The Census impacts you!

Census data helps the federal government make decisions about public services that benefit and impact our community on a daily basis such as healthcare, education, public safety and transportation. 

  • In 2017, 37.1% of Texas’ state-wide spending came from federal grant funds. 
  • Programs and agencies in McLennan County received $11.3 billion worth of funding that year. 
  • An undercount of Texas’ population by even 1% in 2020 could result in a $300 million loss of federal funding every year for the next 10 years.


Hospitals & Healthcare

Federal funding levels for health programs critical to some of our most vulnerable communities are determined using Census population data. Some of these programs and their impacts in McLennan County are:

Hospitals also utilize census data to perform needs assessments, plan new locations and understand their service populations better to provide quality care.


Public Safety

Census data plays an important role in keeping our communities safe. Local governments use census data to decide where to:

  • Build new police and fire stations
  • Determine how best to design programs and allocate resources
  • Aid in emergency preparedness


Schools & Education

Education funding allocated by census counts includes funding for:

  • Waco's 11 Head Start centers, which provide early childhood education opportunities for 1,000 families and their young children in McLennan and Falls counties 
  • The National School Lunch Program, which provided 29,408 meals for public students in McLennan County during the 2013-14 school year
  • Bilingual education programs
  • Grants for Title I schools
  • Special education support funding for public schools
  • Student financial aid

Understanding how the Census is tied to education in our area is important to providing a bright future for the youngest generation of City and County residents.


Business & Economic Development

Accurate data helps business owners find new customers, analyze locations and select new sites and target their markets more effectively. 

Banks can also determine the potential success of a particular new service by looking at the demographics of an area. That means more tailored financial assistance to potential and existing business owners. 


Roads & Transportation

Support for transportation is important for our region, which according to Census population data, is growing by about 1.7 percent annually . Statewide transportation funding from federal transportation programs is projected to total $11.3 billion dollars over the next two years. Funding allocated through these programs goes towards highway and road construction, as well as local and state-wide transit systems.

A complete count will help influence funding decisions on these transportation improvements to keep pace with our City and County’s rapid population growth.



The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Community Development Block Grants are tied to census data. These annual grants also provide billions in discretionary funding that local governments can choose to use to improve their infrastructure.

HUD funding to McLennan County totals:

  • $3,800,000 in Lead Hazard Control & Healthy Homes Funding;
  • $2,225,894 in Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program Grant funding, which is used across six counties;   
  • $1,302,073 from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG);
  • $975,367 in Continuum of Care Funding; and
  • $628,043 from the HOME program.  


Congressional Seats

The census affects your representation in Congress. Every ten years, the state population counts provided by the census are used to update the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives. This is known as Congressional reapportionment.

With a complete count, Texas is projected to gain 3 seats

Achieving an accurate population count in Texas is crucial to ensuring that the needs of all Texans-- including residents of Waco and McLennan County—are represented in Congress.