**By KEVIN NEVERS**

Population growth in the Tri-Towns appears to have tapered slightly, with a
total increase between 2006 and 2007 of 433 or 2.33 percent, compared to a
total increase between 2006 and 2005 of 700 or 3.92 percent.

So the U.S. Census Bureau’s newly released population estimates indicate. On
July 1, 2007, the population of Chesterton, Porter, and Burns Harbor totaled
18,973, an increase of 433 or 2.34 percent over the population on July 1,
2006, when it totaled 18,450. That latter figure, on the other hand,
represents an increase of 700 or 3.93 percent over the population on July 1,
2005, when it totaled 17,840.

More numbers:

•Chesterton’s population on July 1, 2007, totaled 12,556; on July 1, 2006, it
totaled 12,278, actually a decrease of 178 from the U.S. Census Bureau’s
estimate released last year; and on July 1, 2005, it totaled 11,879. Between
2005 and 2006, Chesterton’s population increased by 399 or 3.38 percent.
Between 2006 and 2007, it increased by 278 or 2.26 percent.

•Porter’s population on July 1, 2007, totaled 5,344; on July 1, 2006, it
totaled 5,257, a decrease of 56 from the U.S. Census Bureau’s estimate
released last year; and on July 1, 2005, it totaled 5,152. Between 2005 and
2006, Porter’s population increased by 105 or 2.03 percent. Between 2006 and
2007 it increased by 87 or 1.7 percent.

•Burns Harbor’s population on July 1, 2007, totaled 1,073; on July 1, 2006,
it totaled 1005, a decrease of 10 from the U.S. Census Bureau’s estimate
released last year; and on July 1, 2005, it totaled 809. Between 2005 and
2006, Burns Harbor’s population increased by 109 or 24.23 percent. Between
2006 and 2007 it increased by 68 or 6.77 percent.

In short, the slowing of the Tri-Towns’ total growth rate is largely
attributable to the slowing of Burns Harbor’s growth rate, although
Chesterton and Porter both recorded slower growth rates between 2006 and 2007
than they did between 2005 and 2006.

Other population estimates from the U.S. Census Burea:

•Valparaiso totaled 29,951 in 2007, an increase of 370 or 1.25 percent over
2006, when it totaled 29,581.

•Portage totaled 36,505 in 2007, an increase of 630 or 1.76 percent over
2006, when it totaled 35,875. Portage has the sixteenth greatest population
increased among Indiana municipalities since 2000, the U.S. Census Bureau
said.

•Dune Acres totaled 228 in 2007, an increase of six or 2.70 percent over
2006, when it totaled 222.

•Beverly Shores totaled 720 in 2007, an increase of eight or 1.12 percent
over 2006, when it totaled 712.

•Ogden Dunes totaled 1,276 in 2007, a decrease of 10 or 0.79 percent from
2006 when it totaled 1,266.

•Hebron totaled 3,646 in 2007, an increase of 60 or 1.67 percent from 2006,
when it totaled 3,586.

•Kouts totaled 1,811 in 2007, an increase of 19 or 1.06 percent over 2006,
when it totaled 1,792.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Indiana’s largest cities are
Indianapolis (795,458); Fort Wayne (251,247); Evansville (116,253); and South
Bend (104,069). Of those only Indianapolis has recorded “consistent
population growth since 2000, with an increase of 1.7 percent.” Indianapolis
was the 13th largest city in the U.S., just behind Jacksonville, Fla., and
just ahead of San Francisco.

Fishers is the fasting growing city among the state’s 20 largest, with a
population increase of 69.1 percent since 2000.

Among the state’s 20 largest cities, Hammond and Gary have seen the largest
population declines since 2000, -6.8 percent and -5.9 percent respectively,
the U.S. Census Bureau said.

The top 15 largest city and town population increases since 2000 are
concentrated exclusively in either the Indianapolis metro area or in Lake
County, the U.S. Census Bureau added.

Posted 7/11/2008