(Bloomington, Ind.) – Indiana population growth last year was the slowest in six years, and it’s not just because of Covid.
Covid killed about 10,000 hujirs last year. But Indiana also has its lowest birth rate in more than half a century. The Census Bureau estimates that the state added about 20,000 people last year, but almost all of them are people who have left the state, not new babies. And more than half the increase came from just two counties, Hamilton and Hendricks.
Matt Kinghorn, a demographer at the Indiana Business Research Center, says the birth rate is declining nationally year after year as people increasingly stop having children and when they have children. But he says epidemic concerns have pushed last year’s numbers even lower, as people worry about both health and the economy. And he says even before the epidemic, Indiana’s life expectancy was declining due to a variety of chronic health problems, including opioid addiction.
Indiana’s birth rate has just surpassed last year’s mortality rate, less than 700. Half of all states could not even manage it, with 17 states losing population. Indiana’s population growth was the 13th largest in the country, with a percentage increase of .3% to 21st.
34 Indiana counties lost population last year, but all but one of them lost less than 400 people. Marion County, which has been growing steadily over the past decade, has shrunk to more than 5,600 people, down .6% despite surpassing births and deaths. More than 9,000 people have moved out of the county.
With the exception of Shelby, the population of each of the counties bordering Marion County has increased.
Post Indiana grew by just 20,000 people last year. The situation is worse in most states. 93.1FM first appeared on WIBC.