Bartholomew County’s population grew at a faster rate the past five years than the state and most of its neighboring counties, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
The local population estimate increased from 79,572 in 2013 to 82,040 in 2017, representing a 3.1 percent gain, according to data released Thursday. The population totals are as of July 1 each year. Comparably, Indiana experienced a 1.5 percent population increase from 2013-2017, while the U.S. grew 3 percent during the period.
The fact that Bartholomew County’s growth outpaced the state rate is a sign that the community is doing something right, and matching the national rate means growth is neither too fast or too slow, said Jason Hester, president of the Greater Columbus Economic Development Corp. “We’re the type of community people want to move to,” he said.
Among neighboring counties, only Johnson (5.8 percent) had a higher population increase over this five-year stretch. Decatur (2 percent) and Jackson (1 percent) counties experienced minor population increases, while Shelby added 39 people during the period. Jennings and Brown counties, however, experienced population declines during the timeframe.
For more on this story, see Saturday’s Republic.