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Northwest Indiana Profile
Jasper County is located at the center of the ten-county Northwest Indiana Region. To the north, the counties of Lake, Porter and LaPorte border Lake Michigan and have varying levels of urbanization and industrialization. The directional pattern of development follows the lakefront from west to east and essentially functions as an extension of Chicago. The closer to Chicago and the Lake, the more urbanized and industrialized the area. Numerous suburban oriented communities also exist within these counties as does a rural character in the southern portion of each respective county.
Surrounding Jasper County to the east, south and west are the agricultural based counties of Starke, Pulaski, White, Benton, and Newton. While similar to Jasper County in many ways, two principal differentiators exist which furnish Jasper County with competitive advantage regarding future economic growth – its central geographic location and Interstate 65 traversing the entire length of the County. As evidence of this competitive advantage, during the 2000–2010 period Jasper County was the only county in this subgroup that grew in population.
Tippecanoe County, while not actually bordering Jasper County, comprises the southern portion of the region due to its close proximity via I-65. Similar to the northern portion of the region due to its large population base, Tippecanoe County is a source of both labor for Jasper County employers and jobs for Jasper County residents.
The regional economic development entity serving the counties of Jasper, Lake, LaPorte, Newton, Porter, Pulaski and Starke Counties, the Northwest Indiana Forum (NIF) is membership-based. It works to create a positive business environment as well as promote the region as an excellent location for capital investment and job creation. The Jasper County Economic Development Organization actively participates in the NIF primarily through the Economic Development Committee and in government and legislative affairs initiatives.
See the following tables for additional information describing selected demographic statistics for Jasper County and the surrounding counties (except Tippecanoe):