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Community Vitality Indicators

Community Vitality Indicators

Data indicates that 54 of Indiana’s 92 counties are in absolute population decline. This means that the outward migration exceeds the inward migration by margins significant enough that the net gain between annual births and deaths is insufficient to make up the difference. In some counties the deaths already exceed births. In addition, 24 counties are growing at a rate slower than the country as a whole and are classified as being in relative decline. At best the current growth rate casts them as neutral.

Healthy communities share certain characteristics and these characteristics provide CVIs that Indiana communities can benchmark to gauge their vibrancy. These characteristics should guide community discussions and plans should be developed to encourage them.

Assessed Value (AV)  The total dollar value assigned to all real property and improvements and personal property subject to taxation.

Per Capita Income  This is the mean money income received in the past 12 months computed for every man, woman, and child in a geographic area. It is derived by dividing the total income of all people 15 years old and over in a geographic area by the total population in that area.

Population Growth  Population growth is the  change in the population, resulting from a surplus (or deficit) of births over deaths and the balance of migrants entering and leaving a geographic area.

Educational Attainment Rate  This measures changes in the educational status of each community by age and by level of education completed.

Public School Enrollment  This is the total number of children (k-12) enrolled in public schools in a geographic area.

Community Vitality Indicators Information Sheet

Community Vitality Indicators Worksheet

Rural Indiana Stats Website 

A new valuable online data platform is now available to individuals, agencies, and organizations in Indiana that want access to a unique mix of data on Indiana’s 92 counties.

The website, a product of a partnership between the Purdue Center for Regional Development and OCRA, offers access to more than 80 county-level variables.

The major data products available on the Rural Indiana Stats website include:

  • County geographic typologies, such as the mix of geographic classifications available to determine the metropolitan/nonmetropolitan status and the economic distress features of counties in the state.
  • Housing characteristics, including the stock, age and cost of owner and rental-occupied  housing.
  • Local government fiscal information, such as the nature and source of local government revenues and expenditures.
  • Socioeconomic characteristics, including the population, economic, health and cultural attributes of Indiana’s counties.
  • Community vitality indicators, a mix of six metrics that OCRA is encouraging counties to use to track their socioeconomic progress over time.

For more information about the Rural Indiana Stats site, visit Individuals are encouraged to contact the Purdue Center for Regional Development ( if they have any questions about the online site or the timeline for future data updates.