Morton Marcus: INtro to INdiana: Part 5

This final dive into the 2019 gross domestic product, or 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 No. 1 sector in 14 Indiana counties. Among these were Monroe, Delaware and Vigo counties, where public universities are located.

Marion County, where the state government and the largest city are located, government ranks fourth, or 8.6%, among its economic sectors. By contrast, Martin County, where the Crane Naval Base is located, has 71% of its GDP in the government sector.

While government was ranks no lower than eighth among sectors in any county, it was less than 3% of GDP in Gibson, Posey and Harrison counties.

Real estate, renting and leasing were reported for all 92 counties. This sector includes real estate development, renting and leasing, but not construction. Construction equipment, home furniture, trucks and cars, residential and commercial spaces are rented and leased. Statewide, this sector ranked third with 10.4% of GDP. It ranked first in Johnson, Boone, Brown and Switzerland counties. In Brown County, it accounted for 22% of GDP. In no county did it rank less than sixth.

Finance and insurance were reported and ranked in 87 counties. It occupied first place only in Hamilton County, with 19% of that county’s GDP, and it makes up 18% of the sector’s state GDP. Marion County had 32% of the sector’s state GDP 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 County, this sector ranked second with 8.7% of the county’s GDP. Hamilton County had the highest percent of county GDP, with 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 County data for this sector were undisclosed, but $500,000 was reported for Warren County.

State GDP for arts, entertainment and recreation, which includes gambling and professional sports, were largely concentrated in two counties. Marion County, with no casinos, had 39%. Lake County, which had two casinos in 2019, had 14% of this sector in Indiana. Because of casinos, this “quality of life” sector was greater than 2% of GDP in only Dearborn, Harrison, Madison, LaPorte and Lake counties.

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

Morton Marcus is an economist. Follow him and John Guy on Who Gets What? wherever podcasts are available or at Send comments to [email protected]