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128314752In a major surprise, Indianapolis/Marion County’s population growth was the strongest of any of Indiana’s 92 counties, while at the same time 56.5% of Indiana’s counties were losing population. Those are some of the results of the release Thursday of 2013 population estimates by the Census Bureau. The Census Bureau estimates the city/county’s population, as of July 2013, was 928,281. That’s an increase of 24,673 since the 2010 Census; a jump of 9,394 persons since July 2012. The growth in Indiana’s largest city and county was fueled not just by more births than deaths, but by continued strong growth from people moving to Indianapolis from overseas. Some 8,786 moved to Indy since 2010 from outside this country. Indy lost some 6,085 persons to other locations in the country and overseas since 2010. But there was a very small net positive increase in domestic migration to Indianapolis from other parts of the country between 2012 and 2013. Net migration to the city/county was positive has been an overall gain of 2,701 persons since 2010. A major surprise in the Census estimates concerned Hamilton County. For years, Hamilton County had been the leader in population growth in Indiana both on a percentage basis and actual growth basis. But for the second year in a row, the Census estimates show that Marion County’s actual population growth exceeded that of Hamilton County. From 2010 to 2013 Hamilton County grew from 274,569 to 296,693 an increase of 22,124 or 8.1%. While Marion County’s percentage growth in the same period was just less than Hamilton’s at only 2.8%; actual population growth was 2,764 persons higher.

The percentage growth rate for Indianapolis/Marion County so far this decade is outpacing the previous decade. Between 2000 and 2010, the city/county grew by 5.0%. But already in the first third of this decade, Indianapolis/Marion County’s 2.8% growth is on a pace to far outstrip that. The eleven county Indianapolis/Anderson/Carmel metropolitan area continues to grow, though at a smaller rate than between 2000 and 2010.

The 2013 Census estimate reports that the Indianapolis Metro grew by 3.5% or 66,084 persons since the 2010 Census. In 2010, the population of the metro was 1,877,877. In 2013 it’d grown to 1,953,961 making the metro the nation’s 29th largest. Despite somewhat slowing population growth, the Indianapolis Metro continues to lead the Midwest in percentage growth and ranks third in actual growth. Similar to the decade between 2000 and 2010 when the Indy Metro had the highest percentage growth of any major Midwestern metro and the third largest actual population growth. Indianapolis’ metro area growth is not only the strongest in the Midwest in percentage terms, but other than the Washington DC Metro, Indianapolis had the strongest percentage growth rate of any major metro area in the Midwest and East. Statewide, Indiana’s population is growing, but an extremely low rate. The state’s population in 2013 was 6,570,902, just a 1.3% increase, 87,100 persons since the 2010 Census. But the state’s growth is a mixed picture as population declined in fifty-two of Indiana’s ninety-two counties. More ominous, Indiana’s population growth is disproportionately concentrated in the Indianapolis Metro Area. Over a quarter of the state’s population growth 28.2% occurred in Indianapolis/Marion County since 2010. More striking is that 75.6% of the state’s population growth occurred in nine of the eleven counties within the Indianapolis/Anderson/Carmel Metro. Commenting on the new Census estimates, Ryan Vaughn, Chief of Staff to Mayor Greg Ballard said “I would not consider any of these numbers surprising. We have been saying that cities will be the source of growth in the country moving forward.” Vaughn says the City’s has seen research that shows that the state population would grow “around 6%, (while) the MSA region (growth) could be upwards of 30%.” However, the Census estimates for the first third of the decade shows that Vaughn’s growth assumptions may be far too optimistic. Indy Chamber President Michael Huber reacted to the Census estimates, particularly most of Indiana’s growth being in the Indianapolis Metro saying, “There is undoubtedly a nationwide trend of migration toward metropolitan areas, and Indy is no exception.” Huber thinks the city and metros future growth must be “More than just efforts to attract new talent, (but) building a strong economic core.” Huber says that must include efforts to “stem the tide of wealth leaving our city and address ways to reduce poverty and increase opportunity for all.”


AREA                              TOT 2000        TOT 2010     TOT 2013          DIFF 10/13      %DIFF10/13

INDIANA                      6,080,485        6,483,802    6,570,902             87,100                1.3%

Indy Metro                    1,658,462         1,887,877     1,953,961              66,084               3.5%

Indpls/Marion Cnty     860,454             903,393        928,281             24,888               2.8%

Boone County                 46,107                  56,640          60,477               3,837                6.8%

Brown County                 14,957                  15,242           15,023                -219                -1.4%

Hamilton County         182,740                274,569       296,693            22,124                 8.1%

Hancock County             55,391                  70,002          71,575               1,573                2.2%

Hendricks County       104,093                145,448        153,879              8,431                5.8%

Johnson County           115,209                139,654         145,535              5,881                4.2%

Madison County           133,358                131,636        130,482             -1,154              -0.9%

Morgan County              66,689                 68,894         69,872                 978                 1.4%

Putman County              36,019                  37,963         37,505               -458                -1.2%

Shelby County                43,445                  44,436         44,729                293                  1.3%


METRO AREA              TOT 2010             TOT 2013               DIFF 10/13            %DIFF 10/13

INDIANAPOLIS           1,887,877               1,953,961                  66,084                   3.5%

Columbus                      1,901,974                1,967,066                 65,092                    3.4%

Minneapolis                  3,348,859              3,459,146                110,287                     3.3%

Kansas City                    2,009,342             2,045,473                 45,131                      2.2%

Louisville                        1,235,708              1,262,261                 26,553                     2.1%

Cincinnati                       2,114,580              2,137,406                22,826                     1.1%

Milwaukee                      1,555,908              1,569,659                 13,751                     0.9%

Chicago                           9,461,105               9,537,289               76,184                     0.8%

St. Louis                         2,787,701                2,801,056               13,355                     0.5%

Detroit                            4,296,250               4,294,983               -1,267                    0.0%

Cleveland                       2,077,240                2,064,725             -12,515                  -0.6%

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