Northeast Indiana: Realtors Region 3 Profile

Figure 1: Northeast Indiana: Realtors Region 3

Figure 1: Northeast Indiana: Realtors Region 3

Source: IBRC, using the Indiana Association of Realtors definitions

This is the third article in our coverage of Indiana's Realtors regions. For an overview of this article series and a map of all six regions, see the first article at


Realtors Region 3 consists of 12 counties in northeastern Indiana and has an estimated population of 761,584 as of 2009. Counties in this region include Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, Jay, LaGrange, Noble, Randolph, Steuben, Wayne, Wells and Whitley (see Figure 1). This region covers a land area of 4,787 square miles and has a population density of 159 people per square mile, a density that is much higher than the national average of 88 people per square mile but lower than the Indiana average of 179 people per square mile.


The largest city in Realtors Region 3 is Fort Wayne, with a 2009 population of 255,890. The city of Richmond comes in a distant second, with a population estimate of 36,569 (see Table 1).

Table 1: Largest Cities in Region 3, 2009

Name Population Percent of Region
Fort Wayne 255,890 33.6%
Richmond 36,569 4.8%
Huntington 16,828 2.2%
New Haven 13,812 1.8%
Auburn 13,084 1.7%
Kendallville 10,561 1.4%
Decatur 9,639 1.3%
Bluffton 9,165 1.2%
Angola 8,276 1.1%
Columbia City 8,369 1.1%

Source: IBRC, using U.S. Census Bureau data

The population in Realtors Region 3 increased between Census 2000 and the latest estimate in 2009 by nearly 25,000 people, a solid and positive change during this decade (see Figure 2). The population in Realtors Region 3 is projected to continue its growth through 2015, by which time its population would be close to 775,000 according to the official county population projections from the Indiana Business Research Center.

Figure 2: Region 3 Population Levels, 1981 to 2009

Figure 2: Region 3 Population Levels, 1981 to 2009

Source: IBRC, using U.S. Census Bureau data

This region has an age mix that differs slightly from the state’s mix (see Figure 3). The most notable difference is in the proportion of preschool and school age children. This region has a higher proportion of those two age groups (ages 0 to 4 and 5 to 17) than the state overall. However, the region has a lower proportion of college age and young adults while it is pretty much the same proportion as Indiana in terms of older adults and seniors.

Figure 3: Current Age Structure, 2009

Figure 3: Current Age Structure, 2009

Source: IBRC, using U.S. Census Bureau data

Among the six Realtors regions, Region 3 ranks fourth in net migration from other nations, with 1,086 more people moving into the region from overseas or over-borders between 2008 and 2009 than moving out. The region had a domestic net loss of 2,903 people—that is, out-migration to other regions in Indiana or to other states between 2008 and 2009.

Almost 91 percent of the population is white, with 6.2 percent black (compared to the state’s 9.2 percent) and only 1.2 percent Asian, concentrated in Allen County. Nearly 5 percent of the region’s population is Hispanic, which is somewhat smaller than the statewide 5.5 percent in 2009.

Housing and Lifestyles

The region ranks fifth among the six regions with 333,100 housing units (2009 estimate). The majority of units, at least in 2000 when the last census was conducted, were owner-occupied. More than half of households in the region were married couples (25 percent with children, 30 percent without), 9 percent were single-parent households, and 26 percent lived alone.

Using aggregated data from the Indiana Association of Realtors database, which includes Multiple Listing Service (MLS) data from all counties but Wayne, we can look at recent home sales and a variety of characteristics of homes sold. In 2009, 7,253 homes were sold in the region. The median age of homes sold in 2009 was older in the region when compared to the state, with the largest number of homes built in 1959 or earlier (see Figure 4).

Figure 4: Homes Sold in 2009 by Year Built

Figure 4: Percent of Total Homes by Year Built, 2009

Note: Wayne County data not available.
Source: IBRC, using Indiana Association of Realtors data

Looking at individual counties in the region, there is a significant spread based on the median age of homes sold in 2009, with the oldest median ages in the counties of Huntington, Jay, Adams and Randolph (see Figure 5).

Figure 5: Median Age of Homes Sold in 2009 by County

Figure 5: Median Age of Homes Sold by County

Note: Wayne County data not available.
Source: IBRC, using Indiana Association of Realtors data

Of the homes sold in 2009, the vast majority of homes sold were priced under $150,000 and only a few were priced at $1 million or more. Using a statewide comparison, the region’s home sales occurred at a higher frequency in the ranges less than $100,000 (see Figure 6).

Figure 6: Cost of Homes Sold Compared to the State, 2009

Figure 6: Cost of Homes Sold Compared to the State, 2009

Note: Wayne County data not available.
Source: IBRC, using Indiana Association of Realtors data

Labor Force

As seen in Figure 7, 379,000 residents of the region are part of the labor force, with 335,000 people employed and the remaining 44,000 actively seeking work (i.e., unemployed) using the 2009 annual averages. The June 2010 unemployment rate for the region was 10.8, which was 7 percentage points higher than the state rate of 10.1 for that same month (not seasonally adjusted). For a closer inspection of labor force numbers, be sure to visit Hoosiers by the Numbers at, the workforce development website of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. These numbers come out monthly as preliminary estimates and the previous month's figures are revised.

Figure 7: Region 3 Resident Labor Force and Employment, 2009

Figure 7: Region 3 Resident Labor Force and Employment, 2009

Note: Data are not seasonally adjusted.
Source: IBRC, using Indiana Department of Workforce Development data


The vast majority of residents work in private industry or in what are called “nonfarm” jobs. The largest sectors in the region include manufacturing (68,000 jobs), retail (35,000) and health care and social services (33,000 jobs), as shown in Table 2.

Table 2: Realtors Region 3 Jobs by Industry, 2009

Industry Jobs Jobs LQ
Total 315,863 1.00
Manufacturing 68,106 2.34
Retail Trade 34,959 0.98
Health Care and Social Services 32,605 0.61
Accommodation and Food Services 27,344 0.86
Admin. and Support and Waste Mgt. and Rem. Services 15,690 0.75
Wholesale Trade 14,800 1.08
Construction 12,398 0.84
Transportation and Warehousing 11,874 0.92
Finance and Insurance 11,492 0.75
Educational Services 11,048 0.35
Public Administration 10,433 0.57
Other Services(Except Public Administration) 8,690 0.68
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services 7,129 0.39
Information 5,393 0.75
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation 3,027 0.49
Real Estate and Rental and Leasing 2,668 0.48
Management of Companies and Enterprises 1,614 0.35
Utilities 805 0.39
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting 492 0.18
Mining 151 0.10

Note: The employment numbers for some industries may be low due to nondisclosable data at the county level.
Source: IBRC, using U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data

Industry Clusters

Clusters can be a valuable way to organize our thinking about industry mix in an area. The Purdue Center for Regional Development has identified 17 industry clusters that give insight into the core industries and their supplier industries. The resulting data can help the region consider which are important or emerging clusters (see Table 3).

Table 3: Realtors Region 3 Industry Clusters, 2008

Description Cluster Establishments Industry Cluster Establishment LQ
Total All Industries 17,282 1
Business and Financial Services 2,320 0.86
Energy (Fossil and Renewable) 1,182 1.04
Biomedical/Biotechnical (Life Sciences) 947 2.25
Manufacturing Supercluster 752 2.83
Advanced Materials 619 2.3
Information Technology and Telecommunications 611 0.74
Transportation and Logistics 555 1.42
Forest and Wood Products 524 1.4
Arts, Entertainment, Recreation and Vistor Industries 486 0.96
Education and Knowledge Creation 458 1.23
Defense and Security 441 0.77
Agribusiness, Food Processing and Technology 397 1.44
Printing and Publishing 368 0.97
Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing* 322 2.77
Chemicals and Chemical-Based Products 222 1.65
Machinery Manufacturing* 200 3.44
Apparel and Textiles 144 0.92
Transportation Equipment Manufacturing* 115 3.9
Glass and Ceramics 90 2.17
Primary Metal Manufacturing* 47 4.1
Mining 40 1.75
Computer and Electronic Product Manufacturing* 34 0.94
Electrical Equipment, Appliance and Component Manufacturing* 34 2.42

*These are subclusters within the manufacturing supercluster.
Source: IBRC, using U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Purdue Center for Regional Development data

In using the table, it’s worthwhile to consider the actual number of establishments shown. We always want to know “volume” or just plain “how many.” But of equal value is the location quotient (LQ) provided in the column next to the numbers of firms. Anything over 1.0 means the region has export capacity—exporting to their neighbors in another region, another state, across the nation or around the globe. The idea of producing “more than we need” indicates that those clusters are serving needs outside the region as well as within its borders. In short, having an LQ higher than 1.0 is good; if it is a lot higher (as in, say, primary metals), then the cluster is quite strong.

If clusters have piqued your interest, be sure to turn your browser to to see these data in action for areas throughout Indiana and in comparison to the rest of the country.

Time to Explore

We hope to have given you a fast trek through the numbers. We could go on, but then that might spoil your fun in going to STATS Indiana’s IN Depth Profiles and learning more about this region or the whole host of regions we have available.

Carol O. Rogers
Deputy Director, Indiana Business Research Center, Indiana University Kelley School of Business