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Austinites Optimistic About City's Future: Results from the Inaugural Zandan Poll

Despite worries over the city’s growth, traffic issues, and affordability, a new poll shows majority of Austinites feel their city is headed in the “right direction.”

The Zandan Poll comes from KLRU, the Cambia Information Group, Hill + Knowlton Strategies, and the poll’s founder and namesake, Peter Zandan.

Zandan commissioned and sponsored the “Voices of the Austin Community” poll with the hope that it would provide an objective and scientifically-based look at the city’s key issues.

On the issue of the city’s future, the poll showed a small majority -- 55% -- feel Austin is headed in the “right direction.” But when those results are broken down by age, you get a slightly different picture.

Austin "Millennials," residents ages 18 to 34, are much more optimistic about the city’s future than their older counterparts. 67% of Millennials think the city is on a good path, while less than half of respondents 35 and older agree.

What issues are making the future of this city seem less bright to some? Not surprisingly, 80% of respondents named traffic as the city’s top concern. Population growth and affordable housing came in second and third.

Here’s a look at some of the other highlights:

  • A majority of Austin-area residents say Austin is the “Top City” in the U.S. (77% somewhat/strongly describes), they would recommend it to others (74% probably/definitely would), and that they are proud of Austin (68% agree). Almost two-thirds say they are unlikely to move away.
  • Overall job satisfaction is very high (87%), with 44% saying they are "somewhat satisfied" and 43% saying they are "very satisfied" with their current job.
  • Those who are most likely to recommend the city are: Highly active community members, people who've been in the city less than 5 years, and young people (18-34).
  • Most Austinites (89%) believe “Austin is weird.” More than half (51%) say it's unique but becoming more similar to other major U.S. cities. 

​The Zandan Poll surveyed 804 Austin residents through an online questionnaire. Survey questions targeted specific city issues as well as residents’ general attitude toward the city.
The full questionnaire and results are available for download on the Zandan Poll’s website.

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