UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 8:54am
WACO -- New census data shows Waco and McLennan County are growing, and most of that growth comes from the Hispanic community.
Waco and McLennan county grew ten percent according to new census numbers, and Hispanics account for more than 80 percent of that growth.
"That's a thriving group, and I think we're going to see more of that, people entering into the main part of the economy and being successful at it," said Baylor Sociology Professor, Dr. Charles Tolbert.
In Waco, Hispanics account for nearly 30 percent of the population. More and more advertisements are showing up in front of businesses that are taking notice of the boom in the Hispanic community and are trying to cater more to them.
However, the growth doesn't come without issues. Hispanics usually have higher dropout rates, lower income and fewer have health insurance.
"We need more educated people, especially from the Hispanic community, that are going to be meeting the challenges in science, in industry, in business development, in public service," Tiempo Newspaper's Ernesto Fraga told Fox 44. Because of that need, Fraga explains, now is not the time to cutting back on funding for important areas like education.
"If we don't use our dollars in more productive means to prepare our communities to get out of poverty, to get out of illiteracy, to be more of a contributor to our society, then it's going to cost us in the wrong way."
Fraga also says the growing Hispanic community brings money into the area.
School districts receive more funds because of the sheer numbers of Hispanic students. Those numbers also mean more tax dollars in the system.