Allen County sets another new high for attracting, retaining talent

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – For the third year in a row, Allen County attracted and retained talent at its best pace on record, driving overall growth in northeast Indiana. In 2019, the county added a net 1,492 new residents via domestic migration, according to statistics released yesterday by the U.S. Census Bureau, more than doubling the previous highwater mark. This is Allen County’s best single-year total since the Census Bureau began tracking net domestic migration in 1991­.

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. This is the third consecutive year in which the county posted a positive net domestic migration number.

“We compete every day to attract people and jobs to this community. These numbers indicate a big win,” said John Urbahns, president and CEO of Greater Fort Wayne Inc. “Across Allen County, our quality of life continues to improve with amenities like The Landing and Promenade Park, and many more on the way. Meanwhile, our cost of living remains among the lowest in America for communities our size. It’s a win-win for current and future residents.”

The data shows another step in a significant turnaround:

YearNet Domestic Migration Growth/Loss

“I continue to be encouraged by the progress we’re making in Fort Wayne and Allen County to help individuals, families, and businesses grow and succeed. Collectively, we’ve become a point of destination for new jobs, as well as job and company retention,” Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry said. “Placing an emphasis on quality of life amenities and being home to unique attractions and opportunities have positioned us for current and future success.”

“The numbers over the last five years show the incredible growth that is occurring in the Allen County community,” Allen County Commissioners Rich Beck, Therese Brown, and Nelson Peters said in a joint statement. “Each successive year has illustrated movement from a negative growth in the population to one of the very few communities in the Midwest that are actually adding to their ranks. We will continue the great work that is occurring here to ensure that the entire country sees our county as a great place be.”

“Businesses want to be assured they can attract and retain a talented workforce. This data shows Allen County is a community that can deliver,” said Ellen Cutter, VP of economic development at GFW Inc.

Overall, Allen County’s population grew by 4,220 in 2019. That number includes net domestic migration as well as natural population change (births minus deaths) and net international migration. With a one-year growth rate of 1.1%, this is the strongest population growth for Allen County in more than 20 years. That 1.1% growth rate outpaced the state and national rates of 0.5%, the 10 surrounding counties of northeast Indiana which experienced combined growth of 0.3%, and the Midwest regional average of 0.1%.

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 2019, GFW Inc. assisted 21 businesses in expansions or relocations in Allen County, resulting in a total of 1,187 projected new jobs, $52 million in new annual payroll, and more than $139 million in new investment.