Austin is Sprawling… A Lot

Austin Skyline

Austin is sprawling…and it’s sprawling more than almost any other city in the country. That’s according to a recent analysis of census data done by the New York Times‘ TheUpshot Blog. They found that between 2010 and 2016 Austin became 5 percent less dense. The only other large city (metro areas with more than one million people) that sprawled more was San Antonio.

But Austin and San Antonio are not alone. The New York Times found that 80 percent of large metro areas in the US became less dense and more suburban between 2010 and 2016. The exceptions to that include Seattle, Chicago, New York, Portland, as well as a few other northeastern cities that have always been more dense.

Austin Density

The New York Times cited several factors for the increase in urban sprawl, including a limited housing supply in many cities, which in turn drives up costs and pushes many people out. “It’s a reminder that where people live reflects not only what they want — but also what’s available and what it costs,” the article said.

The New York Times also pointed to the ways that inequality is tied to this trend of suburbanization, saying that more and more, cities are younger and richer than they used to be. They now have more educated residents, less school-aged children, and more high wage jobs. More info>>

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