Temple’s population grew more than 20 percent since the last headcount in 2000, data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau shows.
The official city population was 66,102 in the 2010 count, up from 54,514 in 2000.
The tally was a pleasant albeit slight surprise to Mayor Bill Jones, who said the city had estimated its population at 64,000.
City Manager David Blackburn said the city was able to expand infrastructure in the last decade to accommodate its 11,588 additional residents, and it continues to prepare for more. “I have been in cities with slow growth as well as rapid growth and both present challenges for city streets, parks, utilities and waste departments,” Blackburn said. “A moderate growth pace from the perspective of city infrastructure is really a sweet spot for a community.”
The number of households climbed from 21,543 in 2000 to 26,113 in 2010. Households include both families and non-families, which the Census Bureau defines as people living alone or households that do not have any members related to the householder. Same-sex households are considered families if there is at least one additional person related to the householder by birth or adoption, or non-families if the householder has no relatives in the home.
While households grew in Temple, families declined from 65.5 percent to 63.4 percent of the population. Husband-wife families fell from 48.4 percent to 44.2 percent of households and married couples with children under 18 declined from 21.4 percent to 18.6 percent, data show.
The shifts present problems for communities, Jones said. “We still have more young people having children – children having children – and many more single family heads of households,” he said. “I think the long-term issues and the educational issues and its effect on the population is something we all have to address because we all are paying the price for that societal change.”
Average household size rose from 2.44 to 2.47. Average family size increased from 3.04 to 3.12.
Data also show Temple’s racial makeup changed slightly. The percentage of white residents declined from 69.8 to 68.1, while the percentage of black residents increased from 16.5 to 16.9 percent.
Those identifying themselves as Hispanic increased from 17.8 percent to 23.7 percent of Temple’s population. Some 13,179 Temple residents said they were Mexican, while 2,515 claimed to be Puerto Rican, Cuban or other Latino.
Temple’s median age dropped slightly from 35.2 to 34.6 years old. However, gender ratios remained the same as in 2000, with males at 47.8 percent and females at 52.2 percent of Temple’s population.
Projections show that Temple could grow to one quarter-million people in coming years, which requires the city to prepare for future residents’ needs for water, solid waste disposal and emergency responders, Jones said.
In the short-term, it wouldn’t be unreasonable for Temple to hit 80,000 by the 2020 census.
“If I had to look into a crystal ball today I speculate that we would see at least as much growth in the next decade as in the past decade, if not more growth,” Blackburn said.
Temple, Texas is a community with a diverse economic base that includes healthcare, distribution and warehousing, and manufacturing as the foundation. Within 180 miles of a population of 17.8 million, Temple is in a strategic location that is central within the southwest U.S. marketplace.