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Ball Bails, Trades Sioux Falls for Younger, More Diverse Round Rock, TX

Jason Ball probably won't need that sweater in Texas.
Jason Ball probably won’t need that sweater in Texas.

Sioux Falls has lost its Chamber chair to Round Rock, Texas. After just two and a half years of trying to talk sense into Republican legislators and other counterproductive anti-immigrant yahoos, Ball will lead the Chamber in Round Rock, a booming 130,000-person suburb of state capital Austin. The surrounding metro area has a population of over two million.

Ball will promote the fortunes of a younger, slightly richer, better educated, more tech-connected, and far more diverse population:

Census stat Sioux Falls Round Rock
Population (2018 est) 181,883 128,739
Growth 2010–2018 18.1% 28.7%
Age under 18 25.0% 28.5%
Age 65+ 12.0% 7.5%
White non-Hispanic 82.2% 49.7%
Hispanic 5.0% 30.8%
Black 5.4% 9.9%
American Indian 2.4% 20.0%
Asian 2.3% 6.7%
2+ races 3.1% 4.6%
Foreign born (2013-2017) 7.3% 13.9%
Language other than English spoken at home 10.0% 26.9%
Households with computer 89.6% 96.0%
Households with broadband 80.6% 90.8%
HS grads 91.7% 92.1%
College degree 33.8% 39.6%
Median household income $56,714 $76,295
Per capita income $31,161 $31,844
Annual median gross rent as percentage of median household income 16.3% 17.8%
Annual median homeownership cost (w mortgage) as percentage of median household income 27.0% 25.6%
Median home value/median household income 2.97 2.76
Poverty 11.1% 8.2%
All firms 15,083 8,619
Female-owned firms 27.6% 31.4%
Minority-owned firms 5.9% 32.0%
July high temp 83.5°F 95°F
January low temp 6.3°F 38°F
Annual rainfall 26.7″ 36″
Annual snow 37.6″ 0.2″

Surely related to the higher rates of computer ownership and broadband access the presence of Dell Technologies, which has headquarters in Round Rock since 1994 and employs 13,000 Austin metro-areans.


  1. John Dale 2019-07-25

    Just a quick note. Anti-immigrant != anti-illegal-immigrant. For instance/reference, The German Nazis were illegal immigrants to France during WWII. You and I would be illegal immigrants to the reservations. While Rosie ‘O would be a LEGAL (but likely unwanted) immigrant to Canada. It’s nuanced, I know .. because the Liberals of France were going through the same struggle you are now; “The Nazis just want to pick our tomatoes!”

  2. Certain Inflatable Recreational Devices 2019-07-25

    John Dale = Warped Wacko.

  3. mike from iowa 2019-07-25

    At what point are legally entitled to enter America, asylum seekers illegal, JD?

    Are you and Pat Powers incorporated into J.D. Powers? You sound like a regular at the wingnut propaganda home.

  4. Porter Lansing 2019-07-25

    Austin, TX is a very cool place to live. Perhaps the only place worthy in all of the Lone Brain State.
    Great music, art, and food scene and home to America’s Formula One race. PS … it’s where the German heritage people live and they ain’t them contrary Volga Russian Germans, either.

  5. South DaCola 2019-07-25

    PL, Austin is awesome I have 3 friends who grew up in Sioux Falls that live there and love it. I have visited twice, they do call it the ‘Oasis’ of Texas.

    They were teasing Ball about the fact the weather is a lot better in Texas. You have to realize, Ball came from Kansas originally, the weather here was not his cup of tea.

    I have to admit, Jason was really nice to me and was even featured in a DaCola video, I interviewed him about Pheasant Fest.

  6. Porter Lansing 2019-07-25

    SDCola … SD weather is a “strong cup ‘o tea”, for sure. For those who’ve never lived in a truly “mild” climate, it’s quite an awakening. I’ll never leave CO. No flying bugs. No wind. No humidity.
    Austin is a mild climate unlike most of Texas. Also, the first liberal island in a now purple state.

  7. bearcreekbat 2019-07-25

    In a post tangentially related to Cory’s topic, Dale compares men, women and children who seek nothing more than safety, freedom and economic security in the US, to Nazis and our ancestors’ genocidal treatment of Natives. Apparently Dale needs this fantasy to dull his conscience when it comes to accepting Trumpian branding policies designed to win support for inflicting severe physical and emotional harm upon a large group of harmless people.

    Cory points out that Round Rock, Texas, exceeds the positive charactistics of Sioux Falls in many ways. Cory also points out that Round Rock has a strong minority and immigrant population that approximately doubles that of Sioux Falls. Since this reality doesn’t really fit very well with Trump’s hateful and stupid branding, further denigration of of the branded group by calling them Nazis appears necessary to dull the consciences of Trump kool aid drinkers.

  8. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-07-25

    No, John, that’s a dodge, a false law-and-order cover for the blatant racism and xenophobia that Trumpists are using to hold power but wreck the country.

    Refugees and asylum seekers aren’t breaking the law. Republicans are trying to stop them from coming to America.

  9. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-07-25

    Austin is a much more diverse community than Sioux Falls, filled with more recent immigrants, and it appears to be thriving economically and culturally.

    Being anti-immigrant means being anti-growth. That’s what Ball regularly told Sioux Falls and South Dakota.

  10. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-07-25

    Bearcreekbat points out another important and destructive fallacy in John’s tangential xenophobia-covering post: Trumpists attempt to dull their consciences to their unjustifiable racism by demonizing immigrants, by comparing them to Nazis, by dehumanizing them.

    Jason Ball, to his credit, recognized that immigrants are people, and people buy stuff from Chamber members, work for Chamber members, and become Chamber members. So beyond plain patriotism and national self-preservation, the Chamber recognizes that immigration underpins continued business success.

  11. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-07-25

    Odds would thus seem low that the Sioux Falls Chamber would hire any one to replace Ball who espouses Trumpist xenophobia. In many ways, as demonstrated by the empirical evidence of Trump’s business history and his international trade “policy”, behaving like Donald Trump is bad for business.

  12. Debbo 2019-07-25

    Cory said, “behaving like Donald Trump is bad for business.”
    Exactly. The parts of the country that welcome new comers are doing better than the insulated, barricaded pasty white areas.

  13. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-07-26

    Flip side of Deb’s observation: do the parts of the country that are doing worse economically go looking for scapegoats, get desperate, and end up behaving like Trump?

Comments are closed.