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Austin is the capital of the U.S. state of Texas and the seat of Travis County. Located in Central Texas on the eastern edge of the American Southwest, it is the fourth-largest city in Texas and the 15th-largest in the United States. It was the third-fastest-growing large city in the nation from 2000 to 2006. According to the 2009 U.S. Census estimate, Austin had a population of 757,688. The city is the cultural and economic center of the Austin–Round Rock–San Marcos metropolitan area, with a population of 1.7 million as of the July 2008 U.S. Census estimate, making it the 36th-largest metropolitan area in the United States.

The area was settled in the 1830s on the banks of the Colorado River by pioneers who named the village Waterloo. In 1839, Waterloo was chosen to become the capital of the newly independent Republic of Texas. The city was renamed after Stephen F. Austin, known as the father of Texas. 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. After a lull in growth from the Great Depression, Austin resumed its development into a major city and emerged as a center for technology and business. Today, Austin is home to many companies, high-tech and otherwise, including the headquarters of three Fortune 500 corporations, Dell, Whole Foods Market, and Freescale Semiconductor.

Austin was selected as the No. 2 Best Big City in "Best Places to Live" by Money magazine in 2006, and No. 3 in 2009, also the "Greenest City in America" by MSN. According to CNN Headline News and Travel & Leisure magazine, Austin ranks No. 2 on the list of cities with the best people, referring to the personalities and attributes of the citizens. Austin was also voted America's #1 College Town by the Travel Channel. Austin was ranked the fifth-safest city in part because there are fewer than five murders per 100,000 people annually. Furthermore, in 2009, Austin was determined to be the least stressful large metro area by Forbes magazine.

Residents of Austin are known as "Austinites" and include a diverse mix of university professors, students, politicians, musicians, state employees, high-tech workers, blue-collar workers, and white-collar workers. The main campus of the University of Texas is located in Austin. The city is home to enough large sites of major technology corporations to have earned it the nickname "Silicon Hills." Austin's official slogan promotes the city as "The Live Music Capital of the World," a reference to its status as home to many musicians and music venues. In recent years, many Austinites have also adopted the unofficial slogan "Keep Austin Weird"; this refers partly to the eclectic and liberal lifestyle of many Austin residents but is also the slogan for a campaign to preserve smaller local businesses and resist excessive corporatization.

Location: Central Texas
Nickname: Live music capital of the world
Population: 743,074
Website: www.ci.austin.tx.us
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review by . January 21, 2010
I've been contemplating moving back to Texas recently due to the truly dismal job market, astronomical taxes and impossible cost of living in California. I calculated that if I live to be 200, I might be able to afford a studio apartment in Marin one day, or I could just move to Austin and do it tomorrow. Despite being in the capital of Texas, Austin has more in common with Seattle than its neighbors like San Antonio and Houston. It's like a version of San Francisco with decent weather, a functioning …
Quick Tip by . December 07, 2009
Austin is great! I've only been here a year, but I'm continually surprised at the amount of health-conscious and unique characters I see.
review by . March 04, 2009
SRV statue
I have lived here since 1989 and I love this city.  It really caters to the young and the young at heart!  People are super-friendly and everyone likes to have fun in this city.  There are tons of cool restaurants, bars, pubs, clubs, cafes, parks, trails, swimming holes, lakes and oh yeah... we also have the state capitol here and the University of Texas!  We are not only the capital of Texas, but we are also the festival capital of the world I do believe!!  The two big festivals of course are SXSW …
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