Can state catch up with Indy?

December 21, 2007
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Decades ago, when Indianapolis was an industrial center, the economies of the city and the state tended to march in unison. When manufacturing cut back, pretty much everyone felt it.

But the Indianapolis area and the state have been growing apart for a number of years now, and 2007 shows the trend hasnâ??t stopped.

The state is on track to pick up about 10,000 jobs from a year ago. Thatâ??s a tiny advancement after the stagnation of a year ago.

Meanwhile, the Indianapolis area held to its steady ways. This year the region, which accounts for less than a third of the stateâ??s population, has added about as many jobs as the state as a whole.

Indianapolis has always enjoyed the stability that comes with being a government center, and the city certainly still has plenty of manufacturing plants.

Still, is the Indianapolis area destined to keep up its momentum while so much of the rest of the state struggles? What would help the rest of the state catch up?
  • The rest of the state will never catch Indianapolis. Indianapolis may slide to meet the rest of the state, however, with Ballard's crew.
  • Mark, you're right. I fear for our City!
  • The Indianapolis MSA is actually only about 25% of the state's population. It's share of statewide population growth is likewise staggering.

    Fortunately, closer to half of Indiana's population is basically part of the greater Central Indiana economic zone. That includes the central 2/3's of the state. This is basically anywhere withing 75-80 miles, less than that near Louisville and Cincinnati. And many of the cities that are in fact suffering are small manufacturing cities within this radius. Places like Ft. Wayne seem to be holding their own.

    I wrote up a proposal for a concept of how to help this 2/3 of the state through tighter linkages to the Indianapolis economy. You can see it here:

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