City & Town Population Estimates for Indiana
Sub-county population estimates for July 1, 1998 [revised July 1999]
Joan Rainey, Research Analyst
Link to tables in STATS Indiana
Release date:  Wednesday, June 30, 1999

IMPORTANT NOTE: The cities of Bloomington, Fort Wayne and Gary challenged the population estimates as released (and shown here) by the Bureau. Those challenges were accepted by the Census Bureau in January 2000. Please note that the rankings and other analysis you see below DOES NOT REFLECT THOSE CHALLENGES.
Please view this link to view the accepted challenges and keep this information in mind when reading this analysis, based on the original set of 570+ city estimates.

What are they?
Population Exceeding 20,000
Cities Adding the Most People
Cities Losing the Most People
Indiana's Ten Largest Cities & Towns
Smaller Cities and Towns
Looking More Closely at Hamilton County
Population Change in Miami County
Moderate Growth
Grouping Cities by Size

What are they?   top
Sub-county is the Census Bureau term for cities, towns and townships. The population of all U.S. sub-county areas have been estimated for July 1, 1998 by the U.S. Bureau of the Census. Released Wednesday, June 30, 1999, an analysis of the Bureau’s estimates for Indiana cities, towns and townships was conducted by the Indiana Business Research Center, in the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. Estimates for all of these areas for Indiana are available on the website STATS Indiana (

It is important to note that these estimates are not the result of a direct count of the population, as will be done in census year 2000. Produced by the Census Bureau, the estimates are the result of a demographic technique called the Distributive Housing Method. A simplified view of the Distributive Housing Method:

The number of housing units in each geographic area from the 1990 census is the starting point. Using building permit and demolition data for the period 1990 to 1998, an estimate of the number of housing units for July 1, 1998 for each geographic area is calculated. The persons per household rates from the 1990 census are applied and estimates of the household population are the result. Estimates of 1998 group quarters population are added to the household population estimates to yield total population estimates for each area. Hoosier Cities and Towns with Population Exceeding 20,000    top
Looking at the largest cities and towns in Indiana (those with 1998 population estimated at 20,000 or more):                 Jeffersonville 8.3%, in Clark County
                West Lafayette 7.0%, in Tippecanoe County

Cities that added the largest numbers of persons
between 1990 and 1998 include:    top
1990 to 1998

Cities with population decline exceeding 2,000
persons include: top
1990 to 1998
Fort Wayne
South Bend
St. Joseph
Terre Haute
East Chicago

Large cities with the highest rates of population loss were:

Marion 11.6%
East Chicago 8.9%
Terre Haute 7.2%
Hammond 7.2%
Gary 7.0%

Ten Largest Cities     top
There has been no change in the ranking of Indiana’s ten largest (most populous)
cities since 1990, so the ten largest Hoosier cities continue to be:

  1. Indianapolis 752,000
  2. Fort Wayne 186,000
  3. Evansville 123,000
  4. Gary 108,000
  5. South Bend 99,000
  6. Hammond 78,000
  7. Muncie 67,000
  8. Bloomington 65,000
  9. Anderson 59,000
  10. Terre Haute 53,000
Fishers jumped from being the 80th largest Hoosier city/town in 1990 to 30th in 1998.
Carmel: from 26th in 1990 to 15th in 1998, Noblesville from 40th to 28th.

New to the 20,000+ group since 1990: Fishers, Munster and Noblesville.

Smaller cities and towns    top
The fastest growing Hoosier city or town with population less than 20,000 has been Westfield in Hamilton County. This town of 3,300 tripled in population since the 1990 census, with an estimated 1998 population of almost 10,000, for a growth rate of 202%.
Other fast growing Hoosier towns and smaller cities and their growth rates include:

St. John 64%, Lake
De Motte 63%, Jasper
Santa Claus 62%, Spencer
Brownsburg 52%, Hendricks
Mooresville 50%, Morgan
Whiteland 50%, Johnson
Porter 47%, Porter
Whitestown 44%, Boone
Cloverdale 43%, Putnam

Indiana townships    top
Of the 1008 townships in Indiana, 942 of them experienced population increases between April 1, 1990
and July 1, 1998, with the remaining 66 townships seeing population decline.

Looking more closely at Hamilton County    top
These estimates are consistent with county population estimates for 1998 that were previously released by the Census Bureau. According to the estimates, Hamilton County grew by 49.3% between 1990 and 1998. All townships, cities and towns in the county have experienced growth during this period; however the growth is not evenly distributed across the county. Most of the growth has occurred in the county’s three largest cities. The population growth in Fishers, Carmel and Noblesville accounts for 81% of the growth in the county.

Population change in Miami County    top
The city of Peru in Miami County declined by 1,500 persons for an 11.8% rate of population loss since the 1990 census. However, the estimates indicate that the population loss in Peru has turned around since 1996, with population increases in each of the two most recent years.

Moderate Population Growth in Cities and Towns    top
Indiana’s population has grown from 5.5 million persons in 1990 to almost 5.9 million persons in 1998. This growth of 355,000 persons represents a growth rate of 6.4% for the state.

When all 569 Hoosier cities and towns are combined, as a group they experienced population growth of 113,000 persons from 3,580,000 in 1990 to 3,694,000 in 1998 for a growth rate of 3.2%. The balance of Indiana’s population that does not reside in cities or towns increased from 1,964,000 to 2,206,000 for an increase of 242,000 persons or 12.3%.

Grouping cities by size    top
With an estimated 1998 population of 752,000, Indianapolis is not only the largest city in the state, but is four times as populous as the second largest city, Fort Wayne. Indianapolis experienced population growth of 1.3% between 1990 and 1998. However, the estimates indicate that the growth in Indianapolis occurred between 1990 and 1994 and that the largest Hoosier city has experienced population loss in each of the four most recent years.

Fort Wayne, Evansville and Gary, with populations between 100,000 and 200,000 have each experienced population loss, and as a group have declined at 4.9%.

Of the six cities with populations between 50,000 and 100,000, only Bloomington grew, while South Bend, Hammond, Muncie, Anderson and Terre Haute all lost population. This group of six cities together experienced population loss of 4.2%.

Cities with population between 25,000 and 50,000 together grew by 9.8%. However when rapidly growing Fishers, Carmel and Noblesville (together experiencing growth of 86.5%) are excluded from this group, the remaining cities and towns of this size combine for growth of only 3.3%.

Smaller cities and towns in the following groups experienced these rates of population increase: 15,000 to 25,000 (3.5%), 5,000 to 15,000 (8.2%) and towns with populations smaller than 5,000 grew by 5.5%.

The Indiana Business Research Center, in the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University,
serves as the state’s official liaison with the U.S. Bureau of the Census. Its present and future
role will be to work with the state and its localities to provide a full and accurate census count in
the year 2000 (see

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