FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Northeast Indiana’s population is growing faster than any other state in the region, with Allen County in the lead at 90% of the population increase. The reason? High quality of life and a low cost of living.

Northeast Indiana’s population alone increased from 789,701 to 793,165 in 2020, which accounted for a 0.4% increase. This percentage is significant because it matches the state’s increase as well as the entire nation’s.

Indiana jumped from 6,731,010 residents to 6,754,953.

“Indiana was the only state in the Midwest that had positive net domestic migration,” said John Urbahns, president and CEO of Greater Fort Wayne, Inc.

Urbahns believes that Fort Wayne’s population increase is due to the city’s investment in public works and creating new jobs.

“First and foremost, I think it’s the community that we built. I think as people are looking to potentially move, they’re looking at job opportunities. They’re also looking at a high quality of life and a low cost of living, and that’s something that Fort Wayne, Allen County definitely has.”

Many of the new Northeast Indiana residents are young people who came for job opportunities, said Urbahns, which is expected. So he was surprised at first to see that the other group of newcomers were empty nesters. However, he quickly learned that Fort Wayne’s downtown attracts this demographic, “They want to be near the restaurants near the arts involved in the community.”

Whitley and LaGrange counties are also leading the population spike in Northeast Indiana.

At its current growth rate, Urbahns said he is excited to see how Allen County and Fort Wayne develop in the next decade.