Lorena is a small city in McLennan County, Texas, United States. The population was 1,662 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Waco Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Lorena is located at 31°22′57″N 97°12′47″W(31.382482, -97.212998).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.2 square miles (8.3 km2), all of it land. Lorena is off Interstate 35 and where Highway 81 originally was.
As of the census of 2000, 1,433 people, 537 households, and 417 families resided in the city. The population density was 444.8 people per square mile (171.8/km2). There were 551 housing units at an average density of 171.0/sq mi (66.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.21% White, 0.98% African American, 0.14% Native American, 0.91% Asian, 3.07% from other races, and 0.70% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 5.86% of the population.
Of the 537 households, 39.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.5% were married couples living together, 11.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.3% were not families. About 21.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.67 and the average family size was 3.10.
In the city, the population was distributed as 28.5% under the age of 18, 6.6% from 18 to 24, 29.9% from 25 to 44, 22.6% from 45 to 64, and 12.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $47,891, and for a family was $54,083. Males had a median income of $37,560 versus $27,647 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,315. About 3.1% of families and 5.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.4% of those under age 18 and 11.3% of those age 65 or over.
The City of Lorena is served by the Lorena Independent School District.It is home to the Lorena Leopards.
Lorena is named after one of the town's first settlers' oldest daughter, Lorena Westbrook, although its original name was "Aerl Station" after the town's founder, Daniel Aerl.
Lorena acquired national attention at the 1988 Democratic National Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, where the keynote address was delivered by then state treasurer and later Governor Ann Richards. As she called for the election of Governor Michael Dukakis of Massachusetts and then U.S. Senator Lloyd M. Bentsen of Texas as President and Vice President of the United States, Richards read a letter from an unnamed young mother in Lorena who described herself as "forgotten" by the national leadership.
According to Richards, the woman wrote:
"Our worries go from pay day to pay day, just like millions of others. And we have two fairly decent incomes, but I worry how I’m going to pay the rising car insurance and food. I pray my kids don’t have a growth spurt from August to December, so I don’t have to buy new jeans. We buy clothes at the budget stores and we have them fray and fade and stretch in the first wash. We ponder and try to figure out how we're gonna pay for college and braces and tennis shoes. We don’t take vacations and we don't go out to eat. Please don’t think me ungrateful. We have jobs and a nice place to live, and we’re healthy. We're the people you see every day in the grocery stores, and we obey the laws. We pay our taxes. We fly our flags on holidays and we plod along trying to make it better for ourselves and our children and our parents. We aren’t vocal any more. I think maybe we’re too tired. I believe that people like us are forgotten in America."Country music singer Kristen Kelly is from Lorena.
Country music singer Holly Tucker is from Lorena.
Country music Dusty Saxton - drummer for Granger Smith is from Lorena.