year. The wealthiest 10% of households income rose 2.9%. That sets a record for narrowing the gap between the two groups.
Whether Austin has the illusion of success or we are forcing people out due to affordability remains to be seen.
The chart below offers data for specific counties comparison 2011-2015.
View original article and additional details in the Austin American Statesman