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Hoosier History Live

Sep 23, 2021

Indiana’s population has increased by 302,000 during the last 10 years, but more than half of the state’s 92 counties lost people. All of the five fastest growing counties border Marion County in central Indiana.

Hamilton County, where the population has increased by 26.6 percent, continues to post the largest gains, “with a growth rate faster than the state of Texas,” reports Carol Rogers, co-director of the Indiana Business Research Center at IU’s Kelley School of Business.

Carol, who will be Nelson’s guest to discuss the results of the 2020 U.S. Census, serves as the Census liaison to Gov. Eric Holcomb.

Our show will follow up on a program in 2020 (May 2, 2020) in which Carol’s colleague, demographer Matt Kinghorn, joined Nelson to discuss trends in advance of the Census results. Hoosier History Live also has explored ways that Census information can be used for historic research (Nov. 9, 2019).

During the past decade, the Indianapolis metro area grew by 223,000, accounting for 74 percent of the state’s growth, Carol says. According to a report in the Indianapolis Star in August 13, 2021, 49 of the state’s 92 counties – including most of the rural counties – have lost people over the last decade.

The Star also has reported on August 14, 2021 that the city of Westfield, where the population increased from 30,068 in 2010 to 46,410, led Hamilton County’s four cities in growth, climbing by 54.4 percent. The other three cities of  Carmel, Fishers and Noblesville all grew by more than 25 percent.

Concurrently, Hamilton County and the Hoosier state in general, continues to become more diverse. According to some reports, the state has gained 72,500 Asian residents since the 2010 U.S. Census. As has been discussed during previous Hoosier History Live shows, Indiana is the home of the largest Burmese population in the country; in particular, immigrants from the country now known as Myanmar have relocated to the southside of Indianapolis, Greenwood and Fort Wayne.

“Indiana’s Hispanic population grew by 42.2 percent and now makes up 8.2 percent of the population,” according to The Star’s analysis. Black residents make up 9.6 percent of the state’s population.

The drop in people in more than half of the state’s counties reflects a national trend, Carol Rogers says. She reports that more than half of the counties across the country are smaller than they were in 2010.