Historical Background & Critical Points Timeline
Rushville: Re-Imagine, Re-Invest, Re-Discover, a Stellar Rushville
Rushville's population grew by a mere 1.3% from 1980 till 2015, a change less dramatic than the population loss of Rush County as a whole (-13.3%), and substantially less of an increase than the state of Indiana (+20.6%) in the same timeframe.
Poverty rates in Rushville have more than doubled (+116.5%) over the last three and a half decades, much more than the poverty rates within the county (+63%) and state (+59.8%).
Unlike the entire state of Indiana which experienced a subtle increase, median household income in Rushville has fallen by 17.3% since 1980, more than the drop within Rush County (-7.6%).
Rushville: Socioeconomic Characteristics of Decline
Source: 1970 Census of Population, PC(1)-C1 "General Social and Economic Characteristics", table 182. 1980 Census of Population, PC80-1-C1 "General Social and Economic Characteristics", table 245.U.S. Census Bureau, Census 1980 Summary Files 1 and 3. U.S. Census Bureau, 2010-2014 American Community Survey Table DP03. U.S. Census Bureau: State and County QuickFacts, 2016. Data derived from Population Estimates, American Community Survey, Census of Population and Housing, State and County Housing Unit Estimates, County Business Patterns, Nonemployer Statistics, Economic Census, Survey of Business Owners, Building Permits. STATS Indiana, using data from Population Division, U.S. Census Bureau. Minnesota Population Center. National Historical Geographic Information System: Version 2.0. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota 2011.
a. Poverty figures for 2014 were the most recent data estimations from the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, 2010-2014 Table DP03 estimations provided for the specific geographic area.
b. The Median Household dollar amounts reported for 1980 are values that have been converted to constant 2014 dollars according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index Inflation Calculator, available at www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm.
The city’s housing stock is relatively old and there is a shortage of middle- and upper-income homes, which makes it difficult to attract new residents at those income levels. The majority of structures in Rushville, approximately 40%, were constructed predating 1939. With an aged housing stock, new construction has also been lacking since the economic recession and hasn't yet returned to pre-recession rates.
Over the past decade, there was a very large shift away from homeownership, likely triggered by job uncertainty and the difficulty of obtaining financing during the recession. The city’s housing market is recovering from the recession, but at a lower rate than much of Indiana. Local sales are weak and few people are applying for building permits. However, the foreclosure rate is dropping and there’s a very low vacancy rate for homes and apartments, which can be a signal for new development. Rushville’s stakeholders main housing goal is attracting young p professionals who have started their families and want middle-to-upper-end homes.
The historic character of downtown Rushville remains largely intact. City stakeholders realized that Rushville residents are hungry for a livelier central business district including the need for more retail and dining options throughout downtown. Moreover, there is an abundance of underutilized and/or low-density land within a few blocks of the downtown core. These areas were inventoried and a plan developed identifying future development goals for these parcels. Local leaders focused on working with building owners to identify improvements which would make occupancy by these key business types easier utilize the downtown as the city’s cultural and economic hub.