Commerce Region 9: Southeastern Indiana

The Area

Commerce Region 9 is comprised of nine counties in southeastern Indiana: Dearborn, Fayette, Franklin, Jefferson, Ohio, Ripley, Rush, Switzerland and Union. Dearborn and Ohio counties form the Indiana portion of the Cincinnati, Ohio, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). Cities in the area include Connersville, Madison, Batesville and Rushville.


With 192,374 residents according to Census 2000, Region 9 is the least populated and most racially homogenous Commerce region in the state.

The area grew 8.7 percent since 1990, ranking its growth seventh out of the 12 Commerce regions. Benefiting from suburbanization trends, Dearborn County led the way with 18.7 percent growth and accounted for 24 percent of the regional population. An additional 16.5 percent lived in Jefferson County. Fayette County was the only area to lose residents, exhibiting a 1.6 percent decline.

The Census Bureau estimates that from Census 2000 to July 1, 2002, the regional population grew to 195,377. The largest growth occurred in Dearborn and Ripley counties, while Rush and Fayette counties both experienced a decline (see Figure 1).

Figure 1

Industrial Mix and Jobs

Major employers in the area include Anchor Glass Container, Argosy Casino and Hotel, Aurora Casket Company, Belterra Casino Resort, Fujitsu Ten, Grote Industries, Hillenbrand Industries, INTAT Precision and Visteon Automotive Systems.

In 2000, one-fourth of Region 9's employment was in the services industry, representing a 96.7 percent growth from the previous decade. This can primarily be traced to an increase in tourism with the opening of three riverboat casinos in the mid-1990s: Argosy Casino and Hotel in Lawrenceburg, Belterra Casino Resort in Vevay and the Grand Victoria Casino in Rising Sun.

In addition, the transportation and public utilities sector and the finance, insurance and real estate sector both experienced growth rates of more than 50 percent between 1990 and 2000. On the other end of the spectrum, employment in agricultural services, forestry and fishing declined 50.4 percent, followed by large declines in federal civilian and military employment.

In 2001, nearly 15 percent of the regional labor force commuted into adjoining Ohio or Kentucky. In Dearborn, 28.4 percent of the county's labor force commuted into Ohio, while Switzerland County saw 10.6 percent of its labor force commute to Kentucky. In addition, because of its close proximity to Indianapolis, a sizable portion of Rush County's labor force (23 percent) found work within the Indianapolis MSA.

Income and Wages

In Region 9, per capita personal income was $23,926 in 2000. Only Commerce Region 6 in west central Indiana had lower income per capita at just $22,426.
As seen in Table 1, the average weekly wage for the second quarter of 2002 ranged from $1,045 in the utilities industry to $177 in accommodation and food services. Wages were lower for Region 9 in all industries when compared to the state, with the largest difference in professional, scientific, and technical services.

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Table 1

Additional data is available at:

Rachel Justis
IN Context Managing Editor, Indiana Business Research Center, Kelley School of Business, Indiana University