In the 1960s through the 1980s, surrounding suburban localities such as Merrillville and Crown Point experienced rapid growth, including new homes and shopping districts.
Owing to white flight, economic distress, and a perception of skyrocketing crime, many middle-class and affluent residents moved to other cities in the metro area. This no longer applies to Gary since the population of the city has now fallen well below 100,000 residents. Steel continues to be a major steel producer, but with only a fraction of its former level of employment.
making it the ninth-largest city in the state of Indiana.
From the middle of the twentieth century to the present, Gary has experienced drastic population loss, falling by 55 percent from its peak of 178,320 in 1960.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Gary had the highest percentage of African-Americans of U. cities with a population of 100,000 or more, 84% (as of the 2000 U. As of 2013, the Gary Department of Redevelopment has estimated that one-third of all homes in the city are unoccupied and/or abandoned. While Gary has failed to reestablish a manufacturing base since its population peak, two casinos opened along the Gary lakeshore in the 1990s, although this has been aggravated by the state closing of Cline Avenue, an important access to the area.