Indiana outpaces the Midwest for population growth. But a new Indiana Business Research Center study finds the suburbs around Indianapolis take the spotlight.
Suburban counties around Indianapolis are growing rapidly, while other metropolitan areas in the state like Gary and Evansville are losing population.
Indiana Business Research Center senior analyst Matt Kinghorn says that’s part of a larger trend for the state. While Indiana isn’t growing as fast as southern or western states, Kinghorn says Indiana is still standing out.
“If we just look in our neighborhood, in the Midwest, we are growing much faster than Michigan, Illinois, Ohio – even outpace Kentucky in terms of population growth,” Kinghorn says.
In suburban areas, Kinghorn attributes this population growth to economic recovery.
He says 12 out of the 15 fastest growing cities and towns are in Indianapolis suburbs – like Hamilton County.
“It’s long been the fastest growing county in the state, and really it’s been among the top 50 or top 100 fastest growing counties in the nation,” Kinghorn says.
But lately, despite continued growth, it’s lost the top spot to another Indianapolis suburb: Whitestown in Boone County. It was the fastest growing city or town for the seventh year in a row.
Kinghorn highlighted Fort Wayne, Bloomington and Indianapolis as metropolitan areas that are driving much of the population increase.
“These areas are growing rapidly – or not rapidly, but they’re growing. Meanwhile there are large swaths of the state that are seeing population decline,” Kinghorn says.
Gary, Hammond, Evansville and Muncie experienced population decline. In Lake County, Kinghorn says that decline highlights larger population trends.
“Which really shows the dichotomy there in Lake County, whereas you have in the northern part of the county some cities losing population, but then, a little bit further south in the county you see some of the fastest growing cities in the state,” Kinghorn says.
Lake County’s St. John, Winfield and Cedar Lake were the only cities outside of Indianapolis suburbs that broke the top 15 fastest growing cities and towns.