Indianapolis Among Fastest Growing in U.S.

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Indianapolis is reported to be part of the “New Heartland” of the country, according to a recent report by Brookings Institution that studied the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas based on their growth, diversity and education.

In the report, Indianapolis is compared with cities such as: Atlanta; Charlotte, N.C.; Kansas City, Mo.; Portland, Ore.; and Richmond, Va., which are all reported as “New Heartland” cities as well.

But what is meant by “New Heartland?” New Heartland is one of the seven categories that the Brookings Institute divided the 100 metro areas into based on demographical data obtained from the Census Bureau’s annual American Community Survey. New Heartland cities are fast-growing, high-education areas, but have lower shares of Hispanic and Asian populations than the national average.

Indianapolis was reported as being characterized by its high growth, and high education, and according to the study, was one of the fastest growing areas in the Midwest between 2000 and 2008.

How Indianapolis compares with other "New Heartland" cities:


Indianapolis: 1,715,459
Atlanta: 5,376,285
Charlotte, N.C.: 1,701,799
Kansas City, Mo.: 2,002,047
Portland, Ore.: 2,207,462
Richmond, Va.: 1,225,626

Increase in population between 2000 and 2008:

Indianapolis: 12 percent
Atlanta: 25.6 percent
Charlotte, N.C.: 27 percent
Kansas City, Mo.: 8.6 percent
Portland, Ore.: 14 percent
Richmond, Va.: 11.4 percent

Diversity – Nonwhite population:

National average: 35 percent
Indianapolis: 23 percent
Atlanta: 46.8 percent
Charlotte, N.C.: 36.3 percent
Kansas City, Mo.: 23.4 percent
Portland, Ore.: 22.2 percent
Richmond, Va.: 38.1 percent

Higher education – Adult population (25+) with a bachelor’s degree:

Indianapolis: 32 percent
Atlanta: 34.6 percent
Charlotte, N.C.: 32 percent
Kansas City, Mo.: 31.9 percent
Portland, Ore.: 33.3 percent
Richmond, Va.: 30.6 percent

Median household income:

Indianapolis: $54,587
Atlanta: $60,928
Charlotte, N.C.: $55,394
Kansas City, Mo.: $56,762
Portland, Ore.: $59,044
Richmond, Va.: $58,980

David Wu, policy director for Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, said in an article from the Indianapolis Star, “I think population growth is always a good sign that you’re doing something right, that people want to come there.”

Sources: U.S. Census and analysis by Brookings Institute

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