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LaPorte County, Indiana facts for kids

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LaPorte County, Indiana
LaPorte County Courthouse in La Porte, Indiana
LaPorte County Courthouse in La Porte, 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.
Country  United States
State  Indiana
Regions Northwest Indiana and Michiana
Metro area Chicago Metropolitan
Established April 1, 1832
Named for "The Door" or "The Port" (fr.)
County seat La Porte
Largest city Michigan City
(population and total area)
 • Type County
 • Body Board of Commissioners
 • County 613.26 sq mi (1,588.3 km2)
 • Land 598.30 sq mi (1,549.6 km2)
 • Water 14.96 sq mi (38.7 km2)
 • Metro
10,874 sq mi (28,160 km2)
Area rank 2nd largest county in Indiana
 • Region 2,726 sq mi (7,060 km2)
778 ft (237 m)
Highest elevation
– SW Galena Twp
957 ft (292 m)
Lowest elevation
– at Lake Michigan
581 ft (177 m)
 • County 111,467
 • Estimate 
 • Rank 15th largest county in Indiana
542nd largest county in U.S.
 • Density 186/sq mi (72/km2)
 • Metro
 • Region
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (Central)
ZIP Codes
46340, 46345-46, 46348, 46350,
46352, 46360-61, 46365, 46371,
46382, 46390-91, 46532, 46552,
46554, 46574
Area code 219
Congressional districts 1st and 2nd
Indiana Senate districts 5th and 8th
Indiana House of Representatives districts 9th, 17th and 20th
FIPS code 18-091
GNIS feature ID 0450507
Interstates 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 35.svg US 421.svg
State Routes Indiana 2.svg Indiana 4.svg Indiana 8.svg Indiana 39.svg Indiana 104.svg Indiana 212.svg
Airports La Porte Municipal
Michigan City Municipal
Waterways East Arm Little Calumet River
Kankakee River
Lake Michigan
Little Calumet River
Trail Creek
Amtrak station Michigan City
South Shore Line stations 11th Street – Carroll Avenue Hudson Lake
Public transit Michigan City Transit
  • Indiana county number 46

LaPorte County is a county located in the U.S. state of Indiana. As of 2010, the population was 111,467. The county seat is the city of La Porte, and the largest city is Michigan City. This county is part of the Northwest Indiana and Michiana regions of the Chicago metropolitan area. The LaPorte County Courthouse is located in the county seat of La Porte and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


LaPorte County was formed in 1832. La porte means "the door" or "the port" in French. French travelers or explorers so named the area after discovering a natural opening in the dense forests that used to exist in this region, providing a gateway to lands further west.

Before white settlement, all of the land that forms modern-day LaPorte County, and adjacent Starke County to the south belonged to the Potawatomi Indian nation. These Indians were forcibly removed to Kansas by the United States government in 1838, and many died on what survivors called the Trail of Death.

LaPorte County's initial White American settlers were Yankee immigrants, that is to say they were from New England or were from upstate New York and had parents who were from New England, and were descended from the English Puritans who settled New England in the colonial era. They were part of a wave of New England settlers moving west into what was then the Northwest Territory after the completion of the Erie Canal. The original White settlers in LaPorte County specifically hailed from the Massachusetts towns of Granville, Boston, Bridgewater, West Bridgewater, Andover, Nantucket Island and Hampshire County; the Connecticut towns of Colchester, Wethersfield, Granby and New Haven; the New Hampshire towns of Bradford, Amherst and Goffstown; the Vermont villages of Dorset, Albany and Fairfax; many also came from Orange County, Vermont, Caledonia County, Vermont and Penobscot County, Maine. They were mainly members of the Congregational Church, but as a result of the Second Great Awakening many became Baptists and many also converted to Pentecostalism and Methodism. When they arrived in what is now LaPorte County, there was nothing but virgin forest and wild prairie, the New England settlers cleared roads, built farms, constructed churches, erected government buildings, and established post routes. As a result of this migration, La Porte County was partially culturally continuous with early New England culture for many years.

But by 1850, the three Eastern States that had contributed the most residents to LaPorte County were New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia. By then, New Englanders had contributed the smallest number of residents. LaPorte County had the largest number of Southerners north of the Wabash Valley. During the Civil War, the Louisville Journal noted that the 29th Indiana Regiment (mustered out of LaPorte) "may almost be regarded as a Kentucky regiment for a large majority of its members either natives or descendants of native Kentuckians".

When the county was initially proposed and organized, its boundaries did not extend as far south or east as they do today. A section of land north of the Kankakee River originally belonged to Starke County. However, residents living in that area had difficulty crossing the river in order to reach the rest of the county. It was necessary to travel some distance east to Lemon's bridge, before making the journey south. Effectively isolated from the rest of Starke County, these residents asked that their land be annexed to LaPorte County, which was completed on January 28, 1842. Thereafter, the Kankakee River formed the southern boundary of the county. Finally, on January 10, 1850, some twenty sections of land were annexed from St. Joseph County to the east, giving LaPorte County the boundaries that essentially exist to this day.

Whether the correct spelling of the city and county is "La Porte" or "LaPorte" is disputed, although state law refers to "LaPorte County."

LaPorte County is also famous for being the scene of the Belle Gunness serial murders. She lived on a farm on the outskirts of LaPorte County.


According to the 2010 census, the county has a total area of 613.26 square miles (1,588.3 km2), of which 598.30 square miles (1,549.6 km2) (or 97.56%) is land and 14.96 square miles (38.7 km2) (or 2.44%) is water. The highest point, at 957 feet (292 m), is in southwestern Galena Township near County Roads East 600 North and North 150 East. The lowest point, at 581 feet (177 m), is along the Lake Michigan shoreline.

Adjacent counties

National protected area

Major highways




The municipalities in LaPorte County and their populations as of the 2010 Census:





Census-designated places


Unincorporated communities



LaPorte County contains 21 townships, more than any other county in the state. The townships, with their populations as of the 2010 Census, are:


Climate and weather

Weather chart for La Porte, Indiana
temperatures in °F
precipitation totals in inches
source: The Weather Channel

In recent years, average temperatures in La Porte 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.


Demographics (2010)
White Black Asian
84.1% 10.8% 0.5%
Islander Native Other Hispanic
(any race)
0.0% 0.3% 4.3% 5.5%
Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 8,184
1850 12,145 48.4%
1860 22,919 88.7%
1870 27,062 18.1%
1880 30,985 14.5%
1890 34,445 11.2%
1900 38,386 11.4%
1910 45,797 19.3%
1920 50,443 10.1%
1930 60,490 19.9%
1940 63,660 5.2%
1950 76,808 20.7%
1960 95,111 23.8%
1970 105,342 10.8%
1980 108,632 3.1%
1990 107,066 −1.4%
2000 110,106 2.8%
2010 111,467 1.2%
2020 112,417 0.9%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2019

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 111,467 people, 42,331 households, and 28,228 families residing in the county. The population density was 186.3 inhabitants per square mile (71.9/km2). There were 48,448 housing units at an average density of 81.0 per square mile (31.3/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 84.1% white, 10.8% black or African American, 0.5% Asian, 0.3% American Indian, 2.0% from other races, and 2.3% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 5.5% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 30.7% were German, 15.3% were Irish, 11.5% were Polish, 8.3% were English, and 5.9% were American.

Of the 42,331 households, 31.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.3% were married couples living together, 12.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 33.3% were non-families, and 27.3% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.00. The median age was 39.6 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $47,697 and the median income for a family was $56,679. Males had a median income of $45,537 versus $30,774 for females. The per capita income for the county was $22,599. About 9.9% of families and 13.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.7% of those under age 18 and 7.1% of those age 65 or over.


Public schools in LaPorte County are administered by seven different districts:

  • John Glenn School Corporation
  • LaPorte Community School Corporation
  • Metropolitan School District of New Durham Township
  • Michigan City Area Schools
  • New Prairie United School Corporation
  • South Central Community School Corporation
  • Tri-Township Consolidated School Corporation

Colleges and Universities

  • Ivy Tech Community College
  • Purdue University Northwest

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de LaPorte para niños

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