Porter County is a vibrant county in Northwest Indiana. The county sits in the northwest corner of Indiana, three hours north of Indianapolis and 30 minutes east of Chicago. The county is nestled between Lake Michigan on the north and the Kankakee River on the south. Our sister counties, Lake and La Porte are to the west and east. There are three large cities: Portage, Chesterton and the county seat Valparaiso. Hoosier sensibilities and Midwest nice are the norm. The county is a mix of urban, agriculture, tourism, rural, manufacturing, logistics, education and relaxation.
As of the census of 2010, there were 164,343 people, and 42,763 families residing in the county. There were 66,304 housing units at an average density of 127 per square mile. There were 54,649 households out of which 23.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.3% were married couples living together, 9.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.30% were non-families. 22.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.1. In the county the population was spread out with 27% under the age of 18, 6% from 18 to 24, 26% from 25 to 44, 28% from 45 to 64, and 12% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. Porter County residents are well educated. Of residents over 25, 91.1% have at least a high school degree, 21.6% have some college but without a degree, 15.7% have a bachelor’s degree, 24.7% have a bachelor’s degree or higher, and only 8.9% have not attained at least a high school degree. The main industry is manufacturing and construction. The median household income in Porter County is $60,619, which compared to the same figure at the state level of $47,135 makes Porter County one of the wealthier counties in the state. The median family income in Porter County is $72,097 and for the state it is $58,184. Despite the high median income in Porter County there is a substantial inequality in the distribution of wealth. More than 10% of the county’s population lives at or below poverty and it is predicted to get worse as our economy continues to tighten.
More information on Porter County demographics can be found here.
Dr. Larry Baas, Chairperson of the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Valparaiso University, and a team of student researchers has created an Epidemiological Report for the county for each of the last six years. The most recent Epi Report (2015) can be found here. The previous report (2014) can be found here.
HIDTA, High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, a drug enforcement program run by the White House's Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), puts out a yearly report. This report lists the drug threats in our community. Porter County is a member of the Lake County HIDTA. The 2015 report can be found here.
2012 Indicators Report from One Region, a quality of life product about the Northwest Indiana region can be found here.
There are seven school districts and several private and charter schools in the county. The school districts are: Duneland School Corporation, East Porter County School Corporation, MSD of Boone Township (Hebron Schools), Portage Township Schools, Porter Township School Corporation, Union Township Schools, Valparaiso Community Schools.