May
10
2009

What is Austin city profile?

Austin Mini Planet (photo by Hi I'm Santi - CC-BY)

Austin Mini Planet (photo by Hi I'm Santi - CC-BY)

Austin is the capital of the State of Texas. It is currently the fourth largest city in Texas, the sixteenth largest in the United States. Located in Travis County, the greater metropolitan area also encompasses the surrounding counties of  Williamson, Caldwell, Bastrop, and Hays.

Incorporated in 1839, Austin was designated the state capitol in 1846 when Texas was first admitted to the Union. The city is named for Stephen F. Austin who, in a eulogy at his funeral, was called “The Father of Texas” by Sam Houston.

Known as the “Live Music Capital of the World,” Austin boasts a lively and thriving local music scene. It is host each year to the South by Southwest music and film festival. Celebrity sightings are not uncommon as many Hollywood films are shot in the area and the city is also home to a number of music and film stars such as Willie Nelson and Sandra Bullock. Though not an Austin native, late blues great Stevie Ray Vaughan made his debut in Austin at the world famous Antone’s blues club, singing with BB King, and there is a statue dedicated to him at Auditorium Shores in downtown Austin, where he often played. Austin City Limits is a well-known long-running PBS Television show featuring local talent, now also the name of a growing music festival held annually in Austin’s Zilker Park.

The main campus of the University of Texas, home of the Texas Longhorns, is in Austin, providing many educational and cultural opportunities. Austin is the fifth most educated city in the U.S. with over 44% of the population having a college degree. The city is also known for its eclectic and offbeat personality, which it strives to maintain. Annual events include the “Keep Austin Weird” festival, Eeyore’s Birthday Party, and summertime nightly bat watching under the Congress Avenue Bridge. Austin is home to Leslie Cochran, a colorful local character who once ran for mayor.

Straddling an ecological boundary of sorts, with the Texas Hill Country to the west, and flat fertile farmlands to the east, Austin boasts a varied landscape, with hills, lakes, trees, and a wide variety of flora and fauna. Home to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, bluebonnets and other wildflowers bloom riotously each spring and throughout the year in numerous parks and greenbelts.

Austin’s climate is classed as humid subtropical having mild winters and hot summers, with over 300 days of sunshine each year, and about 32 inches of rain annually. It seldom snows in Austin and violent weather is likewise a rarity. July is the warmest month with an average temperature of 82.8 F (28.2 C), and January is the coldest, with an average temperature of 48.1 F (8.9 C).

Austin is served by Austin Bergstrom International Airport. Public transportation is by bus, taxi and commuter light rail.

The population of Austin according to the last (2010) census was 790,390, an increase of greater than 20% since 2000. The greater metropolitan area, at more than 1.7 million, is designated one of the top 10 fastest growing metro areas in the nation with a rate of over 37% since the last census.

1 is the international calling code for the United States

512 is the Austin area code

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