Allen County posts fifth straight year of positive domestic migration

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Fort Wayne and Allen County remain among the region’s leaders in attracting and retaining talent. In 2021, the county added a net 1,299 new residents via domestic migration, according to population estimates released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau. It was the fifth consecutive year the county posted a positive domestic migration number.

Net domestic migration measures how many people moved into a community from other U.S. locales, minus how many moved away to other U.S. communities.

“The momentum in Allen County is remarkable. This community is on a winning streak, and we continue to see people and businesses gravitate toward that,” said John Urbahns, president and CEO of Greater Fort Wayne Inc. “The amenities we have here—Parkview Field, Promenade Park, The Landing, and so many others—combined with a reasonable cost of living and the opportunity for residents to make an impact, make Allen County a community that’s extremely attractive.”

The data shows another step in a significant turnaround:

YearNet Domestic Migration Growth/Loss

In addition to releasing the new 2021 numbers, the Census Bureau adjusted 2020’s domestic migration total from +897 to +226.

“This increase is heartening and a credit to Allen County’s economic strength, status as a welcoming county, and exceptional quality of life,” Allen County Commissioners Rich Beck, Therese Brown, and Nelson Peters said in a joint statement. “We are proud that people are choosing Allen County as their home, and we must continue to make our county a great place in which to live.”

“Fort Wayne and Allen County are succeeding as we work together to attract and retain talent, bring in new businesses and expand existing companies, and add more individuals and families to our community,” said Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry. “It’s a great time to be part of what we’re building. We’ve positioned ourselves for current and future growth through innovative and engaging efforts that make Fort Wayne and Allen County a quality-of-life leader in which to live, work, and play.”

“When business leaders are looking to expand and add jobs, they specifically look for growing communities where they’ll be able to attract and retain a strong workforce,” said Ellen Cutter, VP of economic development at GFW Inc. “Nationwide, midsize communities are becoming magnets for talent, and Allen County now has a five-year track record as one of the best in the country.”

Overall, Allen County’s population grew by 2,716 residents (0.7%) for the year. That number includes net domestic migration as well as natural population change (births minus deaths) and net international migration. The 0.7% growth rate more than doubled the state (0.3%) and national (0.12%) rates. Allen County’s total population now stands at 388,608 residents.

As a metro statistical area (MSA), Fort Wayne grew by 2,830 residents (0.67%), making it the fastest-growing metro in Indiana. Fort Wayne is the second-fastest-growing metro in the Great Lakes region, behind only Eau Claire, Wis. (0.71%) and ahead of metros like Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson (0.62%) and Columbus, Ohio (0.47%). The metro population is 423,038 residents.

The Fort Wayne MSA includes Allen, Wells, and Whitley counties. The Great Lakes region consists of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

Indiana (+0.3%) was the fastest-growing state in the Great Lakes region, expanding to 6,805,985 residents; Wisconsin (0.1%) was the only other state in the region that experienced a population gain.

About Greater Fort Wayne Inc.

Greater Fort Wayne (GFW) Inc. serves Fort Wayne and Allen County, Indiana, as its metro chamber alliance and primary point of contact for economic growth. GFW Inc. focuses on prosperity and community vibrancy through economic development, advocacy, programs, and resources that support business success, leadership development, graduate retention, and community engagement. In 2021, GFW Inc. assisted 27 businesses in expansions or relocations in Allen County, resulting in more than 2,600 projected new jobs, more than $105 million in new annual payroll, and more than $498 million in new private investment.