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+1.6% since 2010
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Elkhart, a small industrial town, has a diversified manufacturing base. A typical small Midwestern town, Goshen, to the southeast, has an agricultural base, an extension of some Elkhart manufacturing, and Goshen College. The industrial base has some unique components. Elkhart is the U.S. center for the manufacture of recreational vehicles, marching band and other musical instruments, and firefighting equipment.
Among other areas with this profile, Elkhart and Goshen have a better-than-average set of museums. There is also a large Amish and Mennonite community east of Goshen. Even with the economic diversity, the area is vulnerable to economic cycles, particularly in the RV industry, which is also prevalent. The area is close enough to South Bend to share many of its amenities and services. Cost of living and housing cost profiles are very low; homes are affordable and quality is high. Locally, educational attainment and future job growth projections are low.
Most of the area is a level glacial plain with mixed agriculture and wooded areas. Downwind Lake-Michigan effects govern weather in all seasons. Summers are warm and humid but subject to cooling lake breezes. The lake moderates temperatures somewhat but creates high humidity, frequent cloudiness, and heavy winter snows. First freeze is early October, last is early May.
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