Amazon hasn’t chosen the location for its second headquarters yet, but a new survey suggests executives should perhaps think twice about Austin.
The capital city isn’t that enthusiastic about the prospect of landing the company; only 36 percent of survey respondents “strongly support” Amazon’s potential move. In fact, opposition to the so-called HQ2 was highest among Austin and Denver respondents to the new survey by the Elon University Poll conducted in partnership with The Business Journals.
Austin and Dallas are the two Texas cities on Amazon’s list of 20 finalists.
Dallas, however, is more excited about the idea and even more confident that it would be the best choice for Amazon’s second headquarters. In the survey, 44 percent of Dallas respondents “strongly support” the move. Asked whether the Dallas region is the best option, 66 percent of respondents said “definitely yes.”
While Dallas is more open to Amazon than Austin, the Elon Poll/The Business Journals survey shows neither Texas city is more into landing the company than Atlanta and Pittsburgh — more than half the respondents in those cities saying they “strongly support” Amazon creating a second headquarters there.
In January, 20 North American locations (Toronto being the only one outside of the U.S.) were shortlisted by the company, which promises to bring 50,000 jobs and a $5 billion investment to its new home, and many contenders are offering incentives to sweeten the deal.
The online survey of 7,397 adult residents from the 19 U.S. finalists in 16 metro areas was conducted March 30 through April 3. Each metro had between 350 and 1,000 respondents.
Here are the Texas highlights from the survey.
The majority of respondents in Dallas were female (51 percent) and younger than 50 (62 percent). Almost half of respondents in Dallas were white and almost 30 percent were Hispanic. Forty-one percent of respondents' annual household income was less than $50,000 and 28 percent was over $100,000. Most (67 percent) did not have a bachelor's degree.
- The majority (66 percent) of Dallas respondents believe the metro is the best region among all other North American locations.
- The majority of Dallas respondents (68 percent) would prefer the second headquarters to be located in the suburbs.
- In Dallas, 83 percent of residents said Amazon would attract more businesses to their areas.
- On a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being worst and 10 being best, 43 percent of Dallas respondents rated the company as a 10; 23 percent of respondents rated it below an 8.
- The majority of Dallasites (68 percent) said Amazon would increase housing prices.
- In Dallas, almost half of respondents think incentives are a good thing to offer "within reason," but most (79 percent) would not be willing to pay more in taxes to fund those incentives.
- Almost a third of Dallas respondents said they would accept an additional 15 or more minutes to their commute if Amazon came to town.
Austin respondents were evenly split between male and female; most, though, were younger than 50. More than half of respondents (52 percent) in Austin were white; almost a third were Hispanic. Thirty-eight percent of respondents made less than $50,000 and 30 percent made over $100,000. A majority of respondents (58 percent) did not have their bachelor's degree.
- Five percent of Austinites “strongly oppose” Amazon moving there, second only to Denver (7 percent).
- The majority of Austin respondents (71 percent) would prefer the second headquarters to be located in the suburbs.
- Many Austinites surveyed (78 percent) said Amazon would make the area more attractive to other businesses.
- On a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being worst and 10 being best, 30 percent of Austin respondents rated the company as a 10; 28 percent of respondents rated it below an 8.
- The majority of Austinites (74 percent) said Amazon would increase housing prices.
- Sixty-one percent of respondents said Amazon would increase the cost of living in Austin.
- A third of Austin respondents would not add a minute to their commute in exchange for Amazon moving in.