Porter County’s gravitational pull is getting stronger according to new 2012
population estimates released this week from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Comparing the estimated 2012 population data with the 2010 U.S. Census
figure, the county saw a .8 percent growth over two years with 1,339 new
people for a total estimate of 165,682 residents in 2012.

Lake County saw a dip of roughly .5 percent since 2010; its population fell
to 493,618, a difference of 2,387 people. LaPorte County to the east saw a
less steep decline. Its 2012 population estimate came to 111,467 which is a
.2 percent decrease since 2010 with 221 fewer residents.

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Cities and Towns

Meanwhile, the fastest growing areas in Porter County were the towns of
Chesterton, Burns Harbor, and the City of Valparaiso, along with the
townships of Westchester and Center.

Burns Harbor saw the county’s highest percentage estimated population
increase of 5.7 percent in 2012 over the 2010 U.S. Census figures with 66
new people, bringing the town’s population to about 1,222 compared to 1,156
in 2010.

Chesterton grew by roughly 131 people, an increase of .96 percent with the
2012 population estimate at 13,199 up from 2010’s 13,068.

The Town of Porter also showed growth. It’s 2012 population estimate is
4,878 with 20 new residents, an increase of .41 percent since 2010.

Beverly Shores’ population grew by four people since 2010, the U.S. Census
bureau estimates. It’s 2012 estimate is 617 compared to the 2010 Census
figure of 613.

It was win one, lose one between the Town of Dune Acres and the Town of
Pines. Dune Acres gained one new resident with a 2012 population estimate of
183 over 2010’s 182, while Pines saw its population go from 708 in 2010 to
707 in 2012.

The Town of Pines was the only municipality in Porter County that saw any
population decrease, even though it was by just one person.

In the county’s largest city, Portage, the population grew the most slowly
in terms of percentage. The city’s 2012 estimate is 36,860 residents which
is just an .08 percent increase over the city’s 2010 Census figure of
36,828, a difference of 32 people.

Valparaiso saw a stronger growth factor with a .9 percent increase. Its 2012
estimate is 32,014 while its 2010 Census figure was 31,730, an addition of
284 residents.

In southern Porter County, the Town of Kouts grew more than its neighbor
Hebron. Kouts saw 34 new residents for a 2012 population estimate of 1,913,
a 1.8 percent boost since 2010’s figure of 1,879. Hebron grew just .2
percent with 8 new residents. Its new estimate is 3,732 residents over
2010’s 3,724.

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Townships

Also, in Duneland, Westchester Township saw a 1.1 percent increase in
population with an estimated 19,606 in 2012 compared to 19,396 in the 2010
Census data, indicating that 210 new folks have moved in. Jackson Township
saw a climb of 1.2 percent. The U.S. Census estimated the population there
for 2012 was 5,393 compared to 5,328 in 2010, an increase of 65 persons.

Liberty Township’s 2012 estimate came to 9,392 residents, an increase of .78
percent since 2010’s Census number of 9,319 and 73 new residents.

Pine Township did grow also, by 17 persons. The 2012 estimate came to 2,726
residents over 2010’s figure of 2,709.

Porter County’s two largest townships also grew. Portage Township reportedly
has 47,215 for its 2012 estimate. That’s 130 more than 47,085 in 2010 for a
growth factor of .28 percent. Center Township was similar with 43,704
residents estimated in 2012 and 43,267 in 2010. It grew by 1 percent with
437 new people.

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Elsewhere

Meanwhile, Michigan City saw 329 less people in 2012 compared to 2010 with
its new estimate being 31,150 residents. That’s a drop of about 1 percent.

The City of Gary lost an estimated 1,124 residents between 2012 and 2010.
The U.S. Census Bureau estimated there were 79,170 people living in Gary in
2012 while in 2010 there were 80,294 according to the Census, a decline of
1.4 percent.