Facts about Austin and the State of Texas
View an Austin area map
- Founded in 1839 and named after Stephen F. Austin, one of the early settlers and colonists of Texas. There is also a state county named after him. Texas became a state in 1845.
- Capital city of the Lone Star State. The Capitol building was completed in 1888, and is constructed of pink granite quarried some 50 miles from the site. Though smaller in size than the National Capitol building in Washington D.C., the Texas Capitol is 14-15 feet taller. This building has more square feet than any of the other U.S. state capitols.
- Located centrally in the state between the major population centers of Houston, San Antonio and Dallas-Fort Worth.
- Population: Austin's population is about 690,000 making it the 16th largest city in the USA. Approximately 1.5 million of Texas' 24 million people live in the Greater Austin area.
- Time Zone: Central
- Area Code: 512
- Elevation: 425 to 1,000 feet above sea level.
- State Flower: the Bluebonnet. Though more prevalent in some other Central Texas areas, the Bluebonnet is quite at home in Austin. Austin and Texas are home to many other wildflowers.
- Mexican free-tailed bats: Austin is home to one of the world's largest colonies of these bats. These creatures make their home beneath the Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge that runs across Lady Bird (Town) Lake. See them from the bridge about dusk from April through October as they fly out to get their evening fill of local insects.
- Sales Tax Rate: Austin residents are taxed at 8.25% (includes 6.25% State sales tax; 1% Capitol Metro - transportation services and roads; and 1% for the City of Austin).
- Property Taxes: The taxes levied on real estate in the Austin area vary yearly with the property and its location. Check the rates for the current year at the county assessment district in which your property is located.
- Known as the "Live Music Capital of the World." Austin is the home of Austin City Limits, the yearly SXSW (South by Southwest) music festival in Zilker Park and many local clubs where live music of all sorts is celebrated.
- Home of the University of Texas, St. Edwards University, Austin Community College, and a number of other schools of higher learning.
- Check out the museums, performing arts, downtown life, hiking trails, great lakes and a river (the Colorado River) that runs through the area on the south side of downtown, golf courses, shopping centers, hills, employment opportunities, housing developments and so much more that Austin offers!