AUSTIN, THE CAPITAL OF TEXAS

Austin

Austin is the capital of the U.S. state of Texas and the county seat of Travis County. Situated in Central Texas and part of the American Southwest, it is the fourth-largest city in Texas and the 16th-largest in the United States of America, as well as the third-fastest growing large city in the nation from 2000 to 2006. As of the 2007 U.S. Census estimate, Austin has a population of 743,074. The city is the cultural and economic center of the Austin–Round Rock metropolitan area with a population of about 1.6 million people.

The area was settled in the 1830s on the banks of the Colorado River by white settlers, 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 Austin after Stephen F. Austin.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 or otherwise, including two Fortune 500 listed corporations.

Austin was selected as the No. 2 Best Big City in "Best Places to Live" by Money magazine in 2006, and the "Greenest City in America" by MSN. Also, according to CNN Headline News and travel and leisure Austin ranks #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 3 people per 100,000 murdered annually.

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 progressive lifestyle of many Austin residents but is also the slogan for a campaign to preserve smaller local businesses and resist excessive commercialization.

Luciano Mende

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