Austin is the capital of the U.S. state of Texas and the seat of Travis County, with portions extending into Hays and Williamson counties. It is the 11th-most populous city in the United States and the 4th-most populous city in Texas. It is also the fastest growing large city in the United States, the second most populous state capital after Phoenix, Arizona, and the southernmost state capital in the contiguous 48 states. As of the Census Bureau's July 1, 2017 estimate, Austin had a population of 950,715, up from 790,491 at the 2010 census. Located in Central Texas within the greater Texas Hill Country, the city is home to numerous lakes, rivers, and waterways, including Lady Bird Lake, Barton Springs, McKinney Falls, the Colorado River, Lake Travis, and Lake Walter E. Long. It is the cultural and economic center of the Austin–Round Rock metropolitan statistical area, which had an estimated population of 2,056,405 as of July 1, 2016.
In the 1830s, pioneers began to settle the area in central Austin along the Colorado River. In 1839, the site was chosen to replace Houston as the capital of the Republic of Texas and was incorporated under the name "Waterloo".