San Antonio and Austin to become ‘Megaregion’

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By: Erin Nichols

SAN ANTONIO - San Antonio’s population is set to skyrocket by 2040, but that kind of growth is already happening just to the north.

State experts predict that by 2025, San Antonio and Austin will become what's known as a “Megaregion.”

According to the latest census data, two counties just north of San Antonio are in the top ten list of the fastest growing counties in America.

Comal County ranks in at number 9, and Hays County at number 5.

"I've lived here for 5 months and I came from Detroit, Michigan,” said Sam Debabneh who moved to San Antonio for a job as a radio show host. “I love it… there’s always something to do here.”

Debabneh is part of a larger group of young people moving into the San Antonio and Austin area.

“If you look at the people who are moving into those areas they tend to be people who are relatively young, so they are in the labor force, and they are moving because of employment opportunities,” said state demographer and UTSA professor, Lloyd Potter.

By 2040, the San Antonio population is set to grow by a million people.
Potter says many people are being drawn into the area along I-35 North.

“They are looking for housing units that are affordable,” Potter said. “Essentially we are seeing those housing units are more and more in between Austin and San Antonio.”

With that growth, comes challenges.

Roads, energy, water, and schools will have to keep up.

The Comal Independent School District is already pursuing a new school bond election to keep up with students.

“Those are the major things that kind of need to be in place to maintain or improve our quality of life,” said Potter.

Just earlier this week city leaders in San Antonio unveiled a new planning effort called “SA Tomorrow.”

The plan will focus on issues like jobs and housing to accommodate the large population growth.