Northwest Indiana

Four counties in the northwest corner of the state (Lake, Porter, Jasper and Newton) form the Gary Metropolitan Division.* As of 2022, the region had a population of 721,584.

* Metropolitan statistical areas are defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. Highly populated MSAs (in this case, the Chicago region) can be subdivided into smaller metropolitan divisions. The OMB released new statistical area delineations in 2023, which changed the name of the Gary, IN Division to Lake County-Porter County-Jasper County, IN Division; however, the new definitions will not be reflected here until the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics implements these changes into their data.

Quick Stats

Click on any quick stat to view details and a comparison table.

723,428 Population (2023)
5.6 Unemployment Rate (February 2024)
$40.3 billion Personal Income (2022)
$1,096 Average Weekly Wage (2023 Qtr. 3)
14.4% Manufacturing Employment (2023 Qtr. 3)
237,087 Total Private Employment (2023 Qtr. 3)

The Northwest Futurecast Event

Thank you for attending!

Friday, Nov. 17, 2023
Doors open at 11:30am (CST) and lunch will be served at 12pm.

Avalon Manor Banquet Center

3550 E Lincoln Hwy,
Merrillville, IN 46410

Featured Speakers at the Northwest Indiana Futurecast Event

What did we say last year about Northwest Indiana?

Published December 16, 2022

Even with a higher-than-typical annualized inflation rate of 4.8% since 2019, earnings in Northwest Indiana have not only kept pace but exceeded the rise in prices with average earnings rising 6.7% per year since 2019. Compared with 2019, the purchasing power of worker earnings in Northwest Indiana has risen by 1.7% per year after adjusting for inflation.

One of the reasons Northwest Indiana has fared better than the rest of the state with growth in real earnings is that employment in the region is concentrated in industries for which earnings are rising quickly, such as manufacturing; retail trade; wholesale trade; and accommodation and food services.

Northwest Indiana is grounded in industries that have recovered quickly from the economic crisis caused by the pandemic. Despite national concerns over a potential recession, the forecast for the coming year in Northwest Indiana is economic growth which will at least keep pace with inflation. The most significant long-term challenge the region faces is not from inflation, but from a declining labor force.

Read the full Gary article »

Each year in December, the Indiana Business Research Center publishes a special Outlook edition of the Indiana Business Review.

Published continuously since 1926, the Indiana Business Review is a quarterly publication that provides analysis and insight on economic and demographic issues.