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Carol Rogers

George Vlahakis

Last modified: Tuesday, May 14, 2002

Indiana's suburbs continue to be home to most affluent

Report also highlights state's poorest areas

NOTE: This is the second of three news releases being issued this week on results of the 2000 census. Additional information and charts are available on the Web site of the Indiana Business Research Center.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- An Indiana University analysis of new population data released today (May 14) reveals that Indiana's suburban counties had the highest income levels in the state, as measured by median household income in 1999.

In five Hoosier counties, median household income exceeded $50,000. Four of the five highest-income counties -- Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks and Johnson -- are located on the suburban fringe of Indianapolis. Porter County, part of the Gary and Chicago metropolitan areas, also had median household income of $50,000 or more in 1999.

The next group of counties on the income tier includes six more suburban counties: Boone and Morgan, both in the Indianapolis metropolitan statistical area; Tipton (Kokomo MSA); Dearborn (Cincinnati PMSA); Warrick (Evansville MSA); and Whitley (Fort Wayne MSA). In each of these counties, the median household income in 1999 was between $45,000 and $50,000.

Staff at IU's Indiana Business Research Center, part of the Kelley School of Business, analyzed today's newly released data. The center serves as the state's official liaison with the U.S. Bureau of the Census and has been working with the state and its localities to provide a full and accurate count in the 2000 census.

Fifteen counties had median household income in 1999 below $35,000. These counties were found mainly in southern Indiana, on or near the Illinois border, and in another cluster in the east central region of the state.

Five contiguous counties in Indiana's southwest region stand out on multiple measures of economic deprivation. Knox, Daviess, Greene, Sullivan and Vigo counties were all at the low end on each of three census measures: median household income, percent of households with income under $10,000 and percent of families living below poverty level.

In each of these counties, median household income in 1999 was less than $35,000. Furthermore, 1999 income was under $10,000 in at least 10 percent of county households. Finally, the family poverty rate was 8 percent or higher in each county.

"In other words, at least one in 12 families in these counties subsisted below the federal poverty level," said John Besl, IBRC demographer. "Five other Indiana counties hit this same trifecta of deprivation. Those five are Crawford, Orange, Scott, Wayne and Delaware."

Complete information about all Indiana cities, counties and townships is available at the center's Web site, located at