The Demographic Status of Butler

NOTE: This section is subject to revision based on your feedback.

A community’s demographics provide insight into its population, housing, economy, education status and workforce.  There is substantial data available from the United States Census Bureau and Stats Indiana regarding past and current demographic characteristics.

Various facets of Butler’s demographic status are explored below, primarily in comparison with DeKalb County, the State of Indiana and seven other Indiana cities and towns that are within 5% of Butler’s  2015 estimated population.

Summaries are provided following each table below in an effort to determine how Butler stacks up with similar communities.

Future community growth policies can be addressed based upon the findings provided by the data.

Butler & DeKalb County – Census Totals – 1940-2010 –
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

YearButlerPercent ChangeDeKalb CountyPercent Change
2010       2,684-1.5%       42,2234.6%
2000       2,7254.6%       40,28512.3%
1990       2,6013.5%       35,3244.9%
1980       2,5094.6%       33,6068.2%
1970       2,3949.1%       30,8378.3%
1960       2,17612.0%       28,2718.0%
1950       1,9146.3%       26,0234.9%
1940       1,794       24,756

Butler’s population has been relatively stagnant since 1970, only growing an average 2.8% per decade from 1970 to 2010.  DeKalb County’s population has grown an average 7.5% per decade during the same timeframe.

Educational Attainment – 2015 Estimates – Source: Stats America

Comparison of Butler with seven other Indiana communities that are within 5% +/- of Butler’s estimated 2015 population:

City or TownPopulation EstimateHigh School Diploma
or More – % of Adults 25+
Bachelor’s Degree
or More – %
of Adult 25+
Fort Branch2,97194.0%19.3%

Butler’s percentage of adults ages 25 and older, who have high school diplomas or bachelor’s degrees is lower than the averages for the eight comparison communities.

Employment & Income – 2015 Estimates – Source: Stats America

Comparison of Butler with seven other Indiana communities (cities and towns) that are within 5% +/- of Butler’s estimated 2015 population:

City or TownLabor Force –persons working
in area
Unemployment Rate Median Household IncomePoverty RateCommunity Distress Factor,
Butler1,37911.3% $37,27719.5%93.05
Brookville1,2607.2% $38,33315.9%84.92
Centerville1,26710.7% $45,43322.8%88.01
Covington1,1708.7% $49,4557.8%77.91
Fort Branch1,4853.0% $46,4667.9%67.51
Lagrange1,3427.8% $40,83318.1%83.29
Loogootee1,3409.6% $39,07020.0%86.55
Rockville1,1513.7% $26,03524.2%96.77
AVERAGES1,2997.8% $40,36317.0%84.75

Although Butler had a higher than average number of persons in the labor force in 2015, it also had a higher than average unemployment rate, poverty rate and community distress factor (2017 data).   Butler’s median household income was also lower than average for the seven comparison communities.

Population & Age – 2015 Estimates – Source: Stats America

Comparison of Butler with DeKalb County and the State of Indiana:

Population by Age, 2015ButlerPercent of TotalDeKalb CountyPercent of TotalIndianaPercent of Total
Total Population Estimate2,870100.0%42,980100.0%6,568,645100.0%
2067.2%           2,7436.4%     420,9396.4%
School Age
57620.1%           9,02721.0%  1,165,71217.7%
College Age
38113.3%           2,4465.7%     665,72110.1%
Young Adult
64422.4%         10,15423.6%  1,668,10625.4%
Adult (45-64)70524.6%         11,98627.9%  1,735,03626.4%
Older Adult (65+)35812.5%           6,62415.4%     913,13113.9%
Median Age34.238.637.3

Butler’s median age (meaning there is an equal number of people older and younger than the median age) is 34.2, lower than either DeKalb County or Indiana.  Butler also has a higher percentage of college age persons (18-24), and a lower percentage of older adults (65+) as part of its population than DeKalb County and Indiana.  This can be interpreted that Butler’s population is slightly younger than average.

Housing Units – 2015 Estimates – Source: Stats America

Comparison of Butler with seven other Indiana communities that are within 5% +/- of Butler’s estimated 2015 population, and the State of Indiana (NOTE: not all totals per community add up to 100% due to other categories not apparently listed in the Stats America data):

City or TownOwner OccupiedRenter OccupiedBuilt
to 1940
Fort Branch72.7%20.3%20.5%

The percentage of owner-occupied versus renter occupied housing in Butler is close to the averages for the eight comparison communities.  The percentage of houses built prior to 1940, however, is higher than the average for the comparison communities, and significantly higher than the state average.

Resident Occupations – 2015 Estimates – Source: Stats America

Comparison of Butler with the State of Indiana:

of Total
of Total
Employed Civilian Population Aged 16+1,223100.0%3,297,501100.0%
Management, Professional & Related19914.4%     983,12729.8%
Service21515.6%     517,25415.7%
Sales & Office22416.2%     708,05521.5%
Fishing & Forestry
40.3%       13,2460.4%
Construction, Extraction & Maintenance997.2%     254,8647.7%
Production, Transportation & Material Moving48235.0%     562,21617.0%

Butler’s largest employment sector is clearly “Production, Transportation & Material Moving.”  The percentages for the “Service” and “Construction, Extraction & Maintenance” sectors are similar for Butler and Indiana.   Butler’s “Management, Professional & Related” sector is less than half of the Indiana percentage.


What do you think are the most important facets of Butler’s current demographics? What factors are most important to Butler’s future?  You are welcome to submit your ideas and comments via our Comments form.

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We appreciate your participation and input.

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