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Census Numbers Illustrate Decline In Housing Market

Census data released Thursday emphasizes how much the housing bubble burst affected Hoosier home ownership.

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Photo: Imagesofmoney (Flickr)

Home ownership in Indiana declined from 71.4% percent in 2000 to 69.9% percent in 2010.

Home ownership in Indiana declined from 71.4- percent in 2000 to 69.9-percent in 2010.  That’s despite the fact that the age of Indiana’s population increased over the ten year period.  Indiana Business Research Center analyst Matt Kinghorn said the drop magnifies how much the housing slump and recession hurt the state’s housing market.

“Really, that one and a half percent difference between 2000 and 2010 is really somewhat larger because we would’ve expected to see that home ownership rate increase,” said Kinghorn.

Kinghorn said normally, home ownership rates increase with age.

While overall home ownership in Indiana dropped from 2000 to 2010, African-Americans took a bigger hit than most people.

According to the data , the gap between white and African-American home ownership widened in the last decade.  While white home ownership fell by only six-tenths of one percent, the rate for African-Americans dropped 4.6-percent.  Kinghorn said a number of factors may play into the difference, including education level and income:

“So the home ownership rate really is likely more of a symptom of some of these larger issues than it is its own stand-along indicator,” said Kinghorn.

The state’s white home ownership rate in 2010 was about 74-percent compared to only around 40-percent for the black population.

The number of Hoosiers in nursing facilities dropped from 2000 to 2010 despite the average age of Indiana’s population increasing.

Census data shows the nursing facility population dropped from nearly 49,000 to about 41,000 in ten years.  Kinghorn said given the state’s aging population, the nursing facility population should have increased.

“I’m surprised,” said Kinghorn. “And I don’t know off the top of my head that I have a good explanation for that.”

Kinghorn said the only explanation he can find is that the Census Bureau doesn’t include other choices in senior care, like assisted living communities or home health care.  Kinghorn said Indiana is not alone in seeing a decline in its nursing home population despite an increase in its average ages– he points to other states where data showed the same trend.

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