Indiana’s population has been growing during the last decade, but a new study shows that that growth is slowing down.
The study from the Indiana Business Research Center at Indiana University says 2021 saw Indiana’s slowed year for population growth since 2015.
The state added just over 20,000 new residents last year.
58 counties saw an increase in population, but St. Joseph County had the state’s second-largest decline at 337 residents.
Marion County had the state’s largest natural increase, with babies being born, followed by Hamilton, Allen and Elkhart counties.
Indiana Business Research Center demographer Matt Kinghorn says birth rates have been falling nationally for years, as people increasingly put off having children, and have fewer kids when they do. But he says pandemic anxiety may have pushed last year’s numbers even lower, as people worried about both health and the economy. And he says even before the pandemic, Indiana’s life expectancy had been falling due to a range of chronic health issues, including opioid addiction.
Some of the decrease you can blame on COVID-19.
75% of all counties in the state registered a decrease of the population last year.
In terms of absolute numbers, Lake County fared worst in this measure, with 710 more deaths than births last year.
Delaware, Madison, Porter and LaPorte counties also had a natural decrease of 300 residents or greater in 2021.
Network Indiana contributed to this story