Indiana sees stronger population growth in 2023, IU research finds

Indiana saw a population increase of nearly 30-thousand people in 2023, according to new analysis from the Kelley School of Business. It’s a faster rate of growth than the last few years, but still lagging behind the pre-pandemic growth rates.

Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the research found that the Hoosier State added 29,925 residents in 2023, pushing the state population to 6.86 million.

Matt Kinghorn, senior demographer at the Indiana Business Research Center, says that the growth was due largely in-part to a high rate of net in-migration, which means that the number of people moving to Indiana outpaced the number of people moving out of the state.

“Never underestimate what we gain by having, say, Chicago, Louisville, Cincinnati, right on the border,” Kinghorn said. “So we do get some positive flow from those areas. We’ve seen there’s a pretty strong net outmigration of residents from the Chicago area.”

The state had a net inflow of nearly 22,500 residents last year, marking the third year in a row in which the measure was over 20,000 people.

Kinghorn said most of the growth has been centered around heavily-populated areas of the state, but the research showed a rise in people moving to the rural areas.

“One positive sign that we’ve seen here the last couple of years is a rebound in population growth and a lot of Indiana’s rural communities, and the same with more midsize communities,” Kinghorn said.

17,807 people moved to the Indianapolis-Carmel-Greenwood metro area in 2023, accounting for 60% of Indiana’s net growth last year. The new research found that 2.14 million people, or 31% of the state’s population live in the Indy metro area.

66 of Indiana’s 92 counties saw a gain in population in 2023.

The top five largest increases were:

  • Hamilton County: 6,182
  • Hendricks County: 3,268
  • Hancock County: 3,049
  • Allen County: 2,901
  • Johnson County: 2,133