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Pandemic upended Indiana's population trends in 2021

Contributed By:The 411 News

State saw a sharp increase in the number of deaths and lowest number of births since the late 1960s

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana added 20,341 residents in 2021 to reach a total population of nearly 6.81 million, according to the latest population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Analysis by the Indiana Business Research Center at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business indicates this is Indiana's smallest annual increase since 2015 and is well below the state's average annual gain of nearly 30,200 residents over the previous decade.

"The primary cause of this slower growth was a sharp increase in the number of deaths in 2021 as the COVID-19 pandemic took a heavy toll," said Matthew Kinghorn, senior demographer at the Indiana Business Research Center. "At the same time, fertility rates in Indiana continued to decline, resulting in only 77,600 births last year -- the state's lowest annual tally on record dating back to the late 1960s."

Due to these developments, the so-called natural increase of Indiana's population -- or the number of births minus the number of deaths -- was a scant 690 residents in 2021.

To put this number in perspective, Indiana had an average natural increase of roughly 21,150 residents per year between 2010 and 2019. Meanwhile, half of all states had a natural decrease in 2021, meaning deaths outnumbered births.

With the state's natural increase essentially flat, Indiana's population gains were fueled almost entirely by a strong net in-migration of more than 19,000 residents in 2021.

Story Posted:03/27/2022

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