Moving from Travis County (Austin) to Williamson County

In an article entitled, “The People Moving to Austin and ‘Ruining It’ are from Texas,” the Austinist notes that more people are moving to Austin from neighboring Williamson County than from Los Angeles County.

The article has the potential to mislead in two ways.

The lesser of the problems is that it confuses Austin with Travis County. The cited data is for Travis County, not the city of Austin. The source of the data, the American Community Survey does not report on municipal migration. (Austin is most of Travis County’s population, but itself has sections in Williamson and Hayes counties).

The bigger problem is that the article tells only half the story. Yes, 10,500 people moved from Williamson to Travis over the 2006-2010 period, but 14,200 moved from Travis to Williamson. Thus, there was a net outflow of 3,700 people from Travis to Williamson. Meanwhile, there was a net gain of residents in Travis County from Los Angeles County of approximately 800.

Thus, while there is net migration from Los Angeles County to Travis County, the net migration from Travis County to Williamson County is 4.5 times as large.