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(BLOOMINGTON, Ind.) – Indiana’s population increase last year was the smallest in six years, and it’s not just because of COVID.

COVID killed about 10,000 Hoosiers last year. But Indiana also had its fewest births in more than half a century. The Census Bureau estimates the state did add about 20,000 people last year, but nearly all of them were people who moved into the state, not new babies. And more than half the increase comes from just two counties, Hamilton and Hendricks.

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.

Indiana’s birth rate barely outpaced the death rate last year, by fewer than 700. Half of all states didn’t even manage that, with 17 states losing population. Indiana’s population growth was the nation’s 13th largest, while its percentage increase of .3% ranks 21st.

34 Indiana counties lost population last year, but all of them declined by fewer than 400 people, with one exception. Marion County, which has been growing steadily for the last decade, shrank by more than 5,600 people, a decline of .6%, despite births outpacing deaths. 9,000 more people moved out of the county than moved in.

Every county bordering Marion County except Shelby gained population.