Chesterton Tribune

County population becoming more diverse

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By VICKI URBANIK

As the county’s population grows, so too does its racial diversity.

Though Porter County continues to be overwhelmingly white—139,946 of 146,798 people according to the 2000 census—its African American, Hispanic and Asian populations are growing and in some areas, significantly.

Porter County’s black population soared from 454 in 1990 to 1,344, a 196 percent jump. The county’s Hispanic population now totals 7,079, an 83.5 percent jump from 3,858 in 1990.

Statewide, the Hispanic population soared by 117 percent in the last 10 years. Porter County is now one of seven counties statewide, along with Marion, Tippecanoe, Lake, Elkhart, Allen, and St. Joseph, that make up 70 percent of Indiana’s Hispanic population.

The county’s Asian population increased from 944 to 1,341. American Indians, meanwhile, increased from 243 to 326.

In Chesterton, the black population went from nine in 1990 to 46. Hispanics increased from 206 to 347, while Asians grew from 33 to 144. Whites number 9,038.

In Porter, the number of blacks increased from one in 1990 to 41, while Hispanics climbed from 74 to 233. Asians went from 12 to 29. Whites total 4,780.

In Burns Harbor, blacks increased from one to two, Hispanics climbed from 17 to 33, and Asians increased from 3 to 8. The white population is 722.

In Dune Acres, the black population dropped from one in 1990 to none. Hispanics also dropped from five to three, while Asians dropped from six to none. Whites went from 256 to 211.

In Valparaiso, the black population grew from 142 to 440. Hispanics increased from 346 to 917, and Asians increased from 275 to 410. Whites number 23,873.

In Portage, the black population grew from 117 to 485. Hispanics climbed from 1,854 to 3,330, while Asians increased from 150 to 215. The white population is 28,229.

The census counts a wide number of racial combinations. The numbers cited above are those selected for black only or white only, not a combination of races.