Today’s population report from census.gov shows that Howard County gained 230 new residents over the last five years. This population bump defies experts’ forecasts of negative growth for Howard County. The prediction was for a loss greater than 400 residents over a four-year period.
In 2011, the IU Kelley School of Business’ Indiana Business Research Center (IBRC) predicted a five percent population loss. The positive population growth demonstrates a bright spot in a Hoosier landscape in which 55 of Indiana counties lost population. Howard was the only county which gained population among its six contiguous counties.
“The experts said the area was on the decline,” said Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight. “That has not been the case. We studied previous IBRC’s reports and knew that we had to make substantial quality-of-place and infrastructure changes in order to grow our population. These new census numbers confirm that our efforts are paying off. New residents are moving in, new businesses are opening, and Kokomo has a sense of vibrancy that it hasn’t seen in decades.”