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Morton Marcus: It was not alone that Covid suppressed population growth | Economic news

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After 2020, one couldn’t imagine 2021 extending the reality of Covid’s evolving attack on humanity. But it happened.

Data is not complete for 2021, but we have some indication of the impact nationwide. Normally, we would expect economic development to involve more people to generate more income. We assume that both are good, although we know there can be downsides to both.

The latest US population estimates, as of July 1, 2021, were recently released by the Census Bureau. In the 12 months from July 1, 2020, the country’s population grew 0.12%, the lowest annual growth rate in 121 years. Only 30 states experienced growth.

Indiana’s population is estimated to have grown by 0.30%, more than double this very low national growth rate. Our growth rate ranked 21st in the country, just behind Alabama and ahead of Wyoming. Do what you want with it.

In absolute terms, Indiana gained 20,457 people, which has maintained our rank as the 17th most populous state, impacting our political and economic importance.

Demographic changes are the result of complex decisions made by millions of people. Births and deaths are the components of natural increase. Their location is often determined by decisions taken years earlier regarding national and international migration.

The natural increase, the excess of births over deaths, was only 692 people for Indiana in 2020-2021, with births being 77,598 and deaths being 76,906. That gave us 1,009 births. per 1,000 deaths. Nationally, those numbers were 1,043 births per 1,000 deaths.

For Indiana and the nation, those birth rates were 1,035 and 1,047 in the nine years between 2010 and 2019. The response to Covid would explain the difference between the most recent rates and those of the previous decade.

However, demographic analysts are concerned that our national population growth rate has trended downward since peaking at just over 2% after World War II. Over the past 30 years, the rate has not exceeded 1.4%. The decline is evident in both natural increase and net international migration. Covid may have only accelerated an ongoing process.

William Frey of the Brookings Institution wrote (12/23/21) “… the focus on reactivating the country’s population growth should be a high priority. “More specifically,” … it is essential that we examine public policies that can overcome barriers to motherhood and child rearing and, possibly most importantly, stimulate immigration in order to revive population growth. from the country. “

Yet the two biggest movements of our time, environmentalism and the increasing participation of women in the labor market, both oppose a return to the rates of population growth of the past. Poverty reduction programs encourage smaller families. Selective immigration is now considered elitist.

Are we ready to return to the values ​​of the “Biggest Generation?

Morton Marcus is an economist. Contact him at [email protected] Follow him and John Guy on Who Gets What? wherever podcasts are available or at mortonjohn.libsyn.com.


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