A new home is nearing completion on East Holland Drive south of Bloomington. Two-thirds of area residents responding to a recent survey said a small or medium single-family home was their desired housing type. (Janice Rickert / Herald-Times)
A new home is nearing completion on East Holland Drive south of Bloomington. Two-thirds of area residents responding to a recent survey said a small or medium single-family home was their desired housing type. (Janice Rickert / Herald-Times)

A majority of people in south-central Indiana say they do not believe the current housing supply adequately meets the needs of people in the area, according to a survey published in a recent comprehensive housing study.

Regional Opportunity Initiatives published a 340-page housing study last week regarding what they deem the Hoosier Uplands region. The counties studied — Monroe, Brown, Crawford, Davies, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Orange, Owen and Washington — were assessed for their population growth, job prospects and housing options. The study looks at the relationships between a lack of population growth, income and housing and how they relate to the living situations of residents.                                                 

Population

Overall, there was an average population growth rate of 1% annually in the region from 1960 to 2010. Individual counties saw anywhere from -0.10% to 1.7% average growth per year during that half-century, with the top rate belonging to Monroe County and Martin County showing the only decline.

While slow on growth, the area is still outpacing the state in overall population growth. On average, Indiana saw only an 0.7% annual increase in population between 1960 and 2010.

The population, maybe in part because of the stagnation, continues to age. With the exception of Monroe County, where the average age of 28 did not change from 2000 to 2010, and Daviess County, where the average age dipped from 36 to 35, counties had an average population three to six years older in 2010 than in 2000, between 39 and 47 years old.

“For some of the communities, it is not unusual to see an increased number of occupied housing units with little to no population growth,” the study reads. “The same population living in smaller households results in more housing units being filled. Therefore, when a rural area has an aging population (usually one or two person households) and new households with much smaller families, the demand for new units still exists.”

Jobs and income

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