Baylor Analysis of New Census Bureau Population Estimates Show McLennan County Hotspots

July 10, 2008

Robinson, Hewitt, Lorena, Crawford and Mart have grown in double-digit percentage terms since the last census in 2000. These and other numbers were released today in Washington as the Census Bureau announced its annual set of sub-county population estimates.

The new data are estimates of city, town and village populations as of July 1, 2007. Sociologists and community specialists at Baylor University's Center for Community Research and Development have analyzed the new data.

Dr. Larry Lyon said one of the most impressive growth areas, according to the data, is the city of Robinson. "Robinson has grown by more than 25 percent since 2000," Lyon said. "That's more than 2,200 persons."

Dr. Charles Tolbert, a rural sociologist and demographer, was particularly intrigued by population growth in Mart. "This may be associated with the correctional facility there, but the modest growth will help sustain Mart and improve the overall quality of life."

The new Census numbers also show that Hewitt continues the growth that it has exhibited since the 1990s. Hewitt has grown by 21 percent since 2000, adding nearly 2,500 persons.

The Census Bureau previously published estimates for counties, and McLennan County's 2007 total population was estimated at 228,123. That is up about 7 percent since 2000.

The city of Waco has added about 8,000 persons since 2000, growing like the county at about 7 percent.

"Waco continues to grow, but the McLennan County hotspots are clearly outside the big city," said Dr. Robyn Driskell, a Baylor sociologist and demographer. "If current trends hold, in about 10 years, there will be more people in McLennan County living outside Waco than within the city limits," Driskell added.

Tolbert also examined the population in unincorporated areas of the county and concluded that people are continuing to choose to live in towns and cities - entities the Census Bureau refers to as "incorporated places."

"The population growth in McLennan County is not in the countryside, but in towns and small cities," Tolbert said. "The percent of the population living in unincorporated areas actually trended down slightly since 2000, from 16.4 percent to 15.8 percent."

For further information, contact the Center for Community Development at (254) 710-3811 or send an email to: Charlie_Tolbert@baylor.edu.

To download a PDF of the CCRD chart on Annual Estimates of the Population for Incorporated Places in McLennan County, click here.

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