County census data #1: Total population

The first wave of data releases from the 2020 US Census is here, and many of the demographic shifts that we’ve seen across the country and the state are mirrored in our Waco community. In this series of four posts, I will present some of the demographic changes we see in McLennan County from 2010 to 2020. This first post will be an overview of the changes in the data reported by the U.S. Census Bureau.

In all, McLennan County saw an increase of 10.9% from 2010 to 2020. The county added an additional 25,673 residents, with a 2020 population of 260,579. Of the McLennan County residents, 53.1%, or 138,486 people, live in the city of Waco. This rate of growth is lower than the Texas growth rate of 15.9%, but higher than the total U.S growth rate of 7.4%.

The map shows where we saw growth and decline in McLennan County from 2010-2020. The coloring shows the change in total population. Green areas showed increases in total population, while red areas showed decreases. The numbers represent the total 2020 population for that area. The geographic boundaries are census tracts according to the established 2019 boundaries.

The highest growth rates appear along the outskirts of the Waco city limits, in communities such as China Spring, Speegleville, Woodway, Hewitt, Robinson, and Bellmead. Areas that saw population decline over this time include East Waco, downtown Waco, and the 10 to 15 blocks on either side of the 25th/26th St. corridor, running from I-35 in the southeast to Park Lake Dr. in North Waco. Those areas are also characterized by lower populations than the rest of the city.

In the next posts, we will begin exploring the changing racial and ethnic dynamics of McLennan County. If you have any questions about this, or if you would like Jeremy to give an overview of these changes to your group, staff, or organization through Zoom or in person, please contact Jeremy Rhodes at jeremy@prosperwaco.org.

Jeremy Rhodes, Ph.D., is director of research and community impact for Prosper Waco.