Is Waco, Texas A Good Place To Live?

With its small town charm and growing opportunities, many people wonder if Waco, Texas is a good place to live and raise a family.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Waco can be a great place to live due to its low cost of living, expanding job market, rich history and culture, and excellent outdoor recreation. However, the education system and crime rate are challenges.

This comprehensive guide will examine Waco across factors like the economy, housing, schools, crime, things to do, and more. We’ll help you decide if Waco’s pros outweigh any cons and could be the right fit for you.

Waco’s Job Market and Economy

When considering whether Waco, Texas is a good place to live, one important factor to consider is the job market and overall economy of the city. Fortunately, Waco boasts a thriving job market with a diverse range of industries.

Jobs and Industries

Waco is home to several major industries that contribute to its robust job market. One of the key sectors is manufacturing, with companies like SpaceX and Caterpillar having a significant presence in the area.

These companies provide numerous employment opportunities and contribute to the city’s economic growth.

Additionally, healthcare is another prominent industry in Waco, with numerous hospitals, clinics, and healthcare providers serving the community. This sector offers a wide range of job opportunities for healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, technicians, and support staff.

Furthermore, the education sector also plays a vital role in Waco’s job market. With Baylor University and several other colleges and schools in the city, there is a constant demand for educators and administrative staff.

Economic Growth and Development

Waco has experienced significant economic growth and development in recent years, making it an attractive place to live for job seekers and entrepreneurs alike. The city has invested in various infrastructure projects, such as the revitalization of downtown and the expansion of transportation networks.

These initiatives have not only created jobs but also stimulated economic activity.

In addition, Waco has seen an increase in the number of small businesses and startups, contributing to the overall economic vitality. The city’s supportive business environment, coupled with affordable real estate and a lower cost of living compared to larger metropolitan areas, makes it an ideal location for entrepreneurs to launch their ventures.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Waco’s unemployment rate has consistently remained below the national average, indicating a strong job market and a relatively stable economy. This data further supports the notion that Waco is indeed a good place to live, especially for those seeking employment opportunities and economic stability.

Cost of Living in Waco

When considering a move to a new city, it is important to assess the cost of living to determine if it aligns with your budget and lifestyle. Waco, Texas, offers a relatively affordable cost of living compared to many other cities in the United States.

Let’s take a closer look at the cost of living factors in Waco.

Housing Costs

One of the significant factors influencing the cost of living in any city is housing costs. In Waco, you’ll find a range of housing options to suit different budgets and preferences. The median home price in Waco is considerably lower than the national average, making it an attractive place for homebuyers.

Renting is also a viable option, with a variety of apartments and rental homes available at affordable rates. Whether you choose to buy or rent, you’ll likely find housing costs in Waco to be more reasonable compared to larger metropolitan areas.

According to a recent report by, the cost of housing in Waco is 23% lower than the national average. This means you can get more bang for your buck when it comes to finding a place to live in Waco.

Other Cost of Living Factors

While housing costs play a significant role in the overall cost of living, it’s essential to consider other factors as well. When it comes to everyday expenses like groceries, transportation, and healthcare, Waco offers competitive prices.

The city has a range of grocery stores and supermarkets, providing residents with affordable options for their daily needs. Additionally, transportation costs, including fuel prices and public transportation fares, are generally lower in Waco compared to larger cities.

Healthcare is another important aspect to consider. Waco is home to several hospitals and healthcare facilities that offer quality medical services at reasonable prices. The cost of healthcare in Waco is relatively lower than the national average, ensuring residents have access to affordable healthcare options.

When you consider the overall cost of living in Waco, including housing, groceries, transportation, and healthcare, it becomes clear that it is a more affordable place to live compared to many other cities in the United States.

This affordability allows residents to enjoy a good quality of life without breaking the bank.

Education in Waco

Public Schools

Waco, Texas offers a wide range of public schools that provide quality education to students. The Waco Independent School District (WISD) is the largest school district in the area, serving over 15,000 students.

WISD is dedicated to providing a safe and nurturing learning environment for all students. They offer a variety of academic programs, extracurricular activities, and support services to meet the diverse needs of their students.

For parents seeking alternative education options, there are also several charter schools and private schools available in Waco. These schools often offer specialized programs and smaller class sizes, allowing for more individualized attention and focused learning experiences.

It is important to note that when considering public schools, parents should research specific schools and their performance metrics. Websites like provide comprehensive ratings and reviews of schools in the area, allowing parents to make informed decisions about their child’s education.

Higher Education

Waco is home to several higher education institutions, providing ample opportunities for individuals seeking post-secondary education. Baylor University, a renowned private Christian university, offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs across various fields of study.

The university is known for its academic excellence, strong community engagement, and vibrant campus life.

In addition to Baylor University, McLennan Community College is also located in Waco. This community college offers affordable tuition rates and a variety of associate degree and certificate programs. McLennan Community College serves as a stepping stone for many students, providing them with the necessary skills and qualifications to enter the workforce or transfer to a four-year university.

For those interested in pursuing a career in healthcare, Waco is home to Texas State Technical College’s Nursing program. This program provides hands-on training and prepares students for careers as licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) or registered nurses (RNs).

Crime and Safety

When considering whether Waco, Texas is a good place to live, one of the key factors to consider is the crime rate and overall safety of the city. Waco, like any other city, has its share of crime, but it’s important to look at the statistics and compare them to national averages to get a fair assessment.

Violent and Property Crime Rates

According to the latest data available, Waco’s violent crime rate is higher than the national average, but it is important to note that it has been decreasing over the years. In comparison to other cities of similar size, Waco’s violent crime rate is on par with the average.

This means that while there is crime in the city, it is not significantly higher than what you would expect in a city of its size.

In terms of property crime, Waco’s rate is slightly higher than the national average. However, it is important to note that property crime can vary significantly between neighborhoods. Some neighborhoods may have higher rates of theft or burglary, while others may have lower rates.

It is always a good idea to research specific neighborhoods and speak with local residents to get a better understanding of the safety in different areas of the city.

It is worth mentioning that the Waco Police Department has been working diligently to reduce crime and improve overall safety in the city. They have implemented various initiatives and programs to engage with the community and address crime-related issues.

This proactive approach is aimed at creating a safer environment for residents and visitors alike.

Safe Neighborhoods

While crime rates are an important consideration, it is also crucial to note that Waco has several safe neighborhoods where residents feel secure. Some of the neighborhoods that are often mentioned for their safety include Woodway, Hewitt, and China Spring.

These areas have lower crime rates and are known for their strong sense of community and neighborly spirit.

If you are considering moving to Waco, it is recommended to research specific neighborhoods and speak with local residents to get a better understanding of the safety in those areas. Additionally, it is always a good idea to visit the neighborhoods you are interested in and see for yourself how safe and comfortable you feel.

For more information on crime statistics and safety measures in Waco, you can visit the Waco Police Department’s website.

Things to Do in Waco

Museums and Attractions

Waco, Texas offers a wide range of museums and attractions that cater to various interests. One popular destination is the Dr Pepper Museum, where visitors can learn about the history of this iconic soda brand and even sample different flavors.

For those interested in history, the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum showcases the legacy and bravery of the famous Texas Rangers. Another must-visit attraction is the Magnolia Market at the Silos, a bustling marketplace created by Chip and Joanna Gaines from the hit TV show “Fixer Upper”.

Here, visitors can shop for unique home decor, enjoy delicious food trucks, and relax in the beautifully landscaped grounds.

Parks and Outdoors

Waco is blessed with an abundance of parks and outdoor spaces, making it a great place for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Cameron Park is a sprawling 416-acre park that offers scenic hiking and biking trails, picnic areas, and even a river for kayaking and canoeing.

The park is also home to the Cameron Park Zoo, where visitors can get up close and personal with a variety of animals. For a more tranquil experience, the Waco Mammoth National Monument is a must-visit. This paleontological site allows visitors to see ancient mammoth fossils in their natural setting.

It’s a unique opportunity to step back in time and learn about the prehistoric past of the Waco area.

Food and Shopping

When it comes to food and shopping, Waco has plenty to offer. The city is home to a thriving food scene, with a range of restaurants and cafes catering to all tastes. Whether you’re craving traditional Texas barbecue, international cuisine, or artisanal coffee, you’ll find it in Waco.

Additionally, the city has seen a boom in recent years with the opening of new boutique shops and local businesses. One popular shopping destination is the Waco Downtown Farmers Market, where visitors can find fresh produce, homemade crafts, and artisanal goods.

For a unique shopping experience, the Magnolia Market at the Silos is also a great option, with its carefully curated selection of home decor and gifts.


In summary, Waco has a lot going for it, like affordability, job growth, and outdoor activities. But education and crime remain issues for some families.

Carefully weigh the pros and cons we’ve covered to decide if Waco’s opportunities and small town community outweigh the challenges and could make it a great place for you to live.

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