This final dive into the 2019 GDP county data for 21 Indiana industry sectors begins with a reminder: the federal  “disclosure policy,” which intends to protect the privacy of business firms, makes it impossible to give a reasonably complete picture of the economy in 76 of Indiana’s 92 counties.

 

Government and government enterprises were reported in all counties. Government enterprises include postal, transportation and utility services among others. These services could be offered in the private sector, yet, for historical or efficiency reasons, have been taken on by governmental units.

 

Government, which includes public schools, was the number one sector in 14 Indiana counties. Among these were Monroe, Delaware, and Vigo where public universities are located.

 

Marion County, where the State government and the largest city are located, had Government ranking fourth (8.6%) among its economic sectors. By contrast, Martin County, with the Crane Navy Base, found 71% of its GDP in the government sector.

 

While government was no less than eighth among ranked sectors in any county, it was less than three percent in Gibson, Posey and Harrison counties.

 

Real Estate, Renting and Leasing  was reported for all 92 counties. This sector includes not only Real Estate development (exclusive of construction), plus renting and leasing of all sorts. Construction equipment, home furniture, trucks and cars, residential and commercial spaces are rented and leased.

 

Statewide, this sector ranked 3rd with 10.4% of GDP. It ranked 1st in four counties (Johnson, Boone, Brown and Switzerland). In Brown County, it accounted for 22% of GDP. In no county did it rank less than 6th.

 

Finance and insurance was reported and ranked in 87 counties. It occupied 1st place only in Hamilton Co. with 19% of that county’s GDP and 18% of the sector’s state GDP. Marion Co. had 32% of the sector’s state GDP even though the sector provided only 7% of the county’s GDP.

 

Professional, scientific, and technical businesses accounted for 4.5% of Indiana’s GDP and ranked 10th among 21 sectors. In Martin Co. this sector ranked second with 8.7% of the county’s GDP. Hamilton Co. had the highest percent of county GDP (9.3%)  in these activities. Thirty-three counties had less than 2% of county GDP in this sector.

 

In this era of Information, 48% of Indiana’s GDP in this sector was undisclosed. Included here are broadcast, internet and publishing firms, ranging from news to software.. Also included here are services that store and distribute computerized information.

 

Marion Co. data for this sector were undisclosed, but $500,000 was reported for Warren Co.

 

Arts, Entertainment and Recreation, which includes gambling and professional sports were concentrated in two counties. Marion, with no casinos. had 39% and Lake, with two casinos in 2019, had 14% of this sector in Indiana. Because of casinos, this “quality of life” sector was greater than 2% of county GDP in only Dearborn, Harrison, Madison, LaPorte and Lake.

 

Sorry, but there’s no space for the remaining, small sectors.

Morton J. Marcus is an economist formerly with the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. His column appears in Indiana newspapers, and his views can be followed his podcast.

© 2022 Morton J. Marcus

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