Indiana’s four largest cities are seeing major population shifts, according to newly released census data analyzed by the Indiana Business Research Center.
Indianapolis, Ft. Wayne and Evansville all showed dramatic population increases. The state’s fourth largest city, South Bend, is still seeing a decline in population, but at a much slower rate than in previous years.
Indianapolis gained an average of more than 7,000 residents over the past three years to reach a total population of more than 843,000.
Areas surrounding Indianapolis also experienced high growth rates with Fishers, Carmel and Noblesville all increasing my more than 2 percent each year from 2010 to 2013.
Matt Kinghorn, a demographer at the IRBC, says the Midwest still isn’t seeing the growth experienced in the Southern and Western United States but the numbers are encouraging.
“Indiana does stand out a bit within the Midwest – the last few years we’ve been growing faster than all of our neighbors and so things seem to be a little brighter here than some of our neighboring states,” says Kinghorn.
However the data is not all good news.
Kinghorn says five of the six cities losing the most numbers are in Lake County. He says communities such as Hammond, Gary and Hobart have been in decline for some time and that trend has increased as well.
Correction: An earlier version of this story indicated South Bend was experiencing population growth. It is still losing residents, but at a much slower rate than in previous years.