Profile: Williamson County

Williamson County is the most populous suburban county in the Austin metropolitan area, with a population of 528,700 people and 158,500 jobs. The county has grown much faster than the metro and U.S.:  the population grew 50% from 2006-2016 and job base grew 48%.

The county’s population growth is primarily due to the migration of people into the county. Domestic migration increased over the past five years, rising to 14,660 people in 2016.

Williamson County has a diverse age range of population, and is home to a large concentration of families. According to the Census, 22% of Williamson County’s population are children under 15 years of age (versus 19% for the U.S.) and 24% of county residents are between 45 and 64 years old (versus 26% for the U.S.).

As a result, the county has lower concentrations of both young adults and the elderly residents than the nation.  Of the total population, 87% were born in the United States, with 13% born abroad.  Of the foreign-born population, 51% are not naturalized US citizens.

Williamson County’s population is 60% White, 24% Hispanic, 7% Asian, and 6% Black. The three largest ancestral groups are German, English, and Irish.

According to estimates from the Census, Williamson County is well-educated: 94% of residents have at least a high school degree and 41% have a Bachelor’s degree or higher. These educational attainment statistics are significantly higher than the U.S. average (89% high school, 30% Bachelor’s).

Williamson County’s median household income has remained above the national average for many years, and was 141% of U.S. median household income in 2015.

The county weathered the recession well, losing jobs in 2009 but gaining 37,630 new jobs from 2011-2016.

The percent of overall population in poverty in Williamson County has also remained significantly below national trends over the past decade. Between 2010 and 2015 overall population in poverty in Williamson County rose marginally from 6.0% to 6.6%. The percentage of children in poverty grew from 8.2% in 2010 to 8.7% in 2015.

The Williamson County unemployment rate has fallen from its recent high of 7.3% in 2009 to 3.3% in 2016. The county rate has been consistently lower than the U.S. rate.

The largest industries in Williamson County are:

• Trade, Transportation, & Utilities – 24% of county employment
• Government – 14%
• Leisure & Hospitality -13%
• Professional & Business Services – 12%
• Health Services – 12%

Employment increased for all Williamson County industries between 2011 and 2016. The average increase was 23%, while the national average employment increase was 10%.

The average salary in Williamson County is 96% of the U.S. average and from 2011-2016 grew 3%, much lower than the U.S. growth rate of 12%.

Two industries in the county have average salaries above the U.S. average:  Trade, Transportation, and Utilities and Manufacturing. The county’s fastest growing salaries are in Professional and Business Services and Natural Resources and Mining.

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