INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana's four
largest cities are in the midst of big population shifts, with the state
capital leading the way as development in downtown Indianapolis attracts
an influx of new residents, a report that Indiana University demographers
released Thursday shows.
the Bloomington-based Indiana Business Research Center found that
Indianapolis and Fort Wayne saw average annual population increases from
2010 to 2013 that were significantly larger than they had witnessed the
previous decade, while Evansville and South Bend stemmed an exodus of
The findings came
from researchers' analysis of new U.S. Census Bureau population estimates.
Matthew Kinghorn said Indianapolis added an average of about 7,200
residents per year from 2010 to 2013, when its population reached nearly
843,400 and made it the nation's 12th largest city behind Austin, Texas.
average annual growth from 2010-2013 was twice its 2000-2010 pace, said
Kinghorn, who attributes the surge in part to the growing attractiveness
of downtown Indianapolis as a place for young professionals and others to
just on a bit of a roll right now," he said.
Downtown Inc. spokesman Bob Schultz said a building boom has boosted the
city's residential units by 89 percent in the last five years and another
3,500 units will open by 2017.
group researched who's moving into downtown and found 38 percent are
coming to the city from outside of Indiana and most are millennials — the
children of baby boomers who came of age in the new millennium — and empty
nesters. Another 26 percent were moving to downtown from counties outside
of Marion County.
young professionals who work at IUPUI just west of downtown or in the
city's growing life sciences industry are drawn downtown because of the
shopping, restaurants, bars and mass transit options. Many don't have
cars, he said.
"They want to
live in an urban core, where the action is, and they want to be close to
where they work," he said.
second-largest city, Fort Wayne, had essentially experienced flat
population growth from 2000 to 2010, but the IU report found its
population grew at an average annual pace of nearly 900 residents from
2010 to 2013, when it had about 256,500 residents.
Indiana city's economy is on the upswing, spurring downtown projects, said
Mary Tyndall, spokeswoman for Fort Wayne's community development office.
And big local
employer Ash Brokerage recently announced it will build its new
headquarters in downtown Fort Wayne as part of a larger $98 million
development set to open in 2016 with condos and parking garages, Tyndall
"Our downtown is
really booming. There's a lot of momentum for Fort Wayne and certainly the
economy has picked back up over the last three, four years," she said.
had a 2013 population of 120,310 residents, grew by about 80 residents per
year in 2010-2013, compared to an average annual decline of 420 residents
from 2000 to 2010.
continued losing population during 2010-2013 at a pace of nearly 45 people
a year, but that's a big improvement from the nearly 700 residents lost
annually from 2000 to 2010, the IU report found.