Chesterton Tribune

2010 census data show rise in housing vacancies in Duneland

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By KEVIN NEVERS

Chesterton and Porter are marginally more diverse than they were 10 years ago—Burns Harbor is marginally less diverse—while all three towns are more vacant.

So reveal data released earlier this month by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Begin with vacancy rates, which appear to show the effect of the recession on the Tri-Town’s housing market.

Burns Harbor—boasting by far the Tri-Towns’ fastest housing-unit growth rate over the last 10 years, from 303 units in 2000 to 495 in 2010, an increase of 192 units or fully 63.7 percent—also had the highest vacancy rate in 2010: 7.9 percent, compared to 6.2 percent in 2000.

Porter’s vacancy rate in 2010 was second highest: 7.4 percent, compared to 6.2 percent in 2000. Porter’s housing-unit growth rate, on the other hand, was easily the slowest of the Tri-Towns’: from 1,844 units in 2000 to 1,978 in 2010, an increase of 134 units or only 7.7 percent.

Chesterton’s vacancy rate in 2010 was lowest of the Tri-Towns’: 6.1 percent but still two points higher than in 2000, when it stood at 4.1 percent. Chesterton’s housing-unit growth rate—during a period when numerous new subdivisions came on line—was impressive: from 4,039 units in 2000 to 5,354 in 2010, an increase of 1,315 units or 32.6 percent.

A much healthier vacancy rate was posted by Portage in 2010: 5.50 percent, a point and a half under Chesterton’s for the same year, and less than a point higher than its vacancy rate of 4.7 percent in 2000. Since 2000, Portage has added 2,061 housing units, totaling 14,807 in 2010, an increase of 16.2 percent.

Valparaiso’s vacancy rate in 2010 was slightly higher, however, than Chesterton’s: 6.6 percent, compared to 6.0 percent in 2000. Since 2000, Valparaiso has added 2,639 housing units, totaling 13,506 in 2010, an increase of 24.3 percent.

The vacancy rate for the population residing in the Duneland School Corporation—which includes the Tri-Towns but also unincorporated Westchester, Liberty, and Jackson townships, and part of Pine—was 6.4 percent.

The vacancy rate for the population residing in the Portage Township Schools, in contrast, was 6.1 percent; that for the population residing in the Valparaiso Community Schools, 6.5 percent.

Diversity

The most diverse of the Tri-Towns is Chesterton, and while it’s more diverse than it was 10 years ago, it’s still not that diverse. With a total population in 2010 of 13,068, its white population was 12,118 or 92.8 percent (96.3 percent in 2000); its black population, 179 or 1.4 percent (0.4 percent in 2000); its Asian population, 280 or 2.1 percent (1.4 percent in 2000); while 899 persons or 6.9 percent claimed some Hispanic ethnicity (3.3 percent in 2000).

Burns Harbor is fractionally less diverse than it was 10 years ago. Its white population last year was 1,103 or 95.4 percent (94.3 percent in 2000); its black population, 21 or 1.8 percent (0.3 percent in 2000); while 67 persons or 5.8 percent claimed some Hispanic ethnicity (4.3 percent in 2000). The very small decrease in diversity is attributable to drops in the populations of three sub-groups: there were eight Asians residing in Burns Harbor in 2000 or 1.0 percent, down to three in 2010 or 0.25 percent; nine American Indians in 2000 or 1.2 percent, down to three in 2010 or 0.25 percent; and 22 persons of “Two or More Races” in 2000 or 2.9 percent, down to 13 in 2010 or 1.12 percent.

With a total population in 2010 of 4,858, Porter’s white population was 4,579 or 94.3 percent (96.1 percent in 2000); its black population, 53 or 1.1 percent (0.8 percent in 2000); its Asian population, 46 or 0.9 percent (0.6 percent in 2000); while 319 persons or 6.6 percent claimed some Hispanic ethnicity (4.7 percent in 2000).

In significant contrast, Portage has grown a great deal more diverse over the last 10 years. In 2000, its white population comprised 92.5 percent of the total; in 2010, it comprised only 83.6 percent, very nearly a 10 point decrease. Portage’s black population rose from 1.4 percent in 2000 to 7.3 percent in 2010; its Asian population, from 0.3 percent in 2000 to 0.4 percent; while the percentage of persons claiming some Hispanic ethnicity rose from 9.9 percent to 16.4 percent.

Valparaiso’s white population comprised 94.4 percent of the total in 2000; it comprised 89.9 percent in 2010. Valparaiso’s black population rose from 1.6 percent in 2000 to 3.3 percent; its Asian population, from 1.5 percent in 2000 to 2.1 percent; while the percentage of persons claiming some Hispanic ethnicity rose from 3.3 percent to 7.1 percent.

The white population of the Duneland School Corporation in 2010 comprised 94.3 percent of the total; the black population, 1.1 percent; the Asian population, 1.2 percent; and the percentage of persons claiming some Hispanic ethnicity, 6.0 percent.

No data demographic data for school districts in 2000 were available.

The white population of the Portage Township Schools in 2010 comprised 85.4 percent of the total; the black population, 6.2 percent; the Asian population, 0.9 percent; and the percentage of persons claiming some Hispanic ethnicity, 14.8 percent.

The white population of the Valparaiso Community Schools in 2010 comprised 91.2 percent of the total; the black population, 2.6 percent; the Asian population, 2.0 percent; and the percentage of persons claiming some Hispanic ethnicity, 6.4 percent.

 

 

Posted 2/21/2011