Hays County is a populous suburban county in the Austin metropolitan area, with a population of 176,000 people and 55,000 jobs. The county has grown faster than the metro and the U.S.: the population grew 51% from 2003-2013 with the job base growing 49%.
The county’s population growth is primarily due to the migration of people into the county: from 2003 to 2013, 77% of new population was due to domestic migration. Migration has not been quite as strong in recent years but still accounted for over 79% of new population in 2013.
Hays County has a younger population with a high concentration of families and college students. According to the Census, 20% of Hays County’s population are children under 15 years of age (versus 20% for the U.S.) and 22% of county residents are young adults between the ages of 15 and 24 years old (versus 14% for the U.S.). As a result, the county has lower concentrations of adults between the ages of 45-64 and elderly residents. Of the total population, 93% were born in the United States, with 7% born abroad. Of the foreign-born population, 67% are not naturalized US citizens.
Hays County’s population is 57% White, 37% Hispanic, 3% Black, and 1% Asian. The three largest ancestral groups are German, English, and Irish.
According to the Census, Hays County is well-educated: 90% of residents had at least a high school degree and 38% had a Bachelor’s degree or higher. These educational attainment statistics are higher than both Texas’ average (81% High School, 26% Bachelor’s) and the U.S. average (86% high school, 29% Bachelor’s). (American Community Survey, Hays County)
Hays County’s median household income remained just above the national average for many years, and was 109% of U.S. median household income in 2012.
The percent of overall population in poverty in Hays County was higher than national levels from 2006 to 2009 but has fallen lower from 2010 to 2012. Between 2007 and 2012 overall population in poverty in Hays County rose from 13.7% to 16.3%. The percentage of children in poverty grew faster than the county as a whole, going from 12.5% in 2002 to 17.7% in 2012.