Nov 21, 2022 - News

Youth population shifting to Austin suburbs

Data: City of Austin; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Young families are moving to the 'burbs.

Why it matters: The rising cost of living in Austin is pushing people with kids to surrounding counties, with major implications for schools — not to mention transportation and political representation.

Between the lines: Heading for the suburbs is not a new trend — suburban schools took off after the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision spurred a round of white flight — but recent migration shifts have accelerated amid escalating home costs.

  • Plus: Now the families moving out are of all demographic stripes, with the growth of Central Texas' suburban Black population outstripping that of Austin's.

By the numbers: Austin Independent School District enrollment dropped 1.2% over last year, which it blames partly on housing costs, per the American-Statesman.

  • Enrollment dropped to 73,730 in October school year — from 74,602 at the same time last year — the latest in a long series of dips.

Meanwhile: Dripping Springs ISD, in Hays County, gained students — going from below 7,000 students before the pandemic to 8,000 students now, per an Axios review of state enrollment data.

  • Leander ISD, in Williamson County, bumped up from about 40,000 to nearly 42,000.
  • Hutto hopped from roughly 7,500 to nearly 9,000 students.

Follow the money: School district funding from the state is tied to enrollment, so fewer students means less money — including for teacher raises.

  • Starting salary for AISD teachers is now $52,190. Base pay rises to $55,169 after 15 years.

Zoom out: Zoom out: The median housing price in October in the Austin city limits was ​​$555,000, according to the Austin Board of Realtors.

  • A decade earlier it was half that, per data from the Texas A&M Real Estate Research Center. .
  • Yes, but: In the Greater Austin area, prices have dropped by about 14%from the peak in May, going from a median of $560,000 to $480,000 in October.

What they're saying: "It's getting more expensive to both live in Austin, but also to raise a family in Austin," Katie Casstevens, interim executive director of student enrollment and attendance, told the American-Statesman.

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