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Matt Kinghorn
Indiana Business Research Center

Carol Rogers
Indiana Business Research Center

George Vlahakis
University Communications

Last modified: Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Ten years later: Hoosier population aging, but not as quickly as other states; Also more diverse

May 26, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The latest 2010 census data for Indiana depict a state that is growing older and becoming more diverse, according to the Indiana Business Research Center at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business.

Between 2000 and 2010, Indiana's median age jumped from 35.2 to 37.0. Despite this increase, the state remains comparatively young. Indiana's 2010 median age is a shade higher than neighboring Illinois but is roughly two years younger than Michigan and Ohio and one year below the Kentucky mark. Indiana is also younger than the U.S., where the median age increased from 35.3 years in 2000 to 37.2 in 2010.

"Unpacking the numbers, it comes as no surprise that the baby boom generation accounts for much of this aging trend. The number of Hoosiers between the ages of 45 and 64, a grouping that contained all boomers in 2010, increased by 27 percent over the decade," said Matt Kinghorn, an IBRC economic analyst.

Meanwhile, the state's younger adult population (ages 18 to 44) declined 3.7 percent as boomers vacated this age group. The number of Hoosiers age 65 and older jumped by 11.7 percent over this same period and the state's child population (age 17 and younger) increased 2.2 percent.

Greater Diversity in Youth Population

The nature of the growth within the state's child population underscores Indiana's growing racial and ethnic diversity.

Indiana's child population grew over the decade despite a 7.5 percent drop in the number of non-Hispanic white children. This rate of decline equates to 95,700 fewer non-Hispanic white children in 2010. However, the number of Hispanic children more than doubled over the same period and the multi-race and Asian child populations jumped by nearly 90 percent.

The number of black children in the state grew by 8 percent. All told, the state's minority child population increased by 129,600 between 2000 and 2010.

Because of its strong growth in the younger age groups, Hispanic residents now account for 9.6 percent of the total Indiana child population compared to 4.8 percent of the state's population age 18 or older. By contrast, non-Hispanic white residents make up 73.9 percent of the state's population under 18 compared to 84 percent of the adult population. Indiana's black residents account for 10.9 percent of the child population and 8.3 percent of the adult population.

Around Indiana

Although Indiana's child population increased between 2000 and 2010, much of this growth was concentrated in a handful of large metropolitan areas, college communities and counties with large Amish populations. In all, 68 of Indiana's 92 counties saw their child population decline over the decade. This age group fell by 5 percent or more in 45 of these counties.

Only 10 Indiana counties saw their younger adult population grow in the past decade yet, due to aging boomers, the number of residents age 45 to 64 increased in all counties.

"Because of these divergent trends, many of Indiana's rural or mid-sized communities are aging rapidly while a few metropolitan areas remain relatively young as they attract young adults and families," Kinghorn said.

Nearly two-thirds of Indiana counties have a median age above 39, led by Brown (46.7), Ohio (43.7), Pike (42.8), and Tipton (42.6) counties. At the other end of the spectrum, only 14 counties had a median age below the Indiana mark. Aside from communities with large college student or Amish populations, the state's youngest populations were in some of its largest counties including Marion (33.9), Elkhart (34.9), Allen (35.3), Hamilton (35.6), and Hendricks (36.7) counties.

National Trends

"Indiana's overall aging pattern is not unique," Kinghorn said. "In each state, the median age increased as the population between the ages of 45 and 64 expanded."

There are stark regional differences in population change for younger age groups, however. For instance, every state in the Northeast and the Midwest experienced a decline in its younger adult population between 2000 and 2010. In the South and the West, though, only Kentucky, West Virginia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Montana saw this age group shrink.

A similar geographic pattern is evident in the child population except in this case, Indiana bucked the broader trend. The child population declined in every state in the Northeast and Midwest with the exception of Indiana, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas.

Other Highlights

In addition to population data, this latest release from the 2010 Census features detailed information on the nature of Indiana's households and housing units. Of particular interest, these data provide a few insights into the recent housing crisis and shifts in family composition.

Highlights include:

  • The share of Indiana's occupied housing units that are owner-occupied declined from 71.4 percent in 2000 to 69.9 percent in 2010. Despite this drop, Indiana had the 11th highest homeownership rate in the country and was well above the U.S. mark of 65.1 percent.
  • Indiana's homeowner vacancy rate was 2.6 percent in 2010 compared to 1.8 percent in 2000. The state's rental vacancy rate increased from 8.8 percent in 2000 to 10.9 percent in 2010.
  • The number of family households in Indiana increased by nearly 72,000 over the decade yet the number of husband-and-wife-led households dropped by more than 10,000 to 1.24 million. Family households led by single females increased by nearly 51,000 while households led by single males grew by 31,000.
  • In 2010, husband-and-wife-led households accounted for 49.6 percent of all Indiana households. This mark ranked 15th highest among states.
  • Households led by single females with children under the age of 18 present accounted for 7.3 percent of all Indiana households in 2010. Single male-led households with children under 18 accounted for another 2.6 percent of households. Among states, these figures tied for 17th and 10th highest, respectively.

The Census 2010 provides detailed demographic profiles down to the city/town and township levels. Complete data can be found at the Census Bureau's American FactFinder website. The Census Bureau will release data with greater age, sex, race and ethnicity detail later this summer.

The Indiana Business Research Center is part of a national network of State Data Centers and acts as the state's official representative to the Census Bureau on matters relating to the census and population estimates, with support from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. The IBRC also develops and maintains STATS Indiana, the award-winning, state-supported Web service (, where Census data and much more may be found.