Indiana Population Growth Slows

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A demographer with the Indiana Business Research Center at Indiana University says the state's larger metro areas continue to be the "engine of growth" for population. Matt Kinghorn says the state's population grew in 2014 at a slower rate than the previous year. He says Boone, Hamilton and Hendricks counties in central Indiana grew the fastest, followed by Daviess and Clark counties in the Louisville metro.

Indiana's count stands at nearly 6.6 million, ranking it 16th in the United States.

Source: Inside INdiana Business

March 26, 2015

News Release

Bloomington, Ind. -- After posting relatively strong gains in 2013, population growth rates cooled in many Indiana communities in 2014, according to population estimates released on March 26 by the U.S. Census Bureau and analyzed by the Indiana Business Research Center at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business.

Statewide, Indiana added roughly 26,140 residents in 2014 -- a 0.4 percent increase over the previous year. By comparison, the state added 33,100 residents in 2013, and grew by an average of nearly 40,000 per year between 2000 and 2010. Indiana ranked as the 29th fastest-growing state last year and its growth rate outpaced each of its neighboring states.

"In 2013, Indiana finally snapped a stretch of six consecutive years of declining population growth rates, and the hope was that we would keep the momentum going in 2014," said Matt Kinghorn, demographer at the IBRC. "However, it appears the state took a small step back last year, but we believe that this slowdown will likely be temporary and that Indiana will slowly begin to see stronger population gains over the next few years."

With nearly 6.6 million residents in 2014, Indiana is the nation's 16th-most populous state.

Population change around the state

Suburban communities in the Indianapolis metro area claimed the top three spots among all Indiana counties for pace of growth. Boone County was the state's fastest-growing county with a 2.3 percent increase, followed by Hamilton County (2.0 percent) and Hendricks County (1.6 percent). These three counties held the top spots in 2013, as well, but each of them saw slightly slower rates of growth in 2014.

Southwestern Indiana's Daviess County and Clark County in the Louisville metro area -- each with 1.3 percent growth -- rounded out the state's top five fastest-growing counties in 2014. Both of these communities bucked the statewide trend and posted stronger growth in 2014 than they did the previous year.

The next five-fastest-growing counties were Hancock (1.2 percent growth), Johnson (1.2 percent), Tippecanoe (1.2 percent), Decatur (1.0 percent) and LaGrange (1.0 percent) counties.

For the third consecutive year, Marion County posted the state's largest numeric gain with an increase of 5,894 residents in 2014. For Marion County -- which has seen stronger-than-usual growth over the previous few years -- the 2014 increase was its smallest one-year gain since 2007. Indiana's other top gainers were Hamilton (5,795), Hendricks (2,412), Allen (2,322) and Tippecanoe (2,149) counties.

At the other end of the spectrum, many Indiana communities lost population in 2014. Lake County (Gary/Hammond) had the state's largest population decline in 2014 with a loss of 1,175 residents. Grant County (Marion) had the state's second-largest drop at 475 residents, followed by Fayette County (Connersville) with a decline of 371 residents. In terms of the pace of decline, Fayette County had the state's highest rate of population loss last year with a 1.6 percent decline. Fountain (-1.2 percent), Tipton (-1.1 percent), Vermillion (-1.0 percent) and Jennings (-1.0 percent) counties also posted significant population losses last year.

In all, 44 of Indiana's 92 counties lost population in 2014. A net out-migration of residents was the primary driver of decline in nearly all of these communities, although 17 Indiana counties also posted a natural decrease of the population -- meaning the county recorded more deaths over the year than births.

Hamilton County had the state's largest net in-migration in 2014 at 3,298 residents, followed by Hendricks County at 1,594 residents and Clark County at 1,085 residents. Looking at net outflow, Lake County led the way with a net loss of 1,977 movers. Marion (-827) and Dearborn (-373) counties had the next-largest net out-migrations in 2014.

Indiana's largest counties

Indiana has six counties with populations greater than 200,000. Marion County is the state's largest with a population of 934,243 residents, which ranked as the nation's 53rd largest county in 2014 (out of 3,141 counties). Other counties above the 200,000-resident threshold are Lake (490,228), Allen (365,918), Hamilton (302,623), St. Joseph (267,618) and Elkhart (201,971).

Rounding out Indiana's 10 largest counties are Tippecanoe (183,074), Vanderburgh (182,006), Porter (167,076) and Hendricks (156,056).

Indiana's Metropolitan Areas

The 11-county Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson metro area continues to be the engine of population growth in the state. With a gain of more than 18,100 residents in 2014, this central Indiana region accounted for nearly 70 percent of the state's net growth last year. The total population count for the Indy metro now stands at 1.97 million, which represents 30 percent of the Indiana total and ranks as the nation's 33rd-largest metro area.

Compared to large metro area peers in neighboring states, the Indy area's growth rate of 0.9 percent in 2014 was lower than Columbus, Ohio (1.3 percent), but it outpaced Louisville (0.6 percent), Cincinnati (0.5 percent), Chicago (0.1 percent), Detroit (0.0 percent) and Cleveland (-0.1 percent).

With a population of nearly 427,200, the three-county Fort Wayne area is Indiana's second-largest metro and ranks as the 123rd-largest nationally (out of 381 metro areas). The Fort Wayne metro area posted 0.6 percent growth rate in 2014. Indiana's other large metro areas can also boast of growing populations last year, including South Bend-Mishawaka (0.2 percent), Evansville (0.2 percent) and Lafayette-West Lafayette (0.9 percent).

In all, 44 of Indiana's 92 counties belong to a metropolitan area. These counties combined account for 78 percent of Indiana's total population, and as a group grew at a 0.5 percent rate in 2014. The state's 48 counties that are not part of a metro area had a combined population loss of 1,339 residents last year—a 0.1 percent decline.

For more information about these estimates, visit the Population topic page at STATS Indiana.

The IBRC is part of a national network of State Data Centers and acts as the official state representative to the Census Bureau on matters relating to the census and population estimates. It receives support from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development for this work, including for the websites Hoosiers by the Numbers and the award-winning STATS Indiana.

Source: Indiana University