Austin is nation’s fastest growing city for 4th straight year, Forbes says

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — For the fourth straight year, Austin was ranked the fastest growing city by Forbes.

Austin saw a 2.5 percent population increase in 2013 and the city’s economy expanded by 5.88 percent.

The list also included Dallas (No. 4), Houston (No. 10), and San Antonio (No. 20).

After the first tech bust hampered the region, the Austin Chamber of Commerce launched an effort to recruit businesses from diverse industries in 2004.

The push focused on companies in California, the Upper Midwest and the Northeast. All areas where the cost of doing business was at a distinct disadvantage compared to Austin, Forbes said.

“We’ve had 307 companies move here in the last nine years,” says Dave Porter, senior vice president for economic development at the Austin Chamber. “And about 100 of those come from California.”

About 38 percent of residents living in the five county area are college educated, and half of the adult transplants coming in possess a college degree, according to Porter.

Technology still reigns supreme in the capital city though. Austin is home to some 4,000 technology companies, accounting for about 35 percent of the area’s total payroll.

Most recently, AthenaHealth announced it would bring more than 600 jobs to Austin, and San Francisco-based Dropbox will expand in the city as well.

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