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

Population2000201020222027
Heart of Texas Region320,435348,069376,893383,529

Source: ESRI, 2022-11-14

Population by Age

Population201020222027
0-423,71523,02223,213
5-923,72623,66023,721
10-1423,76223,35924,358
15-1928,07425,57826,200
20-2429,61231,01930,319
25-2922,68826,01822,984
30-3420,62624,69524,260
35-3919,98523,25124,934
40-4420,35221,43523,327
45-4923,13119,95121,743
50-5423,24220,37619,709
55-5921,32422,84920,428
60-6418,62523,19621,996
65-6914,79521,28922,307
70-7411,51717,61019,288
75-799,18312,71715,185
80-846,9868,32910,293
85+6,7278,5419,264
18+261,868293,176298,129
Median Age363738

Source: ESRI, 2022-11-14

Population by Race

Heart of Texas Region2022
Total376,893.000
White Alone61.920
Black Alone13.560
American Indian Alone0.940
Asian Alone1.540
Pacific Islander Alone0.070
Some Other Race10.520
Two or More Races11.450
Hispanic Origin25.130
Diversity Index73.400

Source: ESRI, 2022-11-14

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Housing
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Households

Population2000201020222027
Households118,361128,971140,511143,099
Housing Units133,051147,771159,884162,643
Owner Occupied Units91,42193,966
Renter Occupied Units49,09049,134
Vacant Units19,37319,544

Source: ESRI, 2022-11-14

Home Value

Heart of Texas Region20222027
Median Home Value$183,776$249,066
Average Home Value$218,214$276,387
<$50,00010,0086,096
$50,000 - $99,99915,7778,879
$100,000 - $149,99910,2105,921
$150,000 - $199,99914,37211,370
$200,000 - $249,99912,10514,990
$250,000 - $299,99910,91816,453
$300,000 - $399,9999,40416,070
$400,000 - $499,9994,2007,550
$500,000 - $749,9992,7624,362
$1,000,000 +408595

Source: ESRI, 2022-11-14

Housing Year Built

Year RangeHouses Built
2010 or Later5,786
2000-200920,056
1990-199920,001
1980-198923,885
1970-197925,662
1960-196917,092
1950-195918,846
1940-19497,697
1939 or Before9,837

Source: ESRI, 2022-11-14

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Income
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Income

Heart of Texas Region20222027
Median Household$55,646$65,182
Average Household$82,002$95,328
Per Capita$30,747$35,739

Source: ESRI, 2022-11-14

Household Income Base

Heart of Texas Region2022
<$15,00017,681
$15,000 - $24,99912,651
$25,000 - $34,99912,435
$35,000 - $49,99920,298
$50,000 - $74,99923,912
$75,000 - $99,99917,360
$100,000 - $149,99921,327
$150,000 - $199,9997,091
$200,000+7,756

Source: ESRI, 2022-11-14

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Employees
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Commute

CategoryCommuters
Workers 16+157,721
In-County Residents130,721
Out-of-County Residents26,175
Drive Alone130,056
Carpooled15,229
Public Transport737
Work at Home7,184
Less than 5 minutes6,002
5-9 minutes19,824
10-14 minutes25,008
15-19 minutes32,184
20-24 minutes21,319
25-29 minutes9,358
30-34 minutes15,686
35-39 minutes3,111
40-44 minutes2,859
45-59 minutes6,707
60-89 minutes4,836
90+ minutes3,641
Average Travel Time0

Source: ESRI, 2022-11-14

Source: ESRI, 2022-11-14

Employees by NAICS

CategoryNumber
Total Employees155,239
Agr/Forestry/Fish/Hunt1,004
Mining381
Utilities863
Construction8,245
Manufacturing11,647
Wholesale Trade8,081
  
Retail Trade18,944
Motor Veh/Parts Dealers2,617
Furn & Home Furnish Str565
Electronics & Appl Store420
Bldg Matl/Garden Equip1,576
Food & Beverage Stores3,465
Health/Pers Care Stores1,159
Gasoline Stations910
Clothing/Accessory Store1,037
Sports/Hobby/Book/Music931
General Merchandise Str3,904
Misc Store Retailers2,203
Nonstore Retailers158
  
Transportation/Warehouse3,678
Information3,200
  
Finance & Insurance5,840
Cntrl Bank/Crdt Intrmdtn3,052
Sec/Cmdty Cntrct/Oth Inv618
Insur/Funds/Trusts/Other2,170
  
Real Estate/Rent/Leasing2,872
Prof/Scientific/Tech Srv8,118
Legal Services1,284
Mgmt of Comp/Enterprises555
Admin/Support/Waste Mgmt2,608
Educational Services17,061
HealthCare/Social Assist24,090
Arts/Entertainment/Rec2,584
  
Accommodation/Food Srvcs14,625
Accommodation1,613
Food Srv/Drinking Places13,012
  
Other Srv excl Pub Admin9,069
Auto Repair/Maintenance1,331
Public Administration Emp11,422

Source: ESRI, 2022-11-14

Educational Attainment (25+)

Heart of Texas Region2022
Some High School20,693
Graduated High School61,831
Associates Degree28,850
Bachelor's Degree40,302
Graduate Degree20,381

Source: ESRI, 2022-11-14

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Businesses
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Businesses by NAICS

CategoryNumber
Total Businesses13,091
Agr/Forestry/Fish/Hunt Bus124
Mining Bus33
Utilities Bus71
Construction Bus816
Manufacturing Bus414
Wholesale Trade Bus465
  
Retail Trade Bus2,062
Motor Veh/Parts Dealers Bus313
Furn & Home Furnish Str Bus94
Electronics & Appl Store Bus46
Bldg Matl/Garden Equip Bus145
Food & Beverage Stores Bus310
Health/Pers Care Stores Bus143
Gasoline Stations Bus116
Clothing/Accessory Store Bus187
Sports/Hobby/Book/Music Bus83
General Merchandise Str Bus154
Misc Store Retailers Bus285
Nonstore Retailers Bus186
  
Transportation/Warehouse Bus278
Information Bus217
  
Finance & Insurance Bus802
Cntrl Bank/Crdt Intrmdtn Bus360
Sec/Cmdty Cntrct/Oth Inv Bus144
Insur/Funds/Trusts/Other Bus298
  
Real Estate/Rent/Leasing Bus654
Prof/Scientific/Tech Srv Bus931
Legal Services Bus247
Mgmt of Comp/Enterprises Bus43
Admin/Support/Waste Mgmt Bus353
Educational Services Bus414
HealthCare/Social Assist Bus1,002
Arts/Entertainment/Rec Bus236
  
Accommodation/Food Srvcs Bus1,057
Accommodation Bus175
Food Srv/Drinking Places Bus882
  
Other Srv excl Pub Admin Bus1,687
Auto Repair/Maintenance Bus302
Public Administration Bus648

Source: ESRI, 2022-11-14

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