Mar 20, 2024 - News

Indianapolis suburbs drive metro area growth

Change in population, 2020 to 2023
Data: U.S. Census Bureau; Map: Axios Visuals

The Indy area has grown at twice the pace of the national average since 2020, but the city itself isn't driving any of the gains.

Why it matters: After two years of comparatively slow growth, Indiana's population gains last year nearly matched pre-pandemic annual growth, making the state home to 6.86 million residents.

  • The Indianapolis metro area accounted for more than half of those gains.

Yes, but: All of the region's growth comes from the 'burbs.

By the numbers: The Indianapolis metro area grew 2.2% between 2020 and 2023, with more than 45,000 new people calling the region home.

  • The largest drivers of that growth were Hancock (7.5%), Boone (7), Hamilton(6.5) and Hendricks (6.2) counties.
  • Marion County's population has dipped in the last three years, shedding nearly 8,200 people since the pandemic — a drop of more than 0.8%.

Driving the news: Last week, the U.S. Census Bureau released data for its annual Population Estimates Program, which calculates the population between censuses.

What's happening: Rebounding birth rates coupled with continuing high levels of in-migration boosted the state's population growth back to pre-pandemic levels last year, according to Matt Kinghorn, senior demographer at the Indiana Business Research Center.

Zoom out: The population increased by 1% nationwide over the last three years, driven largely by increases across the South and West.

  • The country's top four fastest-growing metro areas over the past three years were all in Florida, with Provo, Utah, and Austin, Texas trailing just behind, according to the new data.

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