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Carol Rogers
Indiana Business Research Center

George Vlahakis
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Friday, February 2, 2007

Indiana Business Research Center takes a comparative look at Indy and Chicago's economies

Final score: Indianapolis 8, Chicago 7

Feb. 2, 2007

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- While the prognosticators debate the merits of quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Rex Grossman, the analysts at Indiana University's Indiana Business Research Center have looked at how Indianapolis and Chicago measure up according to the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.

Their "Battle of the Stats" appears online at and is included below. A link to a larger report is available at

The IBRC, part of IU's Kelley School of Business, is an extensive resource for data and analysis of economic and demographic information needed by business, government and nonprofit organizations in Indiana and throughout the nation.


As Super Bowl XLI quickly approaches, let's take a look at how the Indianapolis and Chicago combined statistical areas (CSAs) measure up against each other according to the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.

Touchdown Chicago: The Chicago CSA had 7.6 million more residents than Indianapolis in 2005. The call is questionable (since more people means more crowded lines in retail stores, fewer parking spaces, more traffic and the need to move further away from the city), but the ruling on the field stands.

Touchdown Indianapolis: Fourteen minutes less travel time per day to drive to and from work in the Indianapolis CSA than the Chicago CSA leaves 85 hours more per year for Indy residents to do something other than sit in traffic!

Two-Point Conversion Indianapolis: With home values $100,000 less in Indianapolis than in Chicago and median income only $8,000 less, Indianapolis residents appear more likely to find affordable housing. A deeper look reveals that fewer than one-fourth of Indianapolis CSA homeowners have a mortgage and monthly utilities that take more than 30 percent of their income. Meanwhile, more than one-third of Chicago CSA homeowners fit that profile, meaning Hoosiers have more money to spend elsewhere.

Final Score: Indianapolis 8, Chicago 7