Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas

Shot of Austin's Capital. Austin is the seat of Travis County, Texas. Photo by Juan Nino on Unsplash.

Austin, the capital of Texas, county seat of Travis County, and home of the University of Texas at Austin, is located in central Travis County on the Colorado River and Interstate Highway 35. Situated at 30°16' north latitude and 97°45' west longitude, it is at the eastern edge of the Hill Country and the Edwards Plateau. The city was established by the three-year-old Republic of Texas in 1839 to serve as its permanent capital, and named in honor of the founder of Anglo-American Texas, Stephen F. Austin. A site-selection commission appointed by the Texas Congress in January 1839 chose a site on the western frontier, after viewing it at the instruction of President Mirabeau B. Lamar, a proponent of westward expansion who had visited the sparsely settled area in 1838. Impressed by its beauty, healthfulness, abundant natural resources, promise as an economic hub, and central location in Texas territory, the commission purchased 7,735 acres along the Colorado River comprising the hamlet of Waterloo and adjacent lands. Because the area's remoteness from population centers and its vulnerability to attacks by Mexican troops and Indians displeased many Texans, Sam Houston among them, political opposition made Austin's early years precarious ones.

Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

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Place type

Austin is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • (Waterloo)


  • Latitude

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Austin by the Numbers

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Population Counts

Pop. Year Source
974,581 2019 Texas Demographic Center
790,390 2010 Texas Demographic Center
656,562 2000 Texas Demographic Center
472,020 1990 Texas Demographic Center
345,496 1980 Texas Demographic Center
251,808 1970 Texas Demographic Center
186,545 1960 Texas Demographic Center
132,459 1950 Texas Demographic Center
87,930 1940 Texas Demographic Center
53,120 1930 Texas Demographic Center
34,876 1920 Texas Demographic Center
29,860 1910 Texas Demographic Center
22,258 1900 Texas Demographic Center
14,575 1890 Texas Demographic Center
11,013 1880 Texas Demographic Center
4,428 1870 Texas Demographic Center
3,494 1860 Texas Demographic Center
629 1850 Texas Demographic Center