Regional Perspective: Economic Growth Region 9

Economic Growth Region (EGR) 9 is made up of 10 counties: Bartholomew, Dearborn, Decatur, Franklin, Jackson, Jefferson, Jennings, Ohio, Ripley and Switzerland. Half of these counties border either Ohio or Kentucky. The 10 counties that make up EGR 9 are home to about 317,290 people, or 5.1 percent of Indiana's population. Since 2000, EGR 9 has seen a greater increase in population (3.3 percent) than the state overall (3.0 percent). Figure 1 shows the region's population change over the past five years.

Figure 1: Population Change for Counties in EGR 9

Figure 1

Switzerland County had the biggest percent increase in population over the five-year span, increasing by 6.9 percent. Meanwhile, Bartholomew County had more people in 2005 than any of the other counties in the region with about 73,540 (just over 23 percent of the region's population). At the other end of the spectrum, Ohio County makes up just 1.9 percent of the region's population with less than 5,900 people (see Figure 2). That is the smallest population of any county in the state, which isn't surprising when considering it covers the least amount of land—86.7 square miles.

Figure 2: Population Distribution EGR 9

Figure 2


EGR 9 added jobs at a faster pace than the rest of the state from the fourth quarter of 2001 to 2005, with 1.7 percent and 1.5 percent increases, respectively (see Table 1). Educational services added the most jobs in the region numerically (980 jobs). On a percent basis, management of companies and enterprises saw the largest increase in EGR 9 with 34.7 percent (135 jobs). At the state level, administrative, support and waste management claimed poll position both numerically and on a percent basis, adding 26,231 jobs statewide for an increase of 19.2 percent. Meanwhile, Region 9 lost jobs in the administrative support and waste management industry.

Table 1: Change in Jobs in EGR 9 and Indiana

Table 1
Click for larger image

The region and state both lost the most jobs in the manufacturing industry from 2001 to 2005. While manufacturing makes up a large percent of jobs in EGR 9 (28.8 percent), its losses were not as great as those experienced at the state level; Region 9 saw a 2.2 percent decrease in jobs in the manufacturing industry, while the state showed a 3.9 percent decline.

According to the Dun and Bradstreet Million Dollar Database, 148 businesses in EGR 9 have at least $1 million in sales. Bartholomew County had more businesses than any other county in the region meet that criteria (see Figure 3). Cummins, a manufacturer of internal combustion engines and motor vehicle parts and accessories, was one of those companies in Bartholomew County; it posted sales of $9.9 billion—more than any other business in the region. Of businesses with $1 million in sales or more, the Indiana Gaming Company (riverboat casinos) employed the most people, supplying about 2,400 jobs.

Figure 3: EGR 9 Businesses with Sales of $1 Million or More

Figure 3


In 2005:4, EGR 9 paid an average wage of $649 per week across all industry sectors. However, Region 9's change in wages over the past four years lagged the state by $56, despite its overall increase of $60 during that time frame. None of the major industry sectors at the state level decreased in wages, but two at the regional level saw a decline: educational services (down $8) and agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting (down $10).

As Figure 4 shows, two industries in the region paid higher wages than the state in the fourth quarter of 2005: management of companies and enterprises ($371 more per week at the regional level) and administrative, support and waste management ($30 more per week at the regional level). All other major industry sectors paid more in other regions across the state.

Figure 4: Difference in Average Weekly Wages in Indiana and EGR 9, 2005:4

Figure 4


Of the 131,660 people who work in the region, 91.2 percent are also residents of EGR 9. Figure 5 shows the commuting patterns for Region 9. According to data from the 2000 Census, no one commutes into Ohio County from outside the region, but it did receive more workers than neighboring Switzerland County as far as intra-regional commuting is concerned. Jennings County sent out the most workers (over 5,150) to fellow EGR counties and kept 7,225 for itself. Meanwhile, Bartholomew County received the most workers from the other nine counties in the region, pulling in about 7,040 workers.

Figure 5: EGR 9 Commuting Patterns

Figure 5

Molly Marlatt, Research Associate
Indiana Business Research Center, Kelley School of Business, Indiana University