Public opinion poll shows Austin is no longer a city for the dazed and confused

Results suggest that Millennials are Austin’s happiest residents1

AUSTIN, Texas--()--The vast majority of Austin-area residents (77 percent) say that Austin is the “Top City” in the U.S., and nearly three-fourths (74 percent) would recommend living in or around Austin to their friends, according to the inaugural Zandan Poll: Voices of the Austin Community. The results also uncover that nearly nine in 10 Austinites (87 percent) are satisfied with their current jobs, and the largest percentage of respondents (22 percent) report that they feel the greatest sense of community among the people with whom they work.

While residents overwhelmingly are satisfied with life in the Austin area, the results also uncover that residents’ age cohort, level of community engagement2 and number of years lived in Austin influence their feelings about the city and its future. For example:

  • Two-thirds (67 percent) of Millennials and 62 percent of engaged Austinites believe that Austin is headed in the right direction, compared with fewer than half (46 percent) of Austinites 35 years of age and older
  • Nearly two-thirds of Millennials (63 percent) believe Austin has stayed the same or improved over the last five years, compared to 47 percent of older Austinites; similarly, 60 percent of Millennials and 46 percent of older Austinites believe that Austin will stay the same or improve over the next five years
  • Almost two-thirds of Millennials (64 percent) agree with the statement that “Austin is my city,” compared to 43 percent of their older counterparts; the numbers are similar for respondents who have lived in Austin for less than five years (64 percent) versus those who have lived in the city for 21 or more years (45 percent) Tweet This

The public opinion poll was designed to reveal Austinites’ attitudes and behaviors toward the city’s most pressing issues, including growth, economy, culture, community, health, and transportation, among others. Tweet This

Other notable findings included:

  • Most Austinites (89 percent) believe that “Austin is weird;” however, more than half (51 percent) say it is becoming more similar to other major U.S. cities Tweet This
  • Four out of five respondents (80 percent) cite traffic as one of the most pressing issues facing Austin; among those who would not recommend living in the Austin area to a friend, “Too much traffic” is the primary reason
  • Quality public education and protecting the water supply represent the issue areas for which Austinites claim they would be most willing to pay additional tax dollars Tweet This
  • Nearly two-thirds of Austin-area residents (65 percent) say they are dissatisfied with the cost of housing, and 59 percent are dissatisfied with the cost of living

“Despite Austin’s long-held reputation as a haven for the dazed and confused, the data show that Austin-area residents are engaged, working and satisfied,” said Peter Zandan, Ph.D., founder of the Zandan Poll. “I commissioned this poll to provide an objective, scientific platform for the diverse voices within our city. My hope is that the results will help inform the conversations taking place about how best to address Austin’s unique challenges and opportunities.”

The demographically representative online poll surveyed 804 Austin-area residents 18 years of age or older, and was fielded from April 15-29, 2014. It was offered in English and Spanish. Respondents were from the City of Austin, as well as surrounding Travis, Williamson, Hays, Caldwell and Bastrop counties.

Learn more at

About the Zandan Poll

Peter Zandan, Ph.D., founder of the Zandan Poll, developed, commissioned and sponsored the objective and scientifically-based “Voices of the Austin Community” survey as a public service to Austin, with the hope of increasing the understanding of and dialogue on the city’s key issues. Austin residents were polled to determine their attitudes and behaviors about the city’s most pressing issues. Survey questions covered a variety of topics, including growth, economy, culture, community, health, and transportation, among others.

About KLRU

For more than 50 years, KLRU has been a friend to Central Texans — with a mission to enrich the lives of viewers through quality public television programming, community service and public events.

About Cambia Information Group

Headquartered in Austin, Cambia Information Group is a full-service market research consultancy that specializes in helping companies and organizations understand how their key stakeholder groups perceive their brands, communications, products and services.

About Hill+Knowlton Strategies

Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Inc. is a leading international communications consultancy, providing services to local, multinational and global clients. The firm is headquartered in New York, with 89 offices in 50 countries, as well as an extensive associate network. The agency is part of WPP, one of the world’s largest communications services groups. For more information, please visit

1 Millennials are identified as those who are between 18 and 34 years of age

2 Community members are classified as “engaged” if they participate in 90 or more activities around Austin per year


Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Inc.
Frank Ward, 512-432-1876

Release Summary

Despite Austin’s long-held reputation as a haven for the dazed and confused, new public opinion data (inaugural Zandan Poll) show that Austin, Texas-area residents are engaged, working and satisfied.


Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Inc.
Frank Ward, 512-432-1876