MUNCIE — It's probably not enough to cause drive-through lines at Chick-fil-A or Starbucks to push any deeper onto McGalliard Road, but the community has gotten a tad larger for the first time in a decade

The population increase for Delaware County in 2021 was 202 people. The change is notable if for no other reason than it marks the first time in 10 years the county hasn't lost population in an annual estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The growth wasn't confined to Delaware County. Five out of nine counties in East Central Indiana showed an uptick. Henry County added 50 people, Fayette County added 27, Randolph County grew by 12, and Wayne County added a single person to its population.

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Still, overall, the region is losing people. Grant, Rush, Jay, and Blackford Counties showed population losses in the estimates. When combined, the nine counties of East Central Indiana showed a decrease of 178 people.

But the estimated population number was refreshing for Delaware County, which has been in the throes of a long-term decline in population spanning 50 years. The last time census figures showed an upward bump here was in 2011.

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