County Profiles

McLennan County has the Pulse of Economic Growth in the Heart of Texas

McLennan County has the pulse of economic growth in the Heart of Texas Region. Waco and the Waco Metropolitan Statistical Area is the strongest industrial and commercial center within the area.

McLennan County and Waco are located in central Texas along the I-35 corridor, approximately halfway between Dallas-Fort Worth and Austin, within 200 miles of all major metropolitan areas in Texas.

McLennan County is the most populated county in the Heart of Texas Region, with a 2019 population of 256,623. Waco is the county seat and largest city in McLennan County, with an estimated population of 139,236. The 2019 Waco MSA population was estimated by the U.S. Census Bureau to be 273,920. And significant growth is expected for the area. In 2017, the economic consultant organization, The Perryman Group, forecasted the MSA population to reach 323,000 by 2040.

Like regions across the country, unemployment in McLennan County has increased somewhat in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Texas Workforce Commission reported that McLennan County had a total Civilian Labor Force of 122,801 in November 2020, with an unemployment rate of 6.6%, significantly lower than the Texas total of 8% unemployed. In comparison, McLennan County unemployment was 3.1% in November 2019.

McLennan County is a balanced economic region, with a range of business sectors centered around Waco. Major business clusters include manufacturing and food and beverage production, with major employers like Allergan, Cargill Foods, L-3 Integrated Systems, Mars Chocolate North America, Pilgrim’s Pride and Sanderson Farms. The area continues to grow with new investments, with available land centered in Waco at three industrial parks, the Texas Central Park, Waco International Aviation Park and Waco Regional Airport Industrial Park. The 11-th largest Christian university in the country, Baylor University, is in Waco and offers a collaborative partnership with the area fostering high technology developments.

McLennan County has historically placed a large significance on developing a favorable mix between urban and rural amenities. For example, Waco is a fantastic city for people of all ages. Cameron Park at 416 acres and located near the Brazos River is one of the nicest urban parks in the state. It includes the Cameron Park Zoo and many trails. Many cultural amenities can be found in and around Waco, from the Waco Symphony Orchestra to the Mayborn Museum and Dr. Pepper Museum & Free Enterprise Institute. The Lake Waco reservoir is located on the western edge of Waco and offers numerous outdoor and leisure opportunities.

Click on the cities within McLennan County for more information:

Population
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Population

Population2000201020212026
McLennan County213,517234,906265,196279,219

Source: ESRI, 2021-10-13

Population by Age

Population201020212026
0-416,64217,13117,867
5-916,48317,25317,993
10-1416,27517,10818,209
15-1920,60420,22421,314
20-2423,22324,01724,302
25-2916,18619,35217,747
30-3414,19317,78918,541
35-3913,46916,71818,297
40-4413,34615,10417,209
45-4915,12813,82715,569
50-5415,07713,73214,091
55-5913,69015,49714,030
60-6411,33115,31415,262
65-698,45213,45314,770
70-746,73610,88712,404
75-795,5217,4039,734
80-844,3635,0686,051
85+4,1875,3195,829
18+175,161203,453214,248
Median Age333536

Source: ESRI, 2021-10-13

Population by Race

McLennan County2021
Total265,196.000
White Alone67.360
Black Alone14.240
American Indian Alone0.660
Asian Alone1.680
Pacific Islander Alone0.070
Some Other Race12.800
Two or More Races3.170
Hispanic Origin27.730
Diversity Index71.600

Source: ESRI, 2021-10-13

Growth Rate

McLennan County2010 - 20142014 - 2019
Population1%1%
Households1%1%
Families1%1%
Median Household Income%2%
Per Capita Income%2%

Source: ESRI, 2021-10-13

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Housing
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Households

Population2000201020212026
Households78,85986,89298,513103,797
Housing Units84,79595,124105,855111,301
Owner Occupied Units60,65564,772
Renter Occupied Units37,85839,025
Vacant Units7,3427,504

Source: ESRI, 2021-10-13

Home Value

McLennan County20212026
Median Home Value$187,823$257,306
Average Home Value$224,250$290,932
<$50,0004,2092,053
$50,000 - $99,99910,1524,426
$100,000 - $149,9999,4235,122
$150,000 - $199,9998,6377,454
$200,000 - $249,9998,42911,575
$250,000 - $299,9997,45911,943
$300,000 - $399,9997,00912,520
$400,000 - $499,9992,5094,921
$500,000 - $749,9991,7273,226
$1,000,000 +289373

Source: ESRI, 2021-10-13

Housing Year Built

Year RangeHouses Built
2010 or Later3,851
2000-200913,082
1990-199911,126
1980-198915,165
1970-197919,058
1960-196911,488
1950-195913,636
1940-19494,649
1939 or Before5,285

Source: ESRI, 2021-10-13

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Income
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Income

McLennan County20212026
Median Household$51,090$56,241
Average Household$73,510$82,451
Per Capita$27,372$30,712

Source: ESRI, 2021-10-13

Household Income Base

McLennan County2021
<$15,00014,830
$15,000 - $24,9999,339
$25,000 - $34,9998,935
$35,000 - $49,99915,126
$50,000 - $74,99916,160
$75,000 - $99,99911,460
$100,000 - $149,99913,465
$150,000 - $199,9993,960
$200,000+5,237

Source: ESRI, 2021-10-13

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Employees
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Commute

CategoryCommuters
Workers 16+113,016
In-County Residents105,053
Out-of-County Residents7,558
Drive Alone93,674
Carpooled11,156
Public Transport417
Work at Home4,050
Less than 5 minutes3,201
5-9 minutes14,264
10-14 minutes20,422
15-19 minutes28,348
20-24 minutes17,072
25-29 minutes6,091
30-34 minutes10,335
35-39 minutes1,518
40-44 minutes1,390
45-59 minutes2,524
60-89 minutes1,900
90+ minutes1,901
Average Travel Time19

Source: ESRI, 2021-10-13

Source: ESRI, 2021-10-13

Employees by NAICS

CategoryNumber
Total Employees120,030
Agr/Forestry/Fish/Hunt766
Mining36
Utilities560
Construction6,091
Manufacturing10,057
Wholesale Trade6,232
  
Retail Trade14,174
Motor Veh/Parts Dealers1,872
Furn & Home Furnish Str493
Electronics & Appl Store375
Bldg Matl/Garden Equip1,249
Food & Beverage Stores2,070
Health/Pers Care Stores897
Gasoline Stations546
Clothing/Accessory Store926
Sports/Hobby/Book/Music1,074
General Merchandise Str2,936
Misc Store Retailers1,624
Nonstore Retailers112
  
Transportation/Warehouse2,741
Information2,854
  
Finance & Insurance5,050
Cntrl Bank/Crdt Intrmdtn2,620
Sec/Cmdty Cntrct/Oth Inv484
Insur/Funds/Trusts/Other1,946
  
Real Estate/Rent/Leasing2,489
Prof/Scientific/Tech Srv6,370
Legal Services978
Mgmt of Comp/Enterprises361
Admin/Support/Waste Mgmt2,012
Educational Services13,789
HealthCare/Social Assist17,367
Arts/Entertainment/Rec2,190
  
Accommodation/Food Srvcs11,041
Accommodation1,111
Food Srv/Drinking Places9,930
  
Other Srv excl Pub Admin7,213
Auto Repair/Maintenance1,113
Public Administration Emp8,199

Source: ESRI, 2021-10-13

Educational Attainment (25+)

McLennan County2021
Some High School14,454
Graduated High School37,891
Associates Degree19,038
Bachelor's Degree27,378
Graduate Degree15,712

Source: ESRI, 2021-10-13

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Businesses
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Businesses by NAICS

CategoryNumber
Total Businesses8,753
Agr/Forestry/Fish/Hunt Bus42
Mining Bus5
Utilities Bus37
Construction Bus575
Manufacturing Bus303
Wholesale Trade Bus304
  
Retail Trade Bus1,379
Motor Veh/Parts Dealers Bus218
Furn & Home Furnish Str Bus74
Electronics & Appl Store Bus33
Bldg Matl/Garden Equip Bus97
Food & Beverage Stores Bus181
Health/Pers Care Stores Bus108
Gasoline Stations Bus63
Clothing/Accessory Store Bus148
Sports/Hobby/Book/Music Bus64
General Merchandise Str Bus99
Misc Store Retailers Bus200
Nonstore Retailers Bus94
  
Transportation/Warehouse Bus162
Information Bus159
  
Finance & Insurance Bus567
Cntrl Bank/Crdt Intrmdtn Bus246
Sec/Cmdty Cntrct/Oth Inv Bus108
Insur/Funds/Trusts/Other Bus213
  
Real Estate/Rent/Leasing Bus459
Prof/Scientific/Tech Srv Bus642
Legal Services Bus172
Mgmt of Comp/Enterprises Bus34
Admin/Support/Waste Mgmt Bus256
Educational Services Bus276
HealthCare/Social Assist Bus693
Arts/Entertainment/Rec Bus169
  
Accommodation/Food Srvcs Bus683
Accommodation Bus95
Food Srv/Drinking Places Bus588
  
Other Srv excl Pub Admin Bus1,164
Auto Repair/Maintenance Bus228
Public Administration Bus303

Source: ESRI, 2021-10-13

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