Before we delve into Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at the county level, please understand federal statistical agencies prevent us from knowing about $13.6 billion or 3.6% of Indiana’s GDP. This “disclosure policy” is intended to protect the privacy of business firms. However, it makes it impossible to give a reasonably complete picture of the economy in most counties.

In Fayette County (IN), 60% of GDP was undisclosed in 2019. Marion and St. Joseph each had 12.8% of their county GDP undisclosed.

Given that caveat, we proceed to consider most of the 21 sectors in our study of 2019 GDP.

Agriculture was not the leading sector in any Hoosier county. Only in Jay Co. did Ag exceed 10% of GDP. But this sector was subject to the disclosure rule in 20 counties, places as dissimilar as Vanderburgh and Warren counties.

Utilities accounted for 66% of GDP in Pike Co. and 40% in Spencer Co. They were number one in seven counties, but undisclosed in 18 counties.

In Daviess Co., Construction led all other sectors with 16% of county GDP. In just two other counties, Orange (14%) and Adams (10%), was construction higher than 10% of the county GDP.

Durable goods manufacturing was the leading sector in 48 of Indiana’s 92 counties. In Whitley, Bartholomew, and Kosciusko, this sector was 50% of the county’s GDP. In another nine counties, this sector hit 40% or more of GDP. In dollar value, Elkhart Co. led the state at $7.6 billion, 48% of county GDP, but in Marion Co this sector, with $4.1 billion, was only 4.2% of county GDP.

Non-durable goods manufacturing was the leading sector in 13 counties, led by Posey Co. at 74% of county GDP. This sector was number one is counties as diverse as Marion and Lake as well as Blackford and Cass.

Wholesale trade
, undisclosed in 25 counties and not number one in any county, did register 10% or more in Pulaski, Hancock, and Hendricks, topped by Henry at 14.5%.

Retail trade
was no better than third place in any county and over 10% in only Hendricks (11.4%) and Washington (10.3%). Despite over $3.3 billion in retail trade, the sector was just 3.4% of Marion county’s GDP. The sector topped $1 billion also in Lake, Allen and Hamilton counties while in the 6% range of those counties’ GDP.

Transportation and Warehousing
was only 3.5% and ranked 11th of our 21 sectors statewide. Only Hendricks Co., adjacent to the Indianapolis airport, can boast that this sector was its number one component of county GDP.

Health Care and Social Assistance
in Wayne, Floyd and Warrick exceeded 16% of their counties’ GDP. In the first two counties, this sector was number one among all sectors.

Space constraints make this our last sector this week.
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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