Tue. Jul 16th, 2024

Austin’s birth rate is lowest among major Texas cities

By meerna Jul10,2024
Austin’s birth rate is lowest among major Texas cities

Despite recent birth-related population growth in Travis County, Austin remains the lowest-ranking large city in Texas for birth rate and the fifth-lowest in the U.S.


While the average birth rate for women in the U.S. in 2022 was 5%, five major cities in Texas had higher overall rates, according to a 2024 study by SmartAsset. The study, using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, analyzed birth rates for women ages 15-50 and compared family sizes in major U.S. cities over a two-year period.

In 2022, Dallas ranked second in birth rate at 6.3%, El Paso was fifth at 5.9%, San Antonio sixth at 5.8%, Houston eighth at 5.6%, and Fort Worth fifteenth at 5.3%. Austin’s birth rate was 3.8% in 2022, a 0.7% decrease from 2021.

A Closer Look

Austin had the second-lowest survey sample compared to the four largest cities in Texas, with 285,094 women surveyed and 10,736 born in 2022. In addition to having the lowest birth rate, Austin also had the lowest family size compared to other large cities in Texas.

Offering input

Austin’s housing affordability issues, coupled with the high number of college-educated women, are causing women to postpone childbirth and families to move outside of Austin as they prepare to start a family, said Lila Valencia, Austin demographer.

“A lot of families who would have children here in Austin may have them outside the city,” Valencia said. “As they get ready to start a family, they may move further out of the city where it’s more affordable, or they may move there shortly after the baby is born.”

Although Austin’s young population could mean a high fertility rate, Valencia said she’s not surprised that Austin’s birth rate is the fifth lowest among large cities in the U.S.

“We also have a highly educated workforce and a large student population, and we know those two things (negatively) correlate with higher fertility rates and more correlate with delayed birth,” Valencia said.

Valencia said that without addressing the city’s growing affordability issues — including housing, child care and health care — she doesn’t see Austin’s fertility rates rising in the next five years. One thing that could increase Austin’s child population is the successful integration of immigrant populations, such as the growing Asian community, into the city by providing them with resources and affordable housing, Valencia said.

“If we don’t do much to address this housing affordability issue, I think we will continue to see a decline in fertility rates, or at least have lower fertility rates than other cities,” Valencia said.

In case you missed it

Travis County is bucking Austin’s declining birth rate trend with a significant population increase, with an estimated 16,289 births in 2023.

By meerna

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