Terre Haute is growing.
The city population increased from 60,785 in 2010 to 61,112 in 2012, according to U.S. Census Bureau statistics. The rise amounted to 327 people, or half a percentage point, but the slight growth still represents positive momentum. Several Indiana cities saw there populations drop two years after the 2010 Census was calculated, including Muncie (down 0.2 percent), South Bend (-0.3), Anderson (-1.0), Gary (-1.4) and Hammond (-1.4). By inching upward, Terre Haute can stabilize its labor force as Baby Boomers continue to retire in greater numbers.
The void left by retiring Boomers may be offset by increasing racial diversity and immigrants to the community and state. The numbers of Hispanic, blacks, Asians and other minorities grew at a faster pace than whites. In fact, in Vigo County, the number of whites fell by 73 people in the two-year period, while other groups increased. Statewide, the average age of white residents stood at 40.2 years, compared to 31.3 for blacks, 30.6 for Asians and 24.5 for Hispanics.
Growth, particularly among family-age people, is vital for this community. For Terre Haute to thrive, thirty- and fortysomething couples must choose to live, work and raise children here. However, from 2000 to 2010, the 35- to 44-year-old sector of the local populous dwindled, from 15,148 at the turn of the century to 13,285 two years ago when the last census was taken. Likewise, Vigo County had 1,401 fewer school-age kids in 2010 than a decade earlier. A 2010 study by an outside consultant predicted an extended decrease in county population. As enrollment shrank, Chauncey Rose Middle School was closed by the Vigo County School Corp.
Obviously, a stagnant or shrinking population can wound a community’s future.
Terre Haute needs young to learn in local schools and keep those education centers vibrant. The town needs those students to graduate prepared for college or technical workforce training, preserving the local economic base. The community needs young parents and their children contributing to and involved in charities, volunteering, paying taxes, coaching youth sports teams, filling houses of worship, supporting arts activities, and becoming active voices in civic issues.
Cities such as Terre Haute should embrace their growing diversity, especially among immigrants, said Ball State University economist Michael Hicks. “For communities all around Indiana, immigration acceptance is important,” said Hicks, director of Ball State’s Center for Business and Economic Research.
Terre Haute possesses numerous unique quality-of-life attributes that make it attractive to new residents, including the steady enhancement of its college-town atmosphere, engaging arts projects, solid schools, the trails system, recognition of the Wabash River as an economic and cultural asset, and a gradual transformation of the downtown. The city can sustain and add to those pluses by welcoming more and more newcomers.
Growth is clearly possible here. Sure, other Hoosier towns — Fishers, Noblesville, Carmel, Greenwood, Bloomington, Indianapolis and Lafayette — grew faster in the 2010-2012 window, but Terre Haute is hanging tough as the state’s 12th-largest town. The city’s challenge now is to keep the newest elements of its population and bring in more employers and, thus, more residents.
Terre Haute population up 327 people from 2010 U.S. Census figures
Terre Haute is growing.
RONN MOTT: Ukraine 2
The situation in the Ukraine should let us know plainly, and openly, the old saying about a leopard never changing its spots is true. Vladimir Putin is a KGB officer, grew up a communist and, from all appearances, still believes like a communist.
EDITORIAL: Meth battle never ends
It’s been more than a decade since local police officials declared methamphetamine as “public enemy No. 1.”
READERS' FORUM: March 13, 2014
• Celebrating the Girl Scouts
• Challenging the politicians
EDITORIAL: Warm thoughts on a cool day (Part III)
• Resolving to praise ISU
• Right down our alley
- READERS' FORUM: March 12, 2014
RONN MOTT: SAWS
A few days ago we talked to John Anderson of the Greencastle Presbyterian Church. He’s the coordinator for a mission of the church that builds ramps and stairs for those who are physically handicapped in Putnam County.
EDITORIAL: Thinking warm thoughts (Part II of III)
• Renewing a local library commitment
LIZ CIANCONE: We’re not only ones ready for springtime
READERS' FORUM: March 11, 2014
• Meat-free path to the fountain of youth
• Faulty point?
EDITORIAL: Warm thoughts on cool days (Part I of III)
• Something good’s brewing
• Y we can’t take it for granted
FLASHPOINT: Where Congress falls short, and where it doesn’t
At a public gathering the other day, someone asked me how I’d sum up my views on Congress. It was a good question because it forced me to step back from worrying about the current politics of Capitol Hill and take a longer view.
READERS' FORUM: March 10, 2014
• Our government’s heart and soul
• A plea for more give and take
MARK BENNETT: New public-access point begins quest to create more spots to experience river
Fairness holds no power over the Wabash River.
EDITORIAL: Ads on the sides of school buses? What have we come to?
Ads on the sides of school buses do not constitute a sign of the apocalypse. Western civilization will survive.
Flashpoint: President should stop Medicare Advantage cuts
Virtually all elected officials — Republicans and Democrats — share the goal of increasing access to affordable health insurance and helping families receive the best coverage to meet their specific needs.
Readers’ Forum: March 9, 2014
Mardi Gras great event for Swope
EPA regs will cause energy bills to soar
Please pray for Ukraine innocents
Sinful thinking on road to hell
Liberty — or licentiousness
People will not always agree
Botched chance at leadership
RONN MOTT: Radio now a long lost love
I fell in love with radio when I was 16, just a few short weeks before my 17th birthday. The man who did the deed and hired me was Adlai Ferguson.
EDITORIAL: Noteworthy in the news
Welcome to girls teams, fans
You can say that again
Reader Poll results
EDITORIAL: What do Sony cutbacks mean?
It is easy to understand why shivers run down local people’s spines whenever rumors hit the streets about Sony DADC’s plant on Terre Haute’s east side. With more than 1,400 people currently employed in Sony’s production and distribution facilities, the community has grown somewhat dependent on the economic stability Sony provides.
- Readers’ Forum: March 7, 2014
RONN MOTT: Knicks
The big noise in the NBA is whether Carmelo Anthony will stay with the New York Knicks or go elsewhere.
If my memory serves, and it doesn’t always, Carmelo left the Denver Nuggets, the team that drafted him, to play in the bright lights of the Big Apple. It was loudly proclaimed at the time that Carmelo wanted to play for a championship team. The Knicks’ ownership bought a bunch of players and spent a whole bunch of money to aid Carmelo in helping the Knicks to get to a championship.
EDITORIAL: More ill will against gays
If you’re a feral cat wandering freely through a trailer park in Indiana, the General Assembly has taken action to make your life better.
Readers’ Forum: March 6, 2014
Utilities do need tighter regulation
Great work by TV sports staff
Editorial: A good place for persistence
The topic of Gov. Mike Pence’s effectiveness as the state’s top governmental leader during this year’s General Assembly will be hashed and rehashed after the session closes down in the next couple of weeks. At best, the first-term governor will get mixed marks.
- Readers’ Forum: March 5, 2014
RONN MOTT: Abraham Lincoln and George Washington
I remember when by edict the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington were lumped into a single celebration called “Presidents Day.” I thought it was stupid then, and I still do.
LIZ CIANCONE: Antiques show better than any modern programs
I’m not a big fan of television.
Readers’ Forum: March 4, 2014
Lunatic ravings of the far right
Let IRS take the bullying pledge
EDITORIAL: New attention on sex assaults
Youth sexual assault in Indiana is a troubling issue that has not received the attention it deserves.
KELLY HAWES: It’s time to take politics out of redistricting
A bill to form a bipartisan redistricting commission apparently died in the Indiana Senate last week.
- More Opinion Headlines
- RONN MOTT: Ukraine 2