Waco, Texas Population 2020

140,586
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Waco is a city located in Texas. With a 2020 population of 140,586, it is the 25th largest city in Texas and the 195th largest city in the United States. Waco is currently growing at a rate of 0.97% annually and its population has increased by 12.64% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 124,805 in 2010. Spanning over 101 miles, Waco has a population density of 1,582 people per square mile.

The average household income in Waco is $59,319 with a poverty rate of 26.17%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $862 per month, and the median house value is $125,300. The median age in Waco is 28.7 years, 27.4 years for males, and 30.1 years for females. For every 100 females there are 93.9 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: 70.54%
  • Black or African American: 21.20%
  • Other race: 3.24%
  • Two or more races: 2.49%
  • Asian: 2.10%
  • Native American: 0.36%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.07%
The current population of Waco, Texas is 140,586, based on our projections of the latest US Census estimates. The US Census estimates the 2018 population at 137,886.The last official US Census in 2010 recorded the population at 124,805.

Waco, Texas Population 2020

2019 and 2020 population is estimated by projecting the raw 2018 numbers.

Year Total Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
2020276,4132,4930.90%
2019273,9202,4930.91%
2018271,4272,4560.90%
2017268,9714,1421.54%
2016264,8292,1690.82%
2015262,6602,2840.87%
2014260,3761,6910.65%
2013258,6851,7470.68%
2012256,9381,2380.48%
2011255,7001,8920.74%
2010253,8080.00%

Waco Metro Area Population by Year

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage
White95,84070.54%
Black or African American28,79821.20%
Some Other Race4,4063.24%
Two or More Races3,3892.49%
Asian2,8472.10%
American Indian and Alaska Native4830.36%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander950.07%
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Waco Population by Race

Waco Population Pyramid 2020

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Waco Median Age

28.7


Total

27.4


Male

30.1


Female

Waco Adults

There are 103,503 adults, (16,554 of whom are seniors) in Waco.

Waco Age Dependency

56.3

Age Dependency Ratio

19

Old Age Dependency Ratio

37.2

Child Dependency Ratio

Waco Sex Ratio

Female

70,084

51.59%

Male

65,774

48.41%

Waco Population by Age

Waco Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

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Waco Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married69.6%30.4%
Male47%53%
All46.1%53.9%
Female36.6%63.4%
Non Family29.1%70.9%

46.1%

Rate of Home Ownership

Waco Households and Families

Type Count Average Size Owned
All48,9032.6146.1
Non Family20,0561.4729.1
Married17,9223.3569.6
Female8,4763.5536.6
Male2,4493.1547

3.28

Average Family Size

2.61

Average Household Size

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Waco Households by Type

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Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade5,5497.31%
9th to 12th Grade8,38311.05%
High School Graduate19,62425.87%
Some College16,55921.83%
Associates Degree6,8669.05%
Bachelors Degree11,77815.53%
Graduate Degree7,1009.36%
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Waco Educational Attainment by Sex (over 25)

Waco Educational Attainment by Race

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Name Total High School Bachelors
White36,38434,19713,887
Hispanic21,23812,0931,921
Black15,94313,6471,833
Other Race2,4391,512189
Asian1,3221,169899
Multiple Races1,2701,071349
Native American2091788
Islander5329

The highest rate of high school graduation is among white people with a rate of 93.99%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among asian people with a rate of 68.00%.

Waco Educational Attainment by Race

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Name Average Male Female
Overall$30,792$33,856$27,231
Less Than High School$21,583$25,506$14,915
High School Grad$25,034$30,032$20,276
Some College$30,325$35,569$27,050
Bachelors Degree$44,631$54,774$39,400
Graduate Degree$61,654$78,030$54,583

$30,792

Average Earnings

$33,856

Average Male

$27,231

Average Female

Waco Earnings by Educational Attainment

Waco Language by Age

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Waco Language

76.14% of Waco residents speak only English, while 23.86% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 21.17% of the population.

Waco Language

Waco Poverty by Race

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Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
Hispanic41,88811,65627.83%
White54,30811,25320.72%
Black27,1099,54435.21%
Other4,3431,22628.23%
Multiple3,2451,10734.11%
Asian2,29540417.60%
Native45228462.83%

26.17%

Overall Poverty Rate

24.37%

Male Poverty Rate

27.83%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Waco

The race most likely to be in poverty in Waco is Native, with 62.83% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Waco is Asian, with 17.60% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 5.51%. Among those working part-time, it was 37.89%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 37.94%.

Waco Poverty

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Name Poverty
Less Than High School30.51%
High School19.81%
Some College13.62%
Bachelors or Greater5.09%

Waco Poverty Rate by Education

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Name Poverty
Female Unemployed51.46%
Male Unemployed41.90%
Female Employed17.08%
Male Employed12.41%

Waco Poverty Rate by Employment Status and Sex

Waco Income by Household Type

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Name Median Mean
Households$40,190$59,319
Families$51,540$72,667
Married Families$70,009$92,459
Non Families$24,461$37,348
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Income by Household Type

Waco Marital Status

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Marriage Rates

36.8%

Overall Marriage Rate

39.6%

Male Marriage Rate

34.1%

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 Marital Status

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6,957

Number of Veterans

6,164

Male Veterans

793

Female Veterans

War Veterans
Vietnam2,112
Second Gulf War1,649
First Gulf War1,563
Korea490
World War II272

Waco Veterans by War

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Age Group Veterans
35 to 541,850
55 to 641,689
65 to 741,314
75+1,221
18 to 34883

Waco Veterans by Age

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Name Veterans % of Total
White4,9516.63%
Black1,7268.23%
Hispanic1,0223.64%
2 or More1618.34%
Other1183.79%
Indian10.30%

Waco Veterans by Race

Waco Veterans by Education

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10.33%

Veteran Poverty Rate

33.92%

Veteran Disability Rate

Waco Veterans by Education

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59.7%

Labor Force Participation

56.7%

Employment Rate

4.8%

Unemployment Rate

Waco Employment by Age

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Waco Employment by Race

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Waco Employment by Education

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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70.01%

Born in Texas

89.40%

Native Born

10.60%

Foreign Born

7.91%

Non Citizen

2.69%

Naturalized

Place of Birth

89.40% of Waco residents were born in the United States, with 70.01% having been born in Texas. 7.91% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Latin America.

Waco Place of Birth

Year Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
2020140,5861,3500.97%
2019139,2361,3500.98%
2018137,8869470.69%
2017136,9393,5182.64%
2016133,4211,6201.23%
2015131,8011,9411.49%
2014129,8608490.66%
2013129,0111,5171.19%
2012127,4941,0510.83%
2011126,4431,0660.85%
2010125,37711,6510.98%
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%

Waco Population by Year