More than half of counties lose population, according to analysis by Kelley’s Indiana Business Research Center
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Latest results from the 2020 Census show that Indiana’s population growth over the past decade largely was driven by gains in a handful of metropolitan areas and exclusively through gains among the state’s minority populations, according to analysis by the Indiana Business Research Center at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.
The 11-county Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson metro lead the way by adding 223,163 residents between 2010 and 2020, an 11.8 percent increase. The Indy metro area’s numeric growth accounted for 74 percent of the state’s net population gain over this period.
With a population now at more than 2.1 million people, this central Indiana region’s share of the state’s total population increased from 29.1 percent in 2010 to 31.1 percent in 2020.
Other fast-growing metro areas in the state include Fort Wayne (7.6 percent growth), Columbus (7.1 percent), Lafayette (6.7 percent) and the Indiana portion of the Louisville metro (6.2 percent). The only Indiana metro areas to lose population over the decade are Muncie (-4.9 percent decline) and Terre Haute (-2.1 percent).
“While many Indiana metro areas continue to grow, large swaths of the state — including most mid-sized and rural communities — saw a population decline between 2010 and 2020,” said Matthew Kinghorn, senior demographer at the IBRC. “All told, 49 of Indiana’s 92 counties lost population over this period. This represents the largest number of Indiana counties to show a decline between censuses since the 1980s.”
The 44 Indiana counties that are part of a metropolitan statistical area combined to grow by 6.3 percent over the past decade. Meanwhile, the state’s 48 non-metro counties as a group declined by -0.9 percent over the same period.
For Indiana as a whole, the state added 301,726 residents since 2010 — a 4.7 percent increase — and was home to nearly 6.8 million residents as of April 1, 2020.
The latest Census Bureau release provides Indiana officials with the data needed to redraw congressional and legislative districts. 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, with funding support from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.