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May 19, 2007

Vigo County’s population on the rise

Slight increase in birth rate, influx of international residents leading to growth

TERRE HAUTE — For the first time in six years, Vigo County’s estimated population is on the increase, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The increase, while slight, is attributed to an increase in the birth rate, plus an influx of international residents, offsetting the exit of residents from the county, according to the Census Bureau.

Overall, the county’s population increased by 274 people, or a 2.7-percent population increase from July 1, 2005, to July 1, 2006.

The county still remains in a deficient from previous population estimates, losing more than 2,800 residents since April 1, 2000. The Census Bureau had projected Vigo County’s population would increase about 1,000 people from 2000 to 2005.

Vigo County’s estimated population for July 1, 2006, is 103,009. The Census Bureau currently projects the county’s population to be more than 107,100 in 2010.

“I would say the declines were unexpectedly big, but economic or employment trends may be reversed. I would say this is good news for the county to have the first increase since 2000,” said Matt Kinghorn, economic research analyst at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.

“The biggest thing that jumps out is the decrease in internal migration, which is folks moving around in the United States,” Kinghorn said.

“In 2005, Vigo County had lost 482 residents, so 482 people moved somewhere else in the U.S. than moved in, but in 2006, that net migration loss was only 98, the lowest of this decade,” Kinghorn said.

In 2004, the net migration loss was about 1,300 residents.

“When you combine the internal migration with the international migration, you get the total migration number. Vigo County gained 28 people for 2006. That is the first time since 2000 the county has seen a positive migration,” Kinghorn said.

The number of births versus deaths has been on the increase in Vigo County since 2004, when there were 100 more births than deaths. That increased to 215 more births than deaths in 2005 and 225 more births than deaths for 2006 (1,288 births to 1,063 deaths.).

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