Austin (/ËÉstÉ¨n/ or /ËÉËstÉ¨n/) is the fourth-largest city and 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, Austin is the 13th most populous city in the United States of America and the fourth most populous city in the state of Texas. It was the third-fastest-growing large city in the nation from 2000 to 2006. Austin is also the third largest state capital in the United States after Phoenix and Indianapolis. Austin has a population of 820,611 (2011 estimate). The city is the cultural and economic center of the AustinâRound RockâSan Marcos metropolitan area, which had an estimated population 1,783,519 (2011 U.S. Census), making it the 34th-largest metropolitan statistical area in the United States.
In the 1830s, pioneers began to settle the area in central Austin along the Colorado River. After Republic of Texas Vice President Mirabeau B. Lamar visited the area during a buffalo-hunting expedition between 1837 and 1838, he proposed that the republic's capital then located in Houston, Texas, be relocated to the area situated on the north bank of the Colorado River near the present-day Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge. In 1839, the site was officially chosen as the republic's new capital (the republic's seventh and final location) and was incorporated under the name Waterloo. Shortly thereafter, the name was changed to Austin in honor of Stephen F. Austin, the "Father of Texas" and the republic's first secretary of state.
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 at Austin. After a lull in growth from the Great Depression, Austin resumed its development into a major city and, by the 1980s, it emerged as a center for technology and business. A number of Fortune 500 companies have headquarters or regional offices in Austin including Advanced Micro Devices, Apple, Google, IBM, Intel, Texas Instruments, 3M, and Whole Foods Market.Dell's worldwide headquarters is located in nearby Round Rock, a suburb of Austin.