Indiana’s annual population increase smallest since 2015

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Indiana added fewer than 20,000 residents in 2022, according to an analysis of federal data by Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business—the smallest annual population increase since 2015 and only the second time in 35 years that’s happened.

In the year between July 2021 and June 2022, births barely outnumbered elevated deaths, but thousands of people moved in.

“Due largely to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of deaths in Indiana remained exceptionally high in 2022,” the Indiana Business Research Center’s senior demographer Matt Kinghorn said in a news release.

The virus killed an average of 1,450 Hoosiers each month between September 2021 and February 2022, according to federal health statistics. That dropped to an average of 250 COVID-19 fatalities monthly for the rest of the measured period.

And Kinghorn said fertility rates remained “relatively” low. There were just 1,024 more births than deaths last year—compared to an average of 21,150 over the last decade.

But 20,720 more people moved to Indiana over that period of time than left the state.

The center noted that Hamilton County and several others ringing Marion County experienced high growth. So did southeast Indiana’s Ohio County, as well as several rural counties. Marion had the state’s largest population decline, with a loss of more than 2,000 people.

“Population growth in Indiana continues to be driven largely by a handful of metropolitan areas,” Kinghorn said. “Foremost among these is the 11-county Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson metro area … accounting for 67% of Indiana’s net growth in 2022.”

Although the U.S. Census Bureau’s data shows that Indiana netted 1,000 births and 20,000 new residents, that doesn’t mean it gained 21,000 people.

Kinghorn told the Capital Chronicle that the bureau also adds a “residual” number—population change that it can’t attribute to any specific demographic elements. For 2022, that value was negative by more than 2,000 people, dropping Indiana’s population gains to 19,505.

The Indiana Capital Chronicle is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that covers state government, policy and elections.

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3 thoughts on “Indiana’s annual population increase smallest since 2015

    1. People are excited to live near big cities. Otherwise, they leave the State.

      It’s mystifying why we let legislators from all these failing areas make the decisions for the rest of the state of Indiana, and transfer their same failed policies to the rest of us… from social policy to roads, they just don’t get it. Best I can tell, their current idea is to make kids too stupid to leave.

    2. Pat B.
      The regressive policies that you are so concerned about are being implemented
      in many other states that are drawing huge population increases and landing
      many major economic development projects.

      People are not coming here for other reasons. Indiana is NO more regressive
      than many others that are kicking our behind.