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Meet the typical mover to Austin: Single millennial renters making $76,000 a year coming from California

Cambridge, a Black woman, said she moved to the city in pursuit of better job opportunities and the potential of greater social mobility.

“Austin is up-and-coming, fertile soil,” Cambridge said. “I’ve talked to a lot of people who have moved to Austin — especially people of color — about how there’s so much financial opportunity here.”

Pengyu Cheng, a program manager for a tech company, told BI in 2023 that he and his wife moved from San Francisco to Austin to escape the Golden State’s elevated living costs.

“Living in California has always been expensive,” Cheng said, adding that, “We chose the area for its low cost of living, but ultimately ended up falling in love with the community.”

A Business Insider analysis of individual-level data from the Census Bureau’s 2022 American Community Survey, assembled by the University of Minnesota’s IPUMS program, found that Between 2021 and 2022, more than 668,300 people moved into Texas overall. During the same time period, 71,801 people from different states chose Austin as their new home.

Over 14,100 movers to Austin came from California, while nearly 4,900 moved from New York. Florida, Oregon, and Washington all had over 3,300 movers.

The Bureau’s data shows that people moving to Austin are more likely to be white and millennial, less likely to be homeowners, and earn nearly $20,000 less than residents already living in the state.

A majority of movers to Austin from other states were white, making up 52% of movers, while Hispanic individuals account for 23.1%. That compares to a current total population that’s 48.4% white and 32.7% Hispanic. About 5.9% of movers to Austin identify as Black and 12.7% as Asian, compared to 6.8% and 7%, respectively, already living in the city.

According to the Census Bureau, the average person moving to Austin boasts an income of $75,885 — over $20,000 more than the city’s per capita income of $53,527. With many tech companies setting up shop in Austin, a significant number of movers are likely employed in this high-earning industry — it could explain why they tend to have higher incomes than locals.

Most people moving to Austin over 15 are millennials at 52%, followed by Gen Z at 22.1%. That suggests the new movers are younger than those who already live in the city — 14.4% of the population is under 25, while 17.1% is aged 25 to 34, according to the Census Bureau’s estimates.

Less than half of Americans moving to Austin are married — 43.2% — while 45.6% are single or unmarried. The remainder are separated, divorced, or widowed.

Census data shows that about 74.26% of movers to Austin are renters, while 25.74% are homeowners.

For the many Americans moving to Austin, a city where home prices have risen about 32% since January 2020, according to data provided by Redfin, renting is the most affordable option. According to the real-estate brokerage, the city’s median sale price was $509,380 as of January 2024 — more than $100,000 above the national median sale price of $402,523.

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