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Vincent B. Thompson
Indiana Business Research Center
vbthomps@indiana.edu
812-855-7472

Carol O. Rogers
Indiana Business Research Center
rogersc@indiana.edu
317-274-2205

George Vlahakis
IU Media Relations
gvlahaki@indiana.edu
812-855-0846

Last modified: Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Number of Hoosiers grows to nearly 6.25 million

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Data just released today by the U.S. Census Bureau reveal that Indiana's population grew to 6.24 million as of this past July. According to analysts at the Indiana Business Research Center (IBRC) in the Indiana University Kelley School of Business, the state experienced a one-year population gain of about 38,000 for a growth rate of 0.6 percent since 2003. Since the census in April 2000, Indiana's population has grown by approximately 157,000, yielding a 2.6 percent increase for the period.

The IBRC has long been the state of Indiana's official representative to the census bureau through the Federal-State Cooperative on Population Estimates. More recently it has served as the Governor's Liaison to Census, and it also is a partner in the Indiana Data Center Program.

According to Vincent B. Thompson, IBRC economic research analyst, the Hoosier State is barely hanging on to its status as the 14th largest state in the nation. The state of Washington appears poised to eclipse Indiana within the next year or so.

"The difference in population between these two states has decreased fairly rapidly in recent years," Thompson said, referring to a gap that closed from 186,000 in April of 2000 to 34,000 this past summer. If these two states experience the same rates of growth in the coming year, Washington's population will exceed Indiana's by just more than 1,300 next summer.

Indiana and Washington both are gaining on Massachusetts, which currently is the nation's 13th most populated state. The gap between Indiana and Massachusetts has decreased from about 269,000 for the 2000 census to only 179,000 in 2004. Washington gained on Massachusetts even more quickly, closing the gap from about 455,000 in 2000 to only 213,000 in 2004. Another fast-growing state, Arizona, narrowed its margin with Massachusetts from over 1.2 million in April 2000 to roughly 673,000.

So what might happen by 2010?

Carol Rogers, IBRC associate director, said that if the growth observed for each state since April 2000 continues at the same rate through the rest of the decade, demographers can use the mean annualized growth rate to generate a projection for 2010.

"This rudimentary projection method assumes constant growth," Rogers said. "According to these projections, Indiana's rank will fall to 16th by the summer of 2010, and Massachusetts' rank will fall to 15th. However, Indiana's population will be within 47,000 of Massachusetts."

On the other hand, Washington surges past both Indiana and Massachusetts to overtake 14th place, while Arizona's explosive growth will lead it to surpass all three of these states, plus Tennessee and Missouri, to become the 13th largest state in terms of population. Another fast-growth state is Nevada, which will advance three ranks from 35th to 32nd.

Here are other predictions for larger states: Florida will edge out New York for third place, and North Carolina will claim 10th place from New Jersey. Using the same projection technique for the U.S., the IBRC predicted that the national population will reach about 312 million by summer 2010. This figure is a little higher than the Census Bureau's projection of 309 million, which was generated using more complicated projection methods.

Growth momentum

The big states keep getting bigger, as California has added more than 2 million residents since census 2000, and Texas and Florida each have added more than 1 million persons. They had growth rates between 6 and 9 percent.

But even faster rates of growth are helping Nevada and Arizona advance in the size rankings. Both of these western states achieved growth rates well above 10 percent between 2000 and 2004.

The majority of states experienced slower rates of growth. Indiana was in the middle of the pack with a respectable 2.6 percent rate of growth since the last census. North Dakota was the only state to sustain losses over the period, along with the District of Columbia. Only 15 states saw growth of greater than 5 percent, with Nevada topping the list at 16.8 percent.

The Indiana Business Research Center

Established in 1925, the Indiana Business Research Center provides and interprets the economic information needed by the state's business, government and nonprofit organizations, as well as users of such information throughout the nation.

The IBRC maintains databases on numerous topics such as income, employment, taxes, sectors of the economy, education, demographics and a host of other economic indicators for the nation, the state and local areas. In addition, the center conducts original research to generate needed information when existing data are not available or sufficient.

More population information is available at the IBRC's newly redesigned Web site at http://www.ibrc.indiana.edu/ or at http://www.stats.indiana.edu.

Editors: Carol Rogers, is available at home, 317-926-0216, or by cell phone, 317-506-0736. Vincent Thompson may be reached at home, 812-825-8822.