Allen County posts seventh straight year of positive domestic migration

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Allen County continues to buck Midwestern trends with strong growth in 2023. According to data released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau, Allen County’s population grew by 2,901 residents (0.74%) for the year, four times the annual population growth rate (0.18%) in the Midwest. Allen County’s growth rate also outpaced the state (0.44%) and nation (0.49%); its population now stands at 394,545 residents.

“We’re proud to see Fort Wayne and Allen County continue its trajectory to becoming a national recognized economy,” said John Urbahns, President and CEO of Greater Fort Wayne Inc. “Workforce is a driver of business competitiveness. Our community is defining itself as a clear standout among our peers.”

Population growth includes natural population change (births minus deaths), domestic migration, and international migration. Net domestic migration measures how many people moved in from other U.S. locales, minus how many moved away to other U.S. communities. While domestic migration slowed, Allen County posted its seventh consecutive year of positive domestic migration in 2023.

YearNet Domestic Migration Growth/Loss

In Indiana, international immigration was the driver of population growth in 2023. Locally, it was natural change. According to analysis released by the Census Bureau, 69% of counties nationwide experienced a natural decrease (whereby deaths outnumber births). Within the Great Lakes Region, in Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio, a majority of counties experienced a natural decrease. Allen County registered the third strongest natural change increase in Indiana, behind Marion and Hamilton Counties.

“I’m encouraged by the population growth we continue to experience. Adding more people to our community shows that we’re making a positive difference in providing economic development opportunities and unique quality of life amenities for businesses, individuals, and families to enjoy,” said Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry. “By working together, Fort Wayne and Allen County are sending a strong message that we’re an ideal location in which to invest.”

Fort Wayne retains its position as the second fastest growing metro area in the Great Lakes region. Among the 60 metro areas in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin, the Indiana metros of Indianapolis (#1), Fort Wayne (#2) and Columbus, IN (#3) topped the rankings (based on percentage growth since 2020). Indiana (+0.44%) remains the fastest-growing state in the Great Lakes region, expanding to 6,862,199 residents. It is among just 13 states in the country to register gains in all three components of population.

Within the 11-county Northeast Indiana region, 3-in-4 new residents last year resided in Allen County. Additionally, surrounding counties DeKalb, Huntington, Noble, Wells, and Whitley experienced positive domestic migration.

“The census numbers are encouraging. As Allen County grows, we all reap the benefits that come with population growth: increased job opportunities, a growing economy, expansion of shopping and dining opportunities, and rise in per capita income. The Board of Commissioners recognizes there are growing pains as well. For this reason, county government will continue to make strategic decisions regarding roadwork, bridgework, and other infrastructure improvements; take advantage of broadband grant opportunities; invest in trails and other placemaking enhancements; and take the needs of our future into consideration when it comes to health and public safety,” shared Commissioners Rich Beck, Therese Brown, and Nelson Peters in a joint statement.

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 2023, GFW Inc. assisted 20 businesses in expansions or relocations in Allen County, resulting in 700 planned new jobs and more than $770 million in new private investment.