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Facts about Austin Texas for Kids


Located in Central Texas on the eastern edge of the American Southwest, Austin is the 13th most populous city in the United States of America and the fourth most populous city in the state of Texas. Austin is also the third largest state capital in the United States after Phoenix and Indianapolis.

  • In the 1830s, pioneers began to settle the area in central Austin along the Colorado River.
  • The city grew throughout the 19th century and became a center for government and education with the construction of the Texas State Capitol and the University of Texas at Austin.
  • However, the current official slogan promotes Austin as “The Live Music Capital of the World”, a reference to the many musicians and live music venues within the area, and the long-running PBS TV concert series Austin City Limits.
  • Austin, Travis County, and Williamson County have been the site of human habitation since at least 9200 BC.
  • In 1730, three missions from East Texas were combined and reestablished as one mission on the south side of the Colorado River, in what is now Zilker Park, in Austin.
  • Texas thus became its own independent country with its own president, congress, and monetary system.
  • The 14-block grid plan was bisected by a broad north-south thoroughfare, Congress Avenue, running up from the river to Capital Square, where the new Texas State Capitol was to be constructed.
  • In 1940, the destroyed granite dam on the Colorado River was finally replaced by a hollow concrete dam that formed Lake McDonald (now called Lake Austin) and which has withstood all floods since.
  • As a result of its straddling the Balcones Fault, the eastern part of the city is flat, with heavy clay and loam soils, whereas, the western part and western suburbs consist of rolling hills on the edge of the Texas Hill Country.
  • The region’s rapid growth has led Forbes to rank the Austin metropolitan area number one among all big cities for jobs for 2012 in their annual survey and WSJ Marketwatch to rank the area number one for growing businesses.
  • Austin’s largest employers include the Austin Independent School District, the City of Austin, Dell, the U.S. Federal Government, Freescale Semiconductor, IBM, St. David’s Healthcare Partnership, Seton Family of Hospitals, the State of Texas, Texas State University–San Marcos, and the University of Texas at Austin.
  • In July 2009, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that the Austin–Round Rock-San Marcos metropolitan area had 1,705,075 people.
  • Austin has a long history of vocal citizen resistance to development projects perceived to degrade the environment, or to threaten the natural and cultural landscapes.
  • Austin also has numerous smaller special interest or sub-regional newspapers such as the Oak Hill Gazette, Westlake Picayune, Hill Country News, Round Rock Leader, NOKOA, and The Villager among others.
  • KUT is the leading public radio station in Texas and produces the majority of its content locally.
  • Central Austin lies between two major north-south freeways: Interstate 35 to the east and the Mopac Expressway (Loop 1) to the west.