We can't seem to do enough hand-wringing about affordability, but if you believe a recent study by Go Banking Rates, the median Austin income is a little more than enough to live on "comfortably" in the city.
The widely reported study used the 50-30-20 budgeting method of income distribution—50 percent for necessities, 30 percent for discretionary items, and 20 percent for savings—to determine Austinites need an annual income of $53,225 to live here by whatever standard it deems "comfortable." That's $26,612 for necessities, $15,967 for discretionary spending, and $10,645 for savings.
The study puts Austin median income at $55,216—$1,991 above the comfortable-living line (that appears to be the U.S. Census figure for 2014).
A slight problem with that number is one that often comes regularly when examining real estate trends: It doesn't state if those numbers are for the city of Austin (within city limits) or the Austin area, which can include quite a few other relatively populous cities, such as Round Rock and San Marcos. Cost of living, particularly housing, tends to be substantially higher in the central city than in the suburbs, of course.
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