Lake County, Indiana

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Lake County, Indiana
Lake County Indiana Courthouse.jpg
 Former Lake County courthouse
 in Crown Point, Indiana
Seal of Lake County, Indiana
Map of Indiana highlighting Lake County
Location in the state of Indiana
Map of the United States highlighting Indiana
Indiana's location in the U.S.
FoundedFebruary 15, 1837
Named forLake Michigan
SeatCrown Point
Largest cityHammond
 • Total626.56 sq mi (1,623 km2)
 • Land498.96 sq mi (1,292 km2)
 • Water127.60 sq mi (330 km2), 20.37%
 • (2010)496,005
 • Density998/sq mi (385.34/km²)
Congressional district1st
Footnotes: Indiana county number 45
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Lake County, Indiana
Lake County Indiana Courthouse.jpg
 Former Lake County courthouse
 in Crown Point, Indiana
Seal of Lake County, Indiana
Map of Indiana highlighting Lake County
Location in the state of Indiana
Map of the United States highlighting Indiana
Indiana's location in the U.S.
FoundedFebruary 15, 1837
Named forLake Michigan
SeatCrown Point
Largest cityHammond
 • Total626.56 sq mi (1,623 km2)
 • Land498.96 sq mi (1,292 km2)
 • Water127.60 sq mi (330 km2), 20.37%
 • (2010)496,005
 • Density998/sq mi (385.34/km²)
Congressional district1st
Footnotes: Indiana county number 45

Lake County is a county located in the U.S. state of Indiana. In 2010, its population was 496,005,[1] making it Indiana's second-most populous county. The county seat is Crown Point.[2]

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

It is the home of part of the Indiana Dunes.[3][4] It is also the home of Marktown, Clayton Mark's planned worker community in East Chicago.[5]


Lake County was formed in 1837. From 1832 to 1836 the area that was to become Lake County was part of La Porte County.[6] From 1836 to 1837 it was part of Porter County.[6] It was named for its location on Lake Michigan.[7]


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.[8] 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. However, the central part of the county is higher and hillier.

As you travel south from the low and relatively flat lake plain (the northern part of the county north of US Route 30), the land gradually rises in elevation until the peak of the Valparaiso Moraine is reached (around Cedar Lake/Crown Point). This is the highest area in the county and also a part of the Eastern Continental Divide. From here the land descends south into the Kankakee Outwash Plain until the Kankakee River is reached.

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]

National protected area[edit]


Lakes of the Four Seasons, IndianaSchneider, IndianaSt. John, IndianaCrown Point, IndianaHobart, IndianaLowell, IndianaLake Dalecarlia, IndianaCedar Lake, IndianaDyer, IndianaWinfield, IndianaGary, IndianaMerrillville, IndianaLake Station, IndianaNew Chicago, IndianaGriffith, IndianaSchererville, IndianaMunster, IndianaEast Chicago, IndianaHammond, IndianaWhiting, IndianaHighland, Lake County, IndianaLake County, Indiana map.svg
About this image



Unincorporated areas[edit]



The administration of public schools in Lake County is divided among 16 corporations and governing bodies, more than any other Indiana county. [9]

Colleges and Universities

Major businesses[edit]


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.

Indiana State Quarter[edit]

Indiana State Quarter missing the northwest section of Lake County.

The northwest tip of Lake County is seemingly missing from the state outline on the Indiana state quarter. The outline of the state on the quarter shows the Lake Michigan shore line continuing in a southwest direction from the Porter/Lake County line to the Illinois-Indiana state line, showing Lake Michigan where Gary and Hammond are located. Unlike the similar occurrence with Dade County, Georgia on the Georgia state quarter, fewer complaints were made concerning the omission.[citation needed]

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[10]

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.[10]


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.[11][12]

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.[11][12]

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.[12]

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.[12]


Presidential election results
200832.5% 67,74266.7% 139,3010.8% 1,525
200438.2% 71,90361.1% 114,7430.7% 1,714
200036.0% 63,38962.0% 109,0782.0% 3,527
199629.2% 47,87361.2% 100,1989.6% 15,789
199228.9% 53,86755.2% 102,77815.9% 29,653
198843.0% 79,92956.6% 105,0260.4% 780
198444.3% 94,87055.1% 117,9840.6% 1,289
198046.0% 95,40848.8% 101,1455.2% 10,786
197642.4% 90,11956.7% 120,7000.9% 1,922
197256.2% 115,48043.1% 88,5100.7% 1,352
196836.5% 77,91146.8% 99,89716.7% 35,766
196435.2% 73,72264.4% 134,9780.4% 823
196037.0% 78,27862.8% 132,5540.2% 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.[13] In the Indiana House of Representatives, Lake is part of the 1st through 4th, 12th through 15th and 19th districts. In total nine districts; seven seats represented by Democrats and two by Republicans. In the State Senate, Lake is part of the 1st through 4th and 6th districts, which are held by four Democrats and one Republican.

Lake County Indiana Senate districts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6[14] and Indiana House of Representatives districts 1, 2, 3, 4, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 19.[15]

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.[16] Lake County had reported no results at 11 p.m. ET,[17] and at midnight ET, only 28% of Lake County's vote had been reported.[18] 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.[17] 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
Est. 2012493,618−0.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[19]
2012 Estimate[20]

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]



  1. ^ "Lake County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-09-25. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Smith, S. & Mark, S. (2006). Alice Gray, Dorothy Buell, and Naomi Svihla: Preservationists of Ogden Dunes. The South Shore Journal, 1.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ Smith, S. & Mark, S. (2011). Marktown: Clayton Mark's Planned Worker Community in Northwest Indiana. South Shore Journal, 4.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ De Witt Clinton Goodrich & Charles Richard Tuttle (1875). An Illustrated History of the State of Indiana. Indiana: R. S. Peale & Co. p. 565. 
  8. ^ "Census 2010 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Counties". United States alCensus. Retrieved 2011-10-10. [dead link]
  9. ^
  10. ^ a b "Monthly Averages for Crown Point, Indiana". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 2011-01-27. 
  11. ^ a b Indiana Code. "Title 36, Article 2, Section 3". Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
  12. ^ a b c d Indiana Code. "Title 2, Article 10, Section 2" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
  13. ^ "US Congressman Pete Visclosky". US Congress. Retrieved 2008-10-08. [dead link]
  14. ^ "Indiana Senate Districts". State of Indiana. Retrieved 2011-07-14. 
  15. ^ "Indiana House Districts". State of Indiana. Retrieved 2011-07-14. 
  16. ^ "Awaiting one county". CNN. 2008-05-06. Retrieved 2010-05-07. 
  17. ^ a b Indiana's Lake County has tradition of late vote tallies[dead link]
  18. ^ Races tightens in Indiana
  19. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Retrieved July 27, 2013. 
  20. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Retrieved July 27, 2013. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°29′N 87°23′W / 41.48°N 87.38°W / 41.48; -87.38