LEANDER, Texas — Leander is not the biggest city in Texas but it is the fastest-growing in the nation, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
It's located just northwest of Austin in Williamson County. From 2010 to 2020, the population more than doubled.
A new report shows that, since 2010, Texas grew by four million people. That's more than any other state. Data from that report also showed Leander had the most people move in from 2020 to 2021.
Bridget Brandt, the president and CEO of the Leander Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center, has seen the incredible growth in her two decades living in the city.
"This past year, we've had 18% growth – and I don't see that changing anytime soon," Brandt said.
While the population grows, businesses expand.
"When I started here nine years ago, we had 150 businesses that were members, and today we're at 630," Brandt said.
However, Leander like so many other parts of Central Texas is experiencing growing pains, like low housing inventory and rising home prices.
"We've had several buyers just in the last few days that say, 'I can no longer afford that house,'" said Tina Mallach, a Realtor and broker who grew up in Leander.
Mallach said it's becoming increasingly difficult for first-time homebuyers to buy.
"That's probably the hardest thing is making sure everybody that wants and can afford a house can get into a house, and that means more dirt, and there's only so much of it," Mallach said.
So what makes Leander so desirable?
"When you look at what do I want in my life? You go: I want a great school for my kids. I want to know my neighbors. I want to have beautiful parks. I want to have a place where my business can grow. We check every single box," Brandt said.
Even with the challenges, it's become a magnet, and the growth shows no signs of stopping.
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