Austin, TX

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Austin is the capital of the U.S. state of Texas and the county seat of Travis County. Situated in the region of Central Texas and the American South, it is the fourth-largest city in Texas and the 16th largest in the United States. According to the demographer for Austin, the 2006 population estimate stood at 690,252. The city is the cultural and economic center of the Austin–Round Rock metropolitan area with a population of over 1.5 million. Austin was selected as the #2 Best Big City in "Best Places to Live" according to Money magazine in 2006.[1]

The first documented settlement of current-day Austin occurred in 1835, and the site was named Waterloo in 1837. In 1839, Mirabeau B. Lamar renamed the city in honor of Stephen F. Austin. Its original name is honored by local businesses such as Waterloo Ice House and Waterloo Records. Austin is situated on the Colorado River and on the Balcones Fault, which in much of Austin runs roughly the same route as the MoPac expressway.

Residents of Austin are known as "Austinites" and include a mix of university professors, students, politicians, lobbyists, musicians, state employees, high-tech workers, and blue collar workers. 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, several 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.

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