Profile: Demographic Trends

The Rural Capital Area (RCA) is a nine-county region with a population of 1,043,000 in central Texas surrounding Austin, the state capital. The RCA has grown more rapidly than the U.S. for the past decade, growing 36% versus 8% for the US. The regional population growth rate reached its lowest level in 2012 at 2.3%, still over three times the U.S. rate of growth.

The RCA's population growth has historically been driven by migration of people from across the U.S.: in the last decade, 73% of new population was due to domestic migration. Migration has increased in recent years and outpaces births by more than 2-to-1: in 2018, 26,300 people moved to the Rural Capital Area from other parts of the U.S. and 12,200 births occurred.

Population Change Components Rural Capital Area 2008-2018

Williamson County is the most populous county in the Rural Capital Area with 54% of residents, followed by Hays County (21%), Bastrop County (8%), Burnet County (5%), and Caldwell County (4%). Population has grown in all regional counties over the past decade but was highest in Hays County (49% growth from 2008-2018) and Williamson County (43% growth).

Population by County Rural Capital Area 2008-2018

The Rural Capital Area population is spread fairly evenly across age groups and has seen significant growth in the past decade in the youth, retiree, and near-retiree populations. In 2016, 20% of the RCA's population were children under 15 years of age, 20% were youth aged 15 to 29, 21% were aged 30 to 44, and 19% were 45-59. Over the past decade, the 65-74 year-old cohort was the fastest growing in the region, increasing 91% while the children and youth populations grew about one-third as fast. The slowest relative regional growth was in those aged 0-4 (13% growth).

Age Distribution All Races Rural Capital Area 2008-2018