Regional Profile

The Heart of Texas Region has vibrant economic and workforce diversity!

The Heart of Texas Economic Development District is comprised of six counties in central Texas between Dallas and Austin. The U.S. Census reported the estimated 2019 population to be 372,588, compared to 349,273 in 2010, an increase of nearly 7%. The Region includes six counties, including Bosque, Falls, Freestone, Hill, Limestone and McLennan County. Major population centers are Waco, Hewitt, Robinson and Hillsboro.

Economy

The Heart of Texas Region is heavily agricultural, but its economy is largely driven by the strong industrial and commercial center in the Waco MSA. Smaller centers can be found in Hillsboro and Mexia. Access to health care is generally good throughout the region, with two major health centers in McLennan County and rural health centers in each of the other counties. Economic development in the Heart of Texas region centers around key industry clusters identified in the Texas Industry Cluster Initiative, such as:

  • Advanced Technologies and Manufacturing
  • Aerospace and Defense
  • Energy

Energy production is one of the most significant industrial sectors represented in the Heart of Texas region. Lignite coal, found in Limestone and Freestone counties, is the only significant mineral resource in the area. There is a significant amount of oil and natural gas extraction as well. But recent years have resulted in a trend to develop solar and wind farms around the area. The state of Texas was the second-largest state in the country in solar capacity additions and the rising trend continues today.

Recently, the region has experienced significant economic growth, primarily in the Waco MSA, with several investments by companies like Amazon, Hello Bella, OCI Solar Power and Hecate Energy and can easily accommodate more growth in the coming years.

Workforce

There is an available and skilled workforce in the Heart of Texas region. In November 2020, the Waco MSA had a total employment of 121,023, down nearly 2% from November 2019 as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Further wage and employment information for the Waco MSA is illustrated below.

Wages by Industry (millions) (2nd Quarter 2020)

wages by industry

Source: Texas Workforce Commission 12/2020

Employment by Industry (November 2020)

employment by industry

Source: Texas Workforce Commission 12/2020

One of the most significant advantages is the presence of robust workforce training providers, that can all quickly deliver specialized training. Waco is also home to Baylor University, the 11th-largest Christian university in the country and offers a wide range of degree programs for those seeking higher levels of education.

Technical Colleges and Workforce Centers

  • Hill College
  • McLennan Community College
  • Navarro College
  • Temple College
  • Texas State Technical College
  • McLennan County Workforce Solutions Center

Geography

The geography of the Heart of Texas Region is a combination of tablelands and irregular plains ranging to hilly in the west, with altitudes varying from 209 to 1,200 feet above sea level. The mean minimum temperature is 33.3 F and the mean maximum temperature is approximately 96 F. Rainfall averages about 36.21 inches a year. The area has abundant lakes, rivers and streams that are popular for recreation and help provide municipal water supplies.

Population
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Population

Population2000201020212026
Heart of Texas Region320,643348,300388,221404,680

Source: ESRI, 2021-10-13

Population by Age

Population201020212026
0-423,72723,99924,730
5-923,73924,41225,167
10-1423,77724,31925,835
15-1928,08927,07328,638
20-2429,62430,63830,498
25-2922,69927,22724,358
30-3420,63725,50426,097
35-3919,99824,07426,100
40-4420,36522,13324,772
45-4923,14820,85922,965
50-5423,25921,08621,132
55-5921,34223,84821,682
60-6418,64324,06423,779
65-6914,81121,82123,694
70-7411,52918,12020,090
75-799,19112,50415,980
80-846,9918,23610,053
85+6,7308,3049,110
18+262,048301,058313,552
Median Age363738

Source: ESRI, 2021-10-13

Population by Race

Heart of Texas Region2021
Total388,221.000
White Alone69.420
Black Alone13.490
American Indian Alone0.690
Asian Alone1.320
Pacific Islander Alone0.070
Some Other Race12.030
Two or More Races2.980
Hispanic Origin25.730
Diversity Index69.100

Source: ESRI, 2021-10-13

Growth Rate

Heart of Texas Region2010 - 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
Households118,408129,026144,090150,269
Housing Units133,038147,754162,079168,939
Owner Occupied Units94,14999,331
Renter Occupied Units49,94050,938
Vacant Units17,98918,670

Source: ESRI, 2021-10-13

Home Value

Heart of Texas Region20212026
Median Home Value$168,165$235,987
Average Home Value$212,257$271,640
<$50,0009,9125,986
$50,000 - $99,99918,28310,896
$100,000 - $149,99914,0769,530
$150,000 - $199,99913,19412,379
$200,000 - $249,99911,19115,093
$250,000 - $299,9999,75715,076
$300,000 - $399,9999,66616,625
$400,000 - $499,9993,5966,567
$500,000 - $749,9992,6154,523
$1,000,000 +593833

Source: ESRI, 2021-10-13

Housing Year Built

Year RangeHouses Built
2010 or Later5,547
2000-200921,176
1990-199919,610
1980-198923,418
1970-197927,242
1960-196917,110
1950-195918,111
1940-19497,283
1939 or Before10,195

Source: ESRI, 2021-10-13

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Income
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Income

Heart of Texas Region20212026
Median Household$50,838$55,404
Average Household$71,865$80,239
Per Capita$26,800$29,917

Source: ESRI, 2021-10-13

Household Income Base

Heart of Texas Region2021
<$15,00020,512
$15,000 - $24,99914,656
$25,000 - $34,99913,966
$35,000 - $49,99921,705
$50,000 - $74,99924,371
$75,000 - $99,99916,835
$100,000 - $149,99919,377
$150,000 - $199,9995,900
$200,000+6,766

Source: ESRI, 2021-10-13

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Employees
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Commute

CategoryCommuters
Workers 16+157,053
In-County Residents129,634
Out-of-County Residents26,716
Drive Alone130,183
Carpooled15,769
Public Transport504
Work at Home5,591
Less than 5 minutes6,200
5-9 minutes19,900
10-14 minutes26,310
15-19 minutes32,986
20-24 minutes21,355
25-29 minutes8,006
30-34 minutes15,488
35-39 minutes3,603
40-44 minutes2,860
45-59 minutes6,646
60-89 minutes4,468
90+ minutes3,640
Average Travel Time0

Source: ESRI, 2021-10-13

Source: ESRI, 2021-10-13

Employees by NAICS

CategoryNumber
Total Employees152,754
Agr/Forestry/Fish/Hunt1,003
Mining410
Utilities910
Construction7,957
Manufacturing11,472
Wholesale Trade7,527
  
Retail Trade18,953
Motor Veh/Parts Dealers2,664
Furn & Home Furnish Str540
Electronics & Appl Store406
Bldg Matl/Garden Equip1,536
Food & Beverage Stores3,218
Health/Pers Care Stores1,182
Gasoline Stations1,002
Clothing/Accessory Store1,063
Sports/Hobby/Book/Music1,129
General Merchandise Str3,914
Misc Store Retailers2,154
Nonstore Retailers146
  
Transportation/Warehouse3,402
Information3,273
  
Finance & Insurance5,986
Cntrl Bank/Crdt Intrmdtn3,244
Sec/Cmdty Cntrct/Oth Inv556
Insur/Funds/Trusts/Other2,186
  
Real Estate/Rent/Leasing2,879
Prof/Scientific/Tech Srv7,122
Legal Services1,189
Mgmt of Comp/Enterprises412
Admin/Support/Waste Mgmt2,296
Educational Services18,271
HealthCare/Social Assist23,074
Arts/Entertainment/Rec2,439
  
Accommodation/Food Srvcs14,077
Accommodation1,500
Food Srv/Drinking Places12,577
  
Other Srv excl Pub Admin9,079
Auto Repair/Maintenance1,367
Public Administration Emp11,653

Source: ESRI, 2021-10-13

Educational Attainment (25+)

Heart of Texas Region2021
Some High School22,969
Graduated High School63,067
Associates Degree27,110
Bachelor's Degree38,005
Graduate Degree20,115

Source: ESRI, 2021-10-13

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Businesses
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Businesses by NAICS

CategoryNumber
Total Businesses12,522
Agr/Forestry/Fish/Hunt Bus111
Mining Bus29
Utilities Bus74
Construction Bus778
Manufacturing Bus395
Wholesale Trade Bus442
  
Retail Trade Bus2,009
Motor Veh/Parts Dealers Bus323
Furn & Home Furnish Str Bus91
Electronics & Appl Store Bus44
Bldg Matl/Garden Equip Bus145
Food & Beverage Stores Bus282
Health/Pers Care Stores Bus144
Gasoline Stations Bus127
Clothing/Accessory Store Bus186
Sports/Hobby/Book/Music Bus83
General Merchandise Str Bus145
Misc Store Retailers Bus283
Nonstore Retailers Bus157
  
Transportation/Warehouse Bus266
Information Bus222
  
Finance & Insurance Bus779
Cntrl Bank/Crdt Intrmdtn Bus356
Sec/Cmdty Cntrct/Oth Inv Bus136
Insur/Funds/Trusts/Other Bus287
  
Real Estate/Rent/Leasing Bus620
Prof/Scientific/Tech Srv Bus865
Legal Services Bus229
Mgmt of Comp/Enterprises Bus39
Admin/Support/Waste Mgmt Bus324
Educational Services Bus405
HealthCare/Social Assist Bus935
Arts/Entertainment/Rec Bus228
  
Accommodation/Food Srvcs Bus1,009
Accommodation Bus173
Food Srv/Drinking Places Bus836
  
Other Srv excl Pub Admin Bus1,688
Auto Repair/Maintenance Bus310
Public Administration Bus609

Source: ESRI, 2021-10-13

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