Tim Vandenack
Tim Vandenack
In Indiana Buzz, reporter Tim Vandenack blogs on politics, immigration, elections, taxes, errant geese and more.

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Elkhart County Hispanics motoring growth here while the non-Hispanic white population holds steady

The Latino population increased by 82.9 percent from 2000 to 2013, while the white non-Hispanic segment went up by 0.08 percent.

Posted on July 29, 2014 at 1:54 p.m.

Monday July 28, 2014

If not for Hispanics, Elkhart County’s population would have stayed relatively flat.

That’s one of the big takeaways from the U.S. Census Bureau numbers I crunched for a story on a new YWCA program geared to Hispanic women in Elkhart County (look here).


Latinos motoring overall growth: As is, Latino growth helped push the estimated 2013 population here to 200,563, up from 182,791 in 2000. If not for that growth, the head count would have increased to just 187,057.
White, non-Hispanic growth stagnant: The Latino population here grew from 16,300 in 2000 to 29,806 in 2013, an 82.9 percent increase. By comparison, growth of the white, non-Hispanic segment went up by just 0.08 percent, from 152,850 to 152,972.
Dating to 1990, Hispanics accounted for 60.6 percent of the county’s overall population growth through 2013. Non-Hispanic whites accounted for 18.6 percent of growth. Dating back to just 2000, Hispanics accounted for 76 percent of the growth here while non-Hispanic whites accounted for 0.7 percent of the increase.
Increasing diversity: Hispanics now account for 14.9 percent of the population while non-Hispanic whites account for 76.3 percent of the total. In 1990, Hispanics represented 1.9 percent of the population and non-Hispanic whites accounted for 92.6 percent of the total.

  • Scroll down for graphics showing the evolving demographics of the county’s population.


Growth of the Hispanic population has augmented the debate, here and across the nation, over immigration reform. But pinning down the number of undocumented immigrants here locally is tough business.

Here’s what I could find:

Foreign-born population: The estimated foreign-born population here, excluding naturalized citizens, totaled 13,050, according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey for 2010-2012. The 13,050 figure would include undocumented immigrants, but also legal permanent residents and others here with proper immigration papers, complicating efforts to pin down the population of people here without proper permission.

In 1990, the foreign-born population totaled 3,314.

Latin America is the chief source: Of the 13,050 foreign-born, non-citizens here, 10,819 came from Latin America. Again, the 10,819 figure would include legal permanent residents and others here with proper permission, in addition to undocumented immigrants.


As for the origin of those with Latin American backgrounds, citizens or otherwise, Mexico is the predominant country.

Of the 28,064 Latinos here per the 2008-2012 American Community Survey, 23,079 of them, 82.2 percent of the total, had roots in Mexico. Another 2,583 had ties to Central America, including 1,450 to Honduras, 837 to El Salvador and 235 to Guatemala.

Another 1,287 were of Puerto Rican descent and 224 had ancestral roots in Cuba.

Look here for a graphic representation of Elkhart County’s evolving demographics:


Follow reporter Tim Vandenack on Twitter at @timvandenack or visit him on Facebook.


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