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Growth in numbers: A look at Austin's population since 1850

The numbers don't lie – Austin is growing and has been for decades.

AUSTIN, Texas — The video above was published Feb. 26.

We talk a lot about the explosive growth in Central Texas, so we decided to dig into the numbers of how Austin has grown over the years. 

During our Boomtown 2040 series, we keep on talking about growth here in Austin. Our population is expected to double by the year 2040, but when did the "boom" start?

Let's start with the earliest official U.S. Census data we could find. We're going all the way back to 1850 when the population of Austin was just 629 people. It didn't take long for more people to start flocking to the then tiny Texas capital.

Ten years later, the number of people here grew by 455% to almost 3,500 people. That might not seem like a lot compared to the city's population now, but the numbers show Austin has been a rapidly-growing city for a while. 

RELATED: Austin's population predicted to reach 1 million by 2020

By 1990, the population jumped to more than 22,000. Fifty years later, that number multiplied by six and there were more than 132,000 Texans living in Austin.

Between 1950 and 2000, the population grew by at least 35% every 10 years. The biggest jump happened between 1990 and 2000 when almost 200,000 people moved to Austin. That left the city with about 656,000 people.

RELATED: VERIFY: Are Californians really 'invading' Austin?

You might be surprised to know that population growth has actually slowed down since then. While a lot of people are obviously moving here, the rate of growth isn't as fast. 

Between 2000 and 2010, there was a 20% increase and a 22% increase between 2010 and 2018 when the latest estimate showed about 964,000 people living here.

The bottom line: growth in Central Texas goes back decades and it's not stopping anytime soon.

WATCH: Austin's past, present and future


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