A new assessment of Indiana‘s changing demographics shows a steady rise in the state‘s minority population. Most notably, the Hispanic population has soared in the past decade and experts expect it will continue.
Rachel Strange is a geo-demographic analyst at Indiana University’s Indiana Business Research Center. Strange says the latest U.S. Census information shows the state is mirroring the nation and is becoming more diverse.
Currently, the state population is 84% white, about 9% black, 6% Hispanic and the remaining one-percent covers other minorities.
Strange says in the past decade the Hispanic population rose by 82%, the white population grew by three percent and the black population rose 16%.
“It (the Hispanic population) grew significantly faster than the black population so, over the next decade, they will most likely not going to surpass the black population but they will continue to close that gap,” Strange says.
Strange says the rise in the Hispanic population is due mainly to immigration and people obtaining legal permanent residence in the state. She says the Hispanic population also tends to be younger and has higher fertility rates that are contributing to the population rise.
The median age for Hispanics in Indiana is 24 compared to 37 for the overall state population. Strange says there are larger numbers of children in the overall minority population compared to whites. She says the non-Hispanic white population of children under 18 has dropped by 96,000 while the minority population of children increased by more than 129,000 in the past decade.
Overall, Strange says the white population tends to be older and leveling off. Strange says in the next decade, the Hispanic population in Indiana will rival the state‘s black population which stands at roughly 591,000.
Finally, Strange says the state‘s Asian population is also growing fast. She says it grew by 73 percent in the past decade. Strange says statistics show that more than half of the people obtaining permanent legal residence in 2012 were from an Asian country.