Austin Metro Economy is Fastest-Growing in Texas for Second Year in a Row

For the second year in a row the Austin metro posted the highest GDP growth among major metros in the state of Texas, according to an analysis of recently released economic data conducted by SpareFoot. Among the top 100 US metros, Austin was the 6th fastest-growing in 2016.

In 2015, the Austin-Round Rock, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area generated a gross GDP dollar value of $119 billion, an increase of 7.6 percent over 2014. In 2016, the metro’s total economic output rose to $125 billion, an increase of 4.9 percent. Both growth rates were a more than a percentage point higher than the rate of any other Texas metro.

The analysis was based on data released last week by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Since 2012, Austin has never ranked under the second-fastest growing Texas metro.

Despite the Austin area’s rapid economic growth, it’s GDP is barely over a quarter the size of the Dallas-Fort Worth or Houston metro area economies. This isn’t entirely a matter of population: both Houston and Dallas have higher per capita GDPs than Austin at about $65,000 of economic output per person versus Austin’s $61,000. However, Austin does have a substantially-larger GDP than the San Antonio metro, which has a per capita GDP of $45,000.

The Austin metro economy is the 26th largest in the nation, up from the 33rd largest in 2011. It’s within less than a billion dollars in growth from passing the Tampa MSA’s $126 billion GDP and becoming the 25th largest economy in the US. Like Austin, many of the fastest-growing metro areas are known as tech cities.

Surprisingly enough, the information technology sector didn’t contribute the most to Austin’s growth in 2016. According to the BEA data, the professional and business services sector had the largest impact on total economic growth, accounting for 1.33% of the metro’s economic growth. The finance, insurance, and real estate sector had the second-biggest impact on economic growth, followed by trade, construction, and IT. Natural resources and mining was the only major economic sector too see a year-over-year decline.

Here are the complete 2016 GDP rankings for the top 100 US Metro Areas:

Al Harris