Lake County, Indiana

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Lake County, Indiana
Former Lake County Courthousein Crown Point, Indiana
Former Lake County Courthouse
in Crown Point, Indiana
Official seal of Lake County, Indiana
Location in the state of Indiana
Location in the state of Indiana
Indiana's location in the U.S.
Indiana's location in the U.S.
Coordinates: 41°48′N 87°38′W / 41.800°N 87.633°W / 41.800; -87.633Coordinates: 41°48′N 87°38′W / 41.800°N 87.633°W / 41.800; -87.633
Country United States United States
State Indiana Indiana
Region Northwest Indiana
Metro area Chicago Metropolitan
Settled October 1834[1]
Established February 15, 1837
Named for Lake Michigan
County seat Crown Point
Largest city Hammond (population)
 Gary (total area)
 • Type County
 • Body Board of Commissioners
 • Commissioner Roosevelt Allen, Jr. (D, 1st)
 • Commissioner Gerry J. Scheub (D, 2nd)
 • Commissioner Michael C. Repay (D, 3rd)
 • County Council
 • County 626.5 sq mi (1,623 km2)
 • Land 498.9 sq mi (1,292 km2)
 • Water 127.6 sq mi (330 km2)
 • Metro 10,874 sq mi (28,160 km2)
Area rank 12th largest county in Indiana
 • Region 2,726 sq mi (7,060 km2)
 • Length 36 mi (58 km)
 • Width 16 mi (26 km)
Elevation[4] (mean) 663 ft (202 m)
Highest elevation[5] – NE Winfield Twp 801 ft (244 m)
Lowest elevation[6] – at Lake Michigan 585 ft (178 m)
Population (2010)
 • County 496,005
 • Estimate (2013) 491,456
 • Rank 2nd largest county in Indiana 131st largest county in U.S.[7]
 • Density 994/sq mi (384/km2)
 • Metro 9,522,434
 • Region 819,537
Time zone Central (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) Central (UTC-5)
ZIP Codes 46303, 46307-08, 46311-12, 46319-25, 46327, 46341-42, 46355-56, 46373, 46375-77, 46394, 46401-11
Area code 219
Congressional district 1st
Indiana Senate districts 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 6th
Indiana House of Representatives districts 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 11th, 12th, 14th, 15th and 19th
FIPS code 18-089
GNIS feature ID 0450495

I-65.svg I-80.svg Indiana Toll Road logo 1968.svg I-90.svg I-94.svg

U.S. Routes

US 6.svg US 12.svg US 20.svg US 30.svg US 41.svg US 231.svg

State Routes

Indiana 2.svg Indiana 51.svg Indiana 53.svg Indiana 55.svg
Indiana 130.svg Indiana 152.svg Indiana 312.svg Indiana 912.svg


Gary/Chicago International


Grand Calumet River
Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal
Kankakee River
Lake Michigan

Amtrak stations


South Shore Line stations

HammondEast Chicago
Adam Benjamin Metro Center
Gary/Chicago AirportMiller

Public transit East Chicago Transit
Gary Public Transportation
  • Indiana county number 45
  • Second most-populous county in Indiana
Demographics (2010)[8]
White Black Asian
64.4% 25.9% 1.2%
Islander Native Other Hispanic
(any race)
0.0% 0.3% 8.2% 16.7%

Lake County is a county located in the U.S. state of Indiana. In 2010, its population was 496,005,[9] making it Indiana's second-most populous county. The county seat is Crown Point.[10]

This county is part of Northwest Indiana and the Chicago metropolitan area, and contains a mix of urban, suburban and rural areas.

It is the home to a portion of the Indiana Dunes[11][12] and to Marktown, Clayton Mark's planned worker community in East Chicago.[13]


Lake County was formed in 1837. From 1832 to 1836 the area that was to become Lake County was part of La Porte County.[14] From 1836 to 1837 it was part of Porter County.[14] It was named for its location on Lake Michigan.[15] The original county seat was Liverpool until Lake Court House, which later became Crown Point was chosen in 1840.


According to the 2010 census, the county has a total area of 626.56 square miles (1,622.8 km2), of which 498.96 square miles (1,292.3 km2) (or 79.63%) is land and 127.60 square miles (330.5 km2) (or 20.37%) is water.[16]

The northern and southern portions of the county (north of U.S. 30 and south of Lowell) are mainly low and flat, except for a few sand ridges and dunes and were both once very marshy and had to be drained. The lowest point, at 585 feet (178 m),[6] is along the Lake Michigan shoreline.

The central part of the county is higher and hillier. As you travel south from the low and relatively flat lake plain in the northern part of the county, the land gradually rises in elevation until the peak of the Valparaiso Moraine. The highest point, at 801 feet (244 m),[5] is in northeastern Winfield Township near 109th Street and North Lakeshore Drive in Lakes of the Four Seasons. From here the land descends south into the Kankakee Outwash Plain until the Kankakee River is reached.

The geographic center of Lake County is approximately 200 feet (61 m) northwest of Burr Street and West 113th Avenue in Center Township 41°24′53.8″N 87°24′14.3″W / 41.414944°N 87.403972°W / 41.414944; -87.403972.

National protected area[edit]

Commercial airport[edit]

Major highways[edit]

Interstate 65 in Lake County is called the Casimir Pulaski Memorial Highway. Interstate 80/94/US 6 is the Frank Borman Expressway from the Illinois state line east to the Indiana Toll Road interchange in the eastern portion of the county. Interstate 94 has been referred to as the Chicago-Detroit Industrial Freeway. US 6 is part of the Grand Army of the Republic Highway. Broadway (Indiana 53) is also the Carolyn Mosby Memorial Highway. Indiana 51 is known for its entire length as the Adam Benjamin Memorial Highway. US 30 is part of the historic Lincoln Highway. US 12 from Gary eastward is part of Dunes Highway. Cline Avenue (Indiana 912) from US 12 north and westward is known as the Highway Construction Workers Memorial Highway.


Adjacent counties[edit]


Lakes of the Four Seasons, Indiana Schneider, Indiana St. John, Indiana Crown Point, Indiana Hobart, Indiana Lowell, Indiana Lake Dalecarlia, Indiana Cedar Lake, Indiana Dyer, Indiana Winfield, Indiana Gary, Indiana Merrillville, Indiana Lake Station, Indiana New Chicago, Indiana Griffith, Indiana Schererville, Indiana Munster, Indiana East Chicago, Indiana Hammond, Indiana Whiting, Indiana Highland, Lake County, IndianaLake County, Indiana map.svg
About this image

The municipalities in Lake County, and their populations as of the 2010 Census, are:



Census-designated places[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]


The 11 townships of Lake County, with their populations as of the 2010 Census, are:


Public school districts[edit]

The administration of public schools in Lake County is divided among 16 corporations and governing bodies, more than any other Indiana county.[17]

Private schools[edit]

Elementary and secondary schools operated by the Diocese of Gary:

  • Andrean High School, Merrillville (9-12)
  • Aquinas School at St. Andrew's, Merrillville (PK-8)
  • Bishop Noll Institute, Hammond (9-12)
  • Our Lady of Grace, Highland (PK-8)
  • St. Casimir, Hammond (PK-8)
  • St. John Bosco, Hammond (PK-8)
  • St. John the Baptist, Whiting (PK-8)
  • St. John the Evangelist, St. John (PK-8)
  • St. Mary, Crown Point (PK-8)
  • St. Mary, Griffith (PK-8)
  • St. Michael, Schererville (PK-8)
  • St. Stanislaus, East Chicago (PK-8)
  • St. Thomas More, Munster (PK-8)

Colleges and Universities[edit]

Public libraries[edit]

The county is served by seven different public library systems:

  • Crown Point Community Library has its main location with a branch in Winfield.[18]
  • East Chicago Public Library has its main location and the Robart A. Pastrick branch.[19]
  • Gary Public Library has its main location, the Du Bois Library, as well as the Brunswick, Kennedy and Woodson branches.[20]
  • Hammond Public Library[21]
  • Lake County Public Library has its main location in Merrillville as well as Cedar Lake, Dyer-Schererville, Griffith-Calumet Township, Highland, Hobart, Lake Station-New Chicago, Munster and St. John branches.[22]
  • Lowell Public Library has its main location with branches in Schneider and Shelby.[23]
  • Whiting Public Library[24]



In a 2010 study, those businesses employing 1,000 or more in the county were:[26]

# Employer # of employees
1 St. Margaret Mercy Healthcare – Dyer/Hammond 3,000
2 St. Margaret Mercy Home Care – Schererville 3,000
3 Community Hospital – Munster 2,800
4 Horseshoe Casino – Hammond 2,200
5 Ameristar Casino – East Chicago 1,800
6 BP America Inc – Whiting 1,500
7 Methodist Hospitals – Gary/Merrillville 1,500
8 St. Anthony Medical Center – Crown Point 1,450
9 Purdue University Calumet – Hammond 1,109
10 St. Mary Medical Center – Hobart 1,100
11 NiSource – Merrillville 1,000
12 St. Maria Christian Formation – Dyer 1,000


The Times is the largest daily newspaper in Lake County and Northwest Indiana, and the second largest in the state. Lake County is also served by the Post-Tribune, a daily newspaper based in Merrillville.

Climate and weather[edit]

Crown Point, Indiana
Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source: The Weather Channel[27]

In recent years, average temperatures in Crown Point have ranged from a low of 12 °F (−11 °C) in January to a high of 84 °F (29 °C) in July, although a record low of −28 °F (−33 °C) was recorded in January 1977 and a record high of 104 °F (40 °C) was recorded in June 1988. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 1.68 inches (43 mm) in February to 4.79 inches (122 mm) in June.[27]


The county government is a constitutional body, and is granted specific powers by the Constitution of Indiana, and by the Indiana Code.

County Council: The county council is the legislative branch of the county government and controls all the spending and revenue collection in the county. Representatives are elected from county districts. The council members serve four-year terms. They are responsible for setting salaries, the annual budget, and special spending. The council also has limited authority to impose local taxes, in the form of an income and property tax that is subject to state level approval, excise taxes, and service taxes.[28][29]

Board of Commissioners: The executive body of the county is made of a board of commissioners. The commissioners are elected county-wide, in staggered terms, and each serves a four-year term. One of the commissioners, typically the most senior, serves as president. The commissioners are charged with executing the acts legislated by the council, collecting revenue, and managing the day-to-day functions of the county government.[28][29]

Court: The county maintains a small claims court that can handle some civil cases. The judge on the court is elected to a term of four years and must be a member of the Indiana Bar Association. The judge is assisted by a constable who is also elected to a four-year term. In some cases, court decisions can be appealed to the state level circuit court.[29]

County Officials: The county has several other elected offices, including sheriff, coroner, auditor, treasurer, recorder, surveyor, and circuit court clerk Each of these elected officers serves a term of four years and oversees a different part of county government. Members elected to county government positions are required to declare party affiliations and to be residents of the county.[29]

County elected officials[edit]


Presidential election results
Year Republican Democratic Others
2008 32.5% 67,742 66.7% 139,301 0.8% 1,525
2004 38.2% 71,903 61.1% 114,743 0.7% 1,714
2000 36.0% 63,389 62.0% 109,078 2.0% 3,527
1996 29.2% 47,873 61.2% 100,198 9.6% 15,789
1992 28.9% 53,867 55.2% 102,778 15.9% 29,653
1988 43.0% 79,929 56.6% 105,026 0.4% 780
1984 44.3% 94,870 55.1% 117,984 0.6% 1,289
1980 46.0% 95,408 48.8% 101,145 5.2% 10,786
1976 42.4% 90,119 56.7% 120,700 0.9% 1,922
1972 56.2% 115,480 43.1% 88,510 0.7% 1,352
1968 36.5% 77,911 46.8% 99,897 16.7% 35,766
1964 35.2% 73,722 64.4% 134,978 0.4% 823
1960 37.0% 78,278 62.8% 132,554 0.2% 526

Lake County has long been a Democratic stronghold, giving pluralities to Democrats in every Presidential election since 1960 except 1972.

Lake is part of Indiana's 1st congressional district, which is held by Democrat Pete Visclosky.[30] In the State Senate, Lake is part of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 6th districts, which are held by three Democrats and one Republican. In the Indiana House of Representatives, Lake is part of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 11th, 12th, 14th, 15th and 19th districts, which are held by four Democrats and four Republicans.

2008 Presidential Primary[edit]

In the 2008 Democratic presidential primary on May 6, 2008, Lake County was one of the last counties to report results.[31] Lake County had reported no results at 11 p.m. ET,[32] and at midnight ET, only 28% of Lake County's vote had been reported.[33] A large number of absentee ballots and a record turnout delayed the tallies, and polls closed an hour later than much of the state because Lake County is in the Central Time Zone.[32] Early returns showed Senator Barack Obama leading by a potentially lead-changing margin, leaving the race between Senator Hillary Clinton and Obama "too close to call" until final tallies were reported.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 1,468
1850 3,991 171.9%
1860 9,145 129.1%
1870 12,339 34.9%
1880 15,091 22.3%
1890 23,886 58.3%
1900 37,892 58.6%
1910 82,864 118.7%
1920 159,957 93.0%
1930 261,310 63.4%
1940 293,195 12.2%
1950 368,152 25.6%
1960 513,269 39.4%
1970 546,253 6.4%
1980 522,965 −4.3%
1990 475,594 −9.1%
2000 484,564 1.9%
2010 496,005 2.4%
Est. 2013 491,456 −0.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[34]
1790-1960[35] 1900-1990[36]
1990-2000[37] 2010-2013[9]

As of the census of 2000, there were 484,564 people, 181,633 households, and 126,961 families residing in the county. The population density was 975 people per square mile (376/km²). There were 194,992 housing units at an average density of 392 per square mile (151/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 66.72% White, 25.33% Black or African American, 0.28% Native American, 0.82% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 4.96% from other races, and 1.85% from two or more races. 12.20% of the population were Hispanic or Latino, of any race. The most commonly cited national ancestries were German (12.2%), Polish (9.6%) and Irish (7.1%).

In 2000, there were 181,633 households out of which 32.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.70% were married couples living together, 16.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.10% were non-families. 25.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 3.19.

In the county the population was spread out with 26.80% under the age of 18, 9.30% from 18 to 24, 28.30% from 25 to 44, 22.60% from 45 to 64, and 13.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 92.90 males. For every 100 women age 18 and over, there were 89.00 men.

The median income for a household in the county was $41,829, and the median income for a family was $50,131. Males had a median income of $41,986 versus $26,393 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,639. About 9.70% of families and 12.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.80% of those under age 18 and 8.00% of those age 65 or over.

As of 2010 the racial makeup of the county population was 55.27% Non-Hispanic white, 25.30% Non-Hispanic black, 0.33% Native American, 1.24% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.09% Non-Hispanics of some other race, 1.26% Non-Hispanics of two or more races and 16.67% Hispanic or Latino.

See also[edit]


  • Forstall, Richard L. (editor) (1995). U. S. Population of States and Counties - 1790 Through 1990. National Technical Information Services (NTIS). ISBN 0-934213-48-8. 
  • Schoon, Kenneth J. (2003). Calumet Beginnings: Ancient Shorelines and Settlements at the South End of Lake Michigan. Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-253-34218-X. 


  1. ^ Other = Combined percentages for American Indian or Alaska Native; Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander; other races; and two or more races
  2. ^ Population is 3,936 within Lake County; 3,097 reside in Porter County


  1. ^ "Lake County History". Lake County Historical Museum. Retrieved 2014-06-01. 
  2. ^ a b c d "2014 Public Officials Directory". Lake County Board of Elections and Voter's Registration. Retrieved 2014-06-10. 
  3. ^ Timothy Horton Ball (1873). Lake County, Indiana, from 1834 to 1872. Chicago: J.W. Goodspeed. p. 5
  4. ^ "Lake County". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. 
  5. ^ a b Palmer Quadrangle – Indiana – Lake Co. (Map). 1:24,000. 7.5-Minute Series (Topographic). United States Geological Survey. 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Whiting Quadrangle – Indiana – Lake Co. (Map). 1:24,000. 7.5-Minute Series (Topographic). United States Geological Survey. 2013. 
  7. ^ "USA Counties in Profile". STATS Indiana. Retrieved 2014-06-16. 
  8. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics 2010, Table DP-1, 2010 Demographic Profile Data. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2014-06-14.
  9. ^ a b "Lake County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2014-06-12. 
  10. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  11. ^ Smith, S. & Mark, S. (2006). Alice Gray, Dorothy Buell, and Naomi Svihla: Preservationists of Ogden Dunes. The South Shore Journal, 1.
  12. ^ Smith, S. & Mark, S. (2009). The Historical Roots of the Nature Conservancy in the Northwest Indiana/Chicagoland Region: From Science to Preservation. The South Shore Journal, 3.
  13. ^ Smith, S. & Mark, S. (2011). Marktown: Clayton Mark's Planned Worker Community in Northwest Indiana. South Shore Journal, 4.
  14. ^ a b Kenneth J. Schoon (2003). Calumet Beginnings: Ancient Shorelines and Settlements at the South End of Lake Michigan. Indiana: Indiana University Press. pps. 20-23.
  15. ^ De Witt Clinton Goodrich & Charles Richard Tuttle (1875). An Illustrated History of the State of Indiana. Indiana: R. S. Peale & Co. p. 565. 
  16. ^ "Census 2010 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Counties". United States alCensus. Retrieved 2011-10-10. [dead link]
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Crown Point Community Library". Retrieved 2014-06-19. 
  19. ^ "East Chicago Public Library". Retrieved 2014-06-19. 
  20. ^ "Gary Public Library". Retrieved 2014-06-19. 
  21. ^ "Hammond Public Library". Retrieved 2014-06-19. 
  22. ^ "Lake County Public Library". Retrieved 2014-06-19. 
  23. ^ "Lowell Public Library". Retrieved 2014-06-19. 
  24. ^ "Whiting Public Library". Retrieved 2014-06-19. 
  25. ^ "Indiana Trauma Centers". Indiana State Department of Health. Retrieved 2015-04-05. 
  26. ^ Center for Economic Development, Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs (2011). Northwest Indiana Regional Analysis: Demographics, Economy, Entrepreneurship and Innovation (PDF). Cleveland, Ohio: Cleveland State University. pp. 31–32. 
  27. ^ a b "Monthly Averages for Crown Point, Indiana". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 2011-01-27. 
  28. ^ a b Indiana Code. "Title 36, Article 2, Section 3". Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
  29. ^ a b c d Indiana Code. "Title 2, Article 10, Section 2" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
  30. ^ "US Congressman Pete Visclosky". US Congress. Retrieved 2014-07-13. 
  31. ^ "Awaiting one county". CNN. 2008-05-06. Retrieved 2010-05-07. 
  32. ^ a b Indiana's Lake County has tradition of late vote tallies[dead link]
  33. ^ Races tightens in Indiana
  34. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  35. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  36. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  37. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  38. ^ Population is 3,936 within Lake County; 3,097 reside in Porter County
  39. ^ U.S. Census Bureau. 2008-2012 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table DP03, Selected Economic Charactaristics. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2014-06-14.
  40. ^ U.S. Census Bureau. 2008-2012 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table DP04, Selected Housing Charactaristics. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2014-06-14.

External links[edit]