Indiana’s population growth has slowed.

An analysis by the Indiana Business Research Center at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business indicates that Indiana had the smallest annual population increase in nearly a decade.

Indiana added 19,505 residents in 2022 to reach a total population of 6.83 million, according to the latest population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. This was the smallest annual increase since 2015 and was only the second time in 35 years that the state added fewer than 20,000 residents in a year.

For the second consecutive year, a low rate of natural population increase was the primary driver of Indiana’s slow growth.

Many of Indiana’s fastest-growing counties are suburban communities in the Indianapolis metro area. Hamilton County set the pace for growth with a 2.1% population gain in 2022, while Hendricks (1.7%), Boone (1.6%) and Hancock (1.5%) ranked among the top six counties.

The fastest-growing counties outside the Indianapolis area were in southeast Indiana. Ohio County posted the state’s second-fastest growth rate at 2.0%, while its rural neighbor Switzerland County placed fourth with a 1.6% increase.

In a notable shift, five rural counties were among Indiana’s 16 fastest-growing ones in 2022. The state’s 23 rural counties — counties that are not designated as being part of either a metropolitan or micropolitan statistical area by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget — combined for a 0.1% increase last year. Between 2010 and 2020, by contrast, only five rural counties posted a population gain at all, and rural Indiana declined by 2.2% as a whole. In terms of the largest numeric gains, Hamilton County once again led the way in 2022 by adding 7,591 residents — a level of growth more than twice as large as runner-up Hendricks County’s increase of 2,979 residents. Other top gainers included Allen (2,337), Clark (1,390) and Johnson (1,364) counties.

In all, 55 of Indiana’s 92 counties posted a population gain in 2022.

For the second straight year, Marion County had the state’s largest population decline, with a loss of roughly 2,180 residents — a 0.2% slide. Marion County’s population now sits at nearly 969,500 residents, which ranks as the 54th most populous county in the U.S.

LaPorte County had the state’s second-largest decline at 811 residents, followed by Vandenburgh (-523 residents), Monroe (-390) and Miami (-358) counties. As for the pace of decline, Blackford, Miami, and Orange counties had the state’s sharpest drops last year, with each falling by roughly 1%.