The city is 3 miles (5 km) east of Lake Whitney, the site of the very first bass fishing tournament. Organized by the local newspaper, it took place in 1955 with 73 teams participating.
Whitney is located in western Hill County at  Texas State Highway 22 passes through the southeast side of the city, leading east 12 miles (19 km) to Hillsboro, the county seat, and west 26 miles (42 km) to Meridian. Lake Whitney State Park is 3 miles (5 km) west of Whitney via Farm Road 1244.(31.950876, -97.320716).
At the 2000 census, there were 1,833 people, 684 households and 443 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,132.3 per square mile (436.9/km²). There were 770 housing units at an average density of 475.6 per square mile (183.5/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 88.11% White, 7.09% African American, 0.16% Native American, 0.16% Asian, 2.73% from other races, and 1.75% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.27% of the population.
There were 684 households of which 32.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.6% were married couples living together, 15.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.2% were non-families. 32.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 21.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 3.11.
In the town, the population was spread out with 26.5% under the age of 18, 7.3% from 18 to 24, 22.5% from 25 to 44, 19.0% from 45 to 64, and 24.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 71.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 70.0 males.
The median household income was $25,174 and the median family income was $30,833. Males had a median income of $28,036 and females $18,487. The per capita income was $12,772. About 17.9% of families and 21.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.7% of those under age 18 and 17.5% of those age 65 or over.