Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

March 28, 2014

Miami Co. third-highest population loss

New report says statewide numbers climb, while 45 counties lose residents

By Carson Gerber Kokomo Tribune
Pharos-Tribune

---- — PERU – Miami County last year saw the third largest decline in population out of all Indiana counties despite a growing population statewide, according to a report released Thursday by the Indiana Business Research Center at Indiana University.

According to new population estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau, Miami County lost 340 residents last year. The two counties with larger population declines were Lake County, which saw 1,662 residents leave, and Wayne County, which lost 386 people.

In all, Indiana’s population grew by a rate of just over 0.5 percent in 2013. The state’s growth rate had declined for six consecutive years before this reversal in 2013.

In terms of the pace of decline, Fountain County had the state’s highest rate of population loss last year, with a 1.3 percent decline. Ohio, Fulton, Martin and Union counties also posted strong population losses.

In all, 45 of Indiana’s 92 counties lost population in 2013.

A net out-migration of residents was the primary driver of decline in most of these communities, according the study. Sixteen Indiana counties also posted a natural decrease of the population, meaning the county recorded more deaths over the year than birth.

Suburban communities in the Indianapolis metro area claimed the top four spots among all Indiana counties for growth.

Hamilton County was the fastest-growing county with a 2.5 percent increase, followed by Boone County (2.5 percent), Hendricks County (2.0 percent) and Johnson County (1.6 percent).

Indiana ranked as the 30th fastest-growing state last year, and its growth rate outpaced each of its neighboring states, according to the report.

Carson Gerber can be reached at 765-854-6739, carson.gerber@kokomotribune.com or on Twitter @carsongerber1.