Immigration Facts
Summary Demographic State Data (and Source)
Population (2012 CB est.) 6,537,334
Population (2000 CB est.) 6,080,485
Foreign-Born Population (2012 CB est.) 303,145
Foreign-Born Population (2000 CB est.) 186,534
Share Foreign-Born (2012) 4.6 %
Share Foreign-Born (2000) 2.9%
Naturalized U.S. Citizens (2012 CB est.): 107,417
Share Naturalized (2012) 35.4 %
Legal Immigrant Admission (DHS 2001 – 2012) 71,380
Refugee Admission (HHS 2000 – 2012) 12,326
Illegal Alien Population (2010 FAIR est.) 120,000
Costs of Illegal Aliens (2009 FAIR) $608,492,238
Projected 2050 Population (2006 FAIR) 7,650,000

State Population

According to the Census Bureau, the population of Indiana in 2012 was 6,537,334 residents.

Between 2000 (population 6,080,485) and 2012, the state's average annual population change was 37,294 residents. That was an annual average change of 0.6 percent. The comparable national annual rate of change was 0.9 percent.

Between 1990 (population 5,544,159) and 2000, the state's annual average population change was 53,633 residents. The annual average rate of change was 0.9 percent compared to the national rate of change of 1.2 percent.

Foreign-Born Population

According to the Census Bureau the foreign-born population of Indiana was about 303,145 persons in 2012. This estimate meant a foreign-born population share of 4.6 percent. The chart above shows the long-term change in the state's foreign-born population based on Census Bureau data.

Foreign-Born Change

Between 2000 and 2012 the Census Bureau estimate indicates an average annual rate of change in the foreign-born population of about 9,520 people, compared to the state's annual average population change of about 37,294  people. That is a 25.5  percent share of the state's population change (not including the children born in the United States to illegal aliens). The foreign-born population grew by 62.5 percent between 2000 and 2012.

Immigration also contributes to population growth through the U.S.-born children of immigrants. Nationally the share of births to the foreign-born is about double their share of the population. A 9.2 percent share of the state's current births is large enough to account for about 7,810 births a year. Combining the average increase in the foreign-born population and estimated immigrant births suggests that immigration may account for about 17,330 persons added to the state's population annually, i.e., nearly 46.5 percent of the state's overall population increase.

As of 2012 about 58.3 percent of Indiana's foreign-born population had arrived in the state since 2000. This compares with the national average 40.9 percent. In 2000, 52.2 percent of the state's foreign-born population that had arrived since the previous Census.

Foreign-Born Characteristics

An indicator of the change in Indiana's immigrant population may be seen in data on the share of the population over five years of age that speaks a language other than English at home. Between 2000 and 2012, the share of non-English speakers changed from 6.4 percent to 8.5 percent. In 2000, 39.6 percent of those persons in also said they spoke English less than very well. In the 2012 estimate, the share was 38.4 percent that spoke English less than very well. In 2012 Spanish speakers were 54.8 percent of those who spoke other than English at home, and 60.8 percent of those who spoke English less than very well.

The chart above shows the regional composition of the state's foreign-born population and how it has changed from between 2000 and 2012.


Census Bureau data in 2012 indicate that 107,417 residents of Indiana, or 35.4 percent of the foreign-born population in Indiana, were naturalized U.S. citizens, compared to 70,983 residents, or 38.1 percent, in 2000.

Nationally, 40.3 percent of the foreign-born population was naturalized in 2000, and 45.8 percent in 2012.

Net International Migration (NIM)

Data from the Current Population Survey (CPS), the Census Bureau estimated that between 2000 and 2012, the change in Indiana's population resulting from net international migration has been about 18,452 people. It was 30.3 percent of total change (not including the children born to the immigrants after their arrival in the United States). 1   The remainder was due to net domestic migration and natural change (births minus deaths).


  1. A negative percentage results when there was an overall population decrease. A percentage greater than 100 percent results when domestic migration is negative, i.e, a net loss from interstate migration.

Immigrant Admissions

Recent "green card" recipients who intend to reside in Indiana were 226 percent above admissions just after adoption of the current immigration system in 1965. During the 1965 to 1969 period, annual admissions averaged about 2,591 persons. During the most recent five years, annual admissions averaged about 8,455 persons. Immigrant admissions data are from the Yearbook of Immigration Statistics.

The chart above shows recent immigrant admissions and the cumulative amount of immigrant admissions since FY'65. The cumulative total of immigrant admissions to Indiana between fiscal years 1965 and 2012 has been 199,457 persons.

The data for fiscal years 1989-91 were artificially raised by the inclusion of former illegal aliens who were amnestied in 1986. According to INS data (1991) the number of amnesty applicants from Indiana was 3,461 (1,707 pre-1982 residents and 1,754 agricultural workers). These data were published by the Immigration and Naturalization Service and reported in "Report on the Legalized Alien Population," March 1992.

Admissions by Nationality: FY'96 - FY'05

The table below furnishes INS data by nationality on the immigrants who were admitted for residence in Indiana between 1996 and 2005.

The INS data are for nationals of the countries with the largest number of immigrants admitted or adjusted to legal residence each year since 1996. The absence of data means that the total number of admissions to the United States by nationals of that country was not enough to merit detailed reporting in that year.

The Department of Homeland Security website has detailed data on immigrant admissions since FY'03 by year and by source country and intended state of residence. (See then select the desired year, click Legal Permanent Residents, data and then select "supplemental table 1."

Chart of Immigrant Admission by Fiscal Year


Indiana has received 12,326 refugees over the most recent ten fiscal years including 1,197 refugees in fiscal year 2012. The chart above shows the annual admissions over the last ten years and the cumulative total of those admissions using data complied by the Office of Refugee Resettlement in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The U.S. government program that distributes new refugees among the states is the only immigration program that provides state governments the opportunity to participate in deciding how many newcomers will come to that state each year.

Illegal Aliens

Indiana Fiscal Costs
Due to Illegal Aliens
           ($M) (Pct.)
K-12 educ. $310.50 51.0%
LEP educ. $62.40 10.3%
Medicaid+ $56.40 9.3%
SCHIP $15.20 2.5%
Justice $37.60 6.2%
Welfare+ $45.30 7.4%
General $81.10 13.3%
Total $608.50  
Tax receipts $38.10  
Net Cost $570.40  
Source: "The State Cost Studies"

FAIR Estimate - FAIR estimates the illegal alien population of Indiana as of 2010 was about 120,000 persons. This is part of an overall estimate of the U.S. illegal alien population of about 11,900,000 persons.

DHS Estimate - The current estimate by DHS of the illegal alien population in Indiana was n/a in 2012. The DHS estimate is available for only the 10 states with the largest illegal alien populations. The DHS estimate of the national illegal alien population in 2012 was 11,430,000.

Other Estimates - The Pew Hispanic Center estimates the illegal alien population of the state at 110,000 as of 2010.

Fiscal Cost of Illegal Aliens

FAIR's most recent estimate of the cost outlays due to illegal immigration and tax receipts from illegal aliens in Indiana are as shown on the right:

Limited English Proficiency Students

Data are not available nationally on immigrant students (either legally or illegally resident in the United States) who are enrolled in primary and secondary schools (K-12). However, a large majority of these students enrolled in Limited English Proficiency/English Language Learning (LEP/ELL) instruction programs may be assumed to be children of either legal or illegal immigrants with a predominance of children of illegal aliens.

In Indiana, LEP public school enrollment in 2010 ( 48,932) was 374.1 percent of LEP enrollment a decade earlier. By contrast, overall K-12 enrollment in the state was 105.9 percent of enrollment a decade earlier.

Population Projection

FAIR projected Indiana's population in 2050 likely would be between 7,534,000 million and 7,650,000 million with current levels of immigration. Alternatively, the population could be lower (6,935,000) if immigration were reduced to a level where it balanced the number of U.S. residents leaving to reside outside of the United states, i.e., zero-net immigration. See "Projecting the U.S. Population to 2050: Four Immigration Scenarios," FAIR 2006.

Foreign Students

Data compiled by the Institute of International Education (IIE) record the number of foreign students attending post-secondary school in Indiana as 24,408 in 2013.

The chart above illustrates the change in the number of foreign students attending school in Indiana since 1997.

For information on foreign student issues see: Foreign Students in the United States.

Immigration Impact

Environmental and Quality of Life Profile

Water: By 2050 the state's population is projected to rise to 7.7 million.1 Indiana has a daily, per-capita water demand of 110.6 gallons.2 The projected population implies that, at this rate of use, by 2050 public water usage will have increased by 154.8 million gallons each day.

Traffic: Indiana highways saw their traffic increase by 28 percent between 1990 and 2008. In 2010, The Road Information Project (TRIP) reported that 21 percent of the state’s urban highways are congested.3 As population growth put more traffic on the roads, the average commute for Indiana residents increased 11 percent during the 1990s, from 20 minutes to 23 minutes in 2000.4

Commuters in Indianapolis spent about 39 extra hours per year on the road due to congestion in 2007, burning 27 gallons of fuel. The cost of these two factors from Indianapolis traffic alone was $522 million. Indiana residents also felt the effect of Chicago traffic congestion, where the typical commuter lost 41 hours and burned 28 extra gallons of fuel because of congestion.5  About 11 percent of Indiana commuters had a commute of 45 minutes or longer in 2008.6

Increased traffic places more pressure on a road system already in need of repairs. Nearly three in ten (29%) of the state’s roads are in poor or mediocre condition, and 22 percent of its bridges are classified as structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. Road conditions in Indiana cost the typical driver $225 per year in extra maintenance and operational costs, a total of $1.2 billion per year.7

Disappearing Open Space: The amount of developed land in Indiana increased by 667,700 acres from 1982 to 2007, growing at a pace of 25,930 acres per year over the last ten years of that period.8

Crowded Housing: An estimated 38,076 of Indiana’s housing units were classified as crowded in 2008, defined as units with more than one occupant per room. This amounted to 1.5 percent of the state’s housing units. In addition, 7,303 units were severely crowded, with at least 1.5 occupants per room.9 Nationally, crowded housing rates are driven upward by immigration, where 27 percent of children in immigrant families live in crowded housing compared to 9 percent of children with native-born parents. In Indiana, the shares are 19 percent of children in immigrant families are in crowded housing compared to 7 percent of those in native-headed households.10

Sprawl: A study of urban sprawl between 1970 and 1990 that calculated the impact of population increase and per capita land use found that 307 square miles of additional land were consumed by urban sprawl in the Chicago-IL-NW Indiana metropolitan area, and 5.3 percent of that sprawl was attributable to population increase. In the Indianapolis area sprawl consumed an additional 87.7 square miles and population increase accounted for 52.7 percent of the increase.11

Other state's sprawl is spilling over into Indiana. As people try to escape from the population congestion in Chicago, Cincinnati, and Louisville, they're flooding into Indiana, where they can still commute to their jobs in the states they left. From 1997 to 2000, most Indiana counties bordering urban areas in neighboring states saw a 30 percent or more increase in the number of residents commuting to workplaces across state lines.12

Air pollution: As population increases, pollution usually rises along with it. Indiana released more cancer-causing pollutants into the air and water in 2000 than all but two other states.13

Over 85 percent of Indiana counties assessed by the American Lung Association in 2010 received an "F" for high ozone days.14

Poverty: Indiana’s immigrants are more likely to be poor than their native-born counterparts. In 2007, 17.1 percent of foreign-born households were below the poverty line, compared to 12.1 percent of native households. An additional 13.7 percent of the foreign-born and 7.9 percent of native households were not in poverty but had incomes less than 1.5 times the poverty level.15 26.4 percent of children in immigrant families were poor in 2006, compared to 15.5 percent of native children.16

Solid Waste: Indiana generates 1.55 tons of solid waste per capita each year.17

Education: Between 2000 and 2006 Indiana's K-12 student enrollment increased by over 46,000 students (4.7 percent).18 Indiana's student teacher ratio of 16.8 ranks 40th in the U.S.19

With increasing enrollment, many districts have been forced to build more facilities, expand existing schools, and add portable classrooms.20

  1. Jack Martin and Stanley Fogel. "Projecting the U.S. Population to 2050." FAIR. March 2006
  2. "Growing Region Stretching Water Resources," Munster Times, April 29, 2001.
  3. The Road Information Project (TRIP), "Key Facts about Illinois’ Surface Transportation System and Federal Funding," May 2010.
  4. "Table DP-1-4, Profile of General Demographic Characteristics: 2000," Census 2000, U.S. Census Bureau. "Table DP-1-4, Profile of General Demographic Characteristics: 1990," 1990 Census, U.S. Census Bureau.
  5. Texas Transportation Institute, "Urban Mobility Report 2009."
  6. American Community Survey, 2008 Estimates, Custom Data Table.
  7. The Road Information Project (TRIP), "Key Facts about Illinois’ Surface Transportation System and Federal Funding," May 2010.
  8. USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, "Summary Report: 2007 National Resources Inventory."
  9. American Community Survey, Three-Year Estimates 2006-2008. Data retrieved using ACS Custom Table tool.
  10. Kids Count Data Center, which used 2008 American Community Survey Data.
  11. Beck, Roy and Leon Kolankiewicz, "Weighing Sprawl Factors in Large U.S. Cities," NumbersUSA, March 2001.
  12. "Out of State Workers Making Indiana Home," Associated Press, July 5, 2002.
  13. "Group Ranks Indiana Among Top 10 Polluting States," Associated Press, January 23, 2003.
  14. American Lung Association, "State of the Air 2010."
  15. Migration Information Source State Data (Migration Policy Institute)
  16. Urban Institute, Children of Immigrants Data Tool.
  17. Report Card for America's Infrastructure 2005," American Society of Civil Engineers.
  18. "Overview of Public Elementary and Secondary Schools and Districts: School Year 1999-2000," National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education. "Public Elementary and Secondary School Student Enrollment, High School Completions, and Staff From the Common Core of Data: School Year 2005-06', National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, June 2007
  19. National Education Association, "Rankings and Estimates," 2010.
  20. Alisa Mabry, "Enrollment Up at Schools," Indianapolis Star, October 13, 2001.


Other Resources  

State Local Reform Organizations

State Representatives Voting Record


Updated December 2011