Waco, Texas Population 2020

144,015
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Waco is a city located in Texas. With a 2020 population of 144,015, it is the 23rd largest city in Texas and the 184th largest city in the United States. Waco is currently growing at a rate of 2.07% annually and its population has increased by 15.39% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 124,805 in 2010. Spanning over 101 miles, Waco has a population density of 1,621 people per square mile.

The average household income in Waco is $56,705 with a poverty rate of 26.83%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $828 per month, and the median house value is $116,600. The median age in Waco is 28.4 years, 27.2 years for males, and 29.8 years for females. For every 100 females there are 94.7 males.

Waco is a city located in the state of Texas, and it is the county seat of McLennan County. Waco marks the halfway point between the larger cities of Dallas and Austin. Recent estimates show that the population of this city – which is dubbed the “Heart of Texas” -- is {pop}.

Waco Population Statistics

The city’s schools and higher education institutions drive the economy and employ many of Waco’s residents. The top employers are Baylor University, Waco Independent School District, Providence Health Center, L3 Technologies, and Baylor Scott & White Health.

Waco Population Growth

At the time of almost every census, Waco has shown growth in its population. The city’s population grew to over 50,000 at the time of the 1930 census, then increased to over 100,000 in 1990. The city’s population has continued to grow at a slow but steady rate over the last two polls taken during 2000 and 2010. Recent estimates show that the population has grown over 7% since the last census, and Waco is heading toward 150,000 residents. Based on past trends, the city will no doubt hit its next milestone in the years ahead.

Waco, like many other cities in the United States, was originally inhabited by indigenous tribes, primarily the Wichita tribe, also known as the Waco. Thomas Duke explored the area during the 1820s after the tribes fought off European settlers. A treaty was signed with the people in 1825, but the tribe was eventually forced off of the land and settled near what is now Fort Worth. The first settler in the area is noted as Neil McLennan in 1838. The first city block was designed in 1849, and later that year, the first home was constructed. Though the name Lamartine was proposed, the area was instead called Waco Village after the tribe that had lived there before.

During the next decade, the citizens of Waco aimed to build a bridge over the Brazos River. To take on the project, the Waco Bridge Company was formed. The company created the brick Waco Suspension Bridge, a 475-foot bridge that was finished in 1870. The construction of the bridge led to a boost in the economy, as a toll was required to pass. The population then began to grow as more immigrants made their way over. The bridge still stands today and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

The city was thriving, and the population was growing through the 19th century. Other notable things that occurred during this period were the invention of Dr. Pepper in 1885 and the relocation of Baylor University from Independence to Waco. Toward the end of the 1800s, Waco published the Iconoclast newspaper, which was very successful. The city, which had an economy centered on agriculture, built a fair and exhibition center, which drew in more than eight million attendees. Unfortunately, the original building burned in a fire in the early 1900s, and the rebuilt structure was torn down following the Great Depression.

An odd event in Waco was the “Crash” of 1896. This was meant to be entertaining for citizens and featured two trains that were going to crash head-on. Unfortunately, this stunt resulted in the deaths and injuries of multiple people when the boilers exploded.

This wasn’t the only bad thing to happen in Waco. The Waco Horror became national news after a young teenager was tortured and burned in the town square after citizens took matters into their own hands following the conviction of the teenager, who had been accused of killing a white woman. After this incident, the city worked to improve protections for African Americans.

Waco Army Air Field was opened in 1942, later becoming Connally Air Force Base, then James Connally Air Force Base. Though it closed in the 1960s, it is now the site of the Texas State Technical College. Waco’s airfield, however, is still open today and is the TSTC Waco Airport.

The next few decades saw more highs and lows for the city. A tornado killed hundreds in the 1950s and remains one of the deadliest tornados in US and state history. In the 1970s, bones were found that were dated to be over 68,000 years old and are thought to have belonged to a mammoth. Other animal remains were also found at the site.

Waco was once the home of the White House Press Center. In recent years, the city has constructed a riverwalk, which is one of its many attractions. Other attractions include museums, the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, parks, and the Dr. Pepper Museum. The city is also home to many professional sports teams.

Waco Demographics

According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Waco was:

  • White: 69.41%
  • Black or African American: 21.60%
  • Other race: 3.84%
  • Two or more races: 2.42%
  • Asian: 2.17%
  • Native American: 0.47%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.08%
The current population of Waco, Texas is 144,015, based on our projections of the latest US Census estimates. The US Census estimates the 2018 population at 138,183.The last official US Census in 2010 recorded the population at 124,805.

Waco, Texas Population 2020

Year Total Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
2020278,7263,3921.22%
2019275,3343,3921.23%
2018271,9423,3921.25%
2017268,5503,5901.34%
2016264,9602,2060.83%
2015262,7542,3200.88%
2014260,4341,7040.65%
2013258,7301,7660.68%
2012256,9641,2650.49%
2011255,6991,8870.74%
2010253,8120.00%

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage
White92,98869.41%
Black or African American28,93721.60%
Some Other Race5,1453.84%
Two or More Races3,2472.42%
Asian2,9082.17%
American Indian and Alaska Native6350.47%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander1040.08%
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Waco Population Pyramid 2020

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Waco Median Age

28.4


Total

27.2


Male

29.8


Female

Waco Adults

There are 101,364 adults, (15,689 of whom are seniors) in Waco.

Waco Age Dependency

56.4

Age Dependency Ratio

18.3

Old Age Dependency Ratio

38.1

Child Dependency Ratio

Waco Sex Ratio

Female

68,818

51.37%

Male

65,146

48.63%

Waco Households and Families

Waco Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

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Waco Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married69.4%30.6%
All45.2%54.8%
Male39.6%60.4%
Female36.9%63.1%
Non Family27.2%72.8%

45.2%

Rate of Home Ownership

Type Count Average Size Owned
All48,0502.6145.2
Non Family19,4511.4427.2
Married17,8033.3969.4
Female8,3763.5336.9
Male2,4203.1939.6

3.3

Average Family Size

2.61

Average Household Size

5.1%

Unmarried (Opposite Sex)

0.2%

Unmarried (Same Sex)

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Waco Education

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Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade5,8587.88%
9th to 12th Grade8,39911.30%
High School Graduate19,62026.40%
Some College16,50622.21%
Associates Degree6,1908.33%
Bachelors Degree11,11114.95%
Graduate Degree6,6478.94%
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Waco Educational Attainment by Race

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Name Total High School Bachelors
White35,40833,03212,992
Hispanic20,69611,4461,645
Black16,06013,6991,977
Other Race2,8321,673167
Asian1,3261,142862
Multiple Races1,0981,028299
Native American2862038
Islander5834

The highest rate of high school graduation is among multiple races people with a rate of 93.62%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among asian people with a rate of 65.01%.

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Name Average Male Female
Overall$29,505$32,045$26,144
Less Than High School$21,324$25,056$15,301
High School Grad$24,247$27,411$20,344
Some College$29,144$33,197$26,168
Bachelors Degree$45,529$55,584$40,499
Graduate Degree$57,731$73,384$53,129

$29,505

Average Earnings

$32,045

Average Male

$26,144

Average Female

Waco Language

Waco Language by Age

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Waco Language

75.30% of Waco residents speak only English, while 24.70% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 21.86% of the population.

Waco Poverty

Waco Poverty by Race

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Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
Hispanic41,72812,71130.46%
White52,46110,50820.03%
Black27,3459,66735.35%
Other5,1141,67532.75%
Multiple3,13891729.22%
Asian2,40648420.12%
Native62339463.24%

26.83%

Overall Poverty Rate

25.27%

Male Poverty Rate

28.27%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Waco

The race most likely to be in poverty in Waco is Native, with 63.24% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Waco is White, with 20.03% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 6.00%. Among those working part-time, it was 37.52%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 38.01%.

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Name Poverty
Less Than High School30.55%
High School21.20%
Some College13.51%
Bachelors or Greater5.17%
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Name Poverty
Female Unemployed49.12%
Male Unemployed38.06%
Female Employed17.42%
Male Employed12.64%

Waco Income

Waco Income by Household Type

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Name Median Mean
Households$37,735$56,705
Families$49,379$69,397
Married Families$65,565$87,320
Non Families$22,321$34,991
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Waco Marital Status

Waco Marital Status

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Marriage Rates

37.5%

Overall Marriage Rate

40.2%

Male Marriage Rate

35.1%

Female Marriage Rate

Waco Married by Age and Sex

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Waco Marriage

The age group where males are most likely to be married is Over 65, while the female age group most likely to be married is 45-54.

Waco Marital Status by Race

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Waco Veterans

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7,194

Number of Veterans

6,448

Male Veterans

746

Female Veterans

War Veterans
Vietnam2,317
Second Gulf War1,498
First Gulf War1,444
Korea611
World War II352
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Age Group Veterans
35 to 541,747
55 to 641,720
65 to 741,464
75+1,320
18 to 34943
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Name Veterans % of Total
White5,1717.17%
Black1,7278.20%
Hispanic9953.61%
2 or More1458.25%
Other1343.80%
Indian174.15%

Waco Veterans by Education

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9.31%

Veteran Poverty Rate

35.34%

Veteran Disability Rate

Waco Employment Status

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59.1%

Labor Force Participation

55.9%

Employment Rate

5.4%

Unemployment Rate

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Origin of Non-Citizens

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Non citizens include legal permanent residents (green card holders), international students, temporary workers, humanitarian migrants, and illegal immigrants.

Origin of Naturalized Citizens

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69.46%

Born in Texas

88.67%

Native Born

11.33%

Foreign Born

8.53%

Non Citizen

Place of Birth

88.67% of Waco residents were born in the United States, with 69.46% having been born in Texas. 8.53% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Latin America.

Year Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
2020144,0152,9162.07%
2019141,0992,9162.11%
2018138,1831,7501.28%
2017136,4332,9162.18%
2016133,5171,6351.24%
2015131,8821,9571.51%
2014129,9258600.67%
2013129,0651,5221.19%
2012127,5431,0630.84%
2011126,4801,0710.85%
2010125,40911,6830.98%
2000113,72610,1360.94%
1990103,5902,3290.23%
1980101,2615,9350.61%
197095,326-2,482-0.26%
196097,80813,1021.45%
195084,70628,7244.23%
194055,9823,1340.58%
193052,84814,3483.22%
192038,50012,0753.84%
191026,4255,7392.48%
190020,6866,2413.66%
189014,4457,1507.07%
18807,2954,2879.26%
18703,0080.00%