FWD.us Op-Ed: Immigration Can Help Solve Rural America’s Population Decline

WASHINGTON, DC – In a new Op-Ed featured in The South Bend Tribune, FWD.us Senior Demographer Phillip Connor and co-author Allison Youatt Schnable, Professor at Indiana University, explain how Indiana’s flatlining population growth poses a major threat to the state’s economy and business community, particularly in rural communities. Citing FWD.us’ recent research analysis on how to offset rural population decline, Connor and Schnable emphasize how commonsense immigration policies offer clear and proven solutions that would help meet Indiana’s demographic and workforce challenges, while strengthening the state’s emerging industries such as artificial intelligence, semiconductor technology, and research and innovation.

Read the full article: Indiana needs better immigration policies to meet workforce challenges

Key excerpts include:

“The data [from the U.S. Census Bureau for 2023] show us Indiana urgently needs better immigration policies to meet our demographic and workforce challenges, particularly in our most rural areas. For example, by adding just 200 new, permanent immigrants annually to the population of each of Indiana’s rural counties for the next fifteen years, we would erase decades’ worth of population losses without much difficulty.

“Drawing on the legacy of immigration in rural Indiana, we should continue this tradition by embracing policies that welcome new Americans who are ready and eager to contribute to Indiana’s communities, businesses, houses of worship, and schools. Whether you look at the anecdotal lessons of immigration in places like Randolph County, or if you want to look at the growing body of empirical data, the potential for a statewide resurgence with the right approach to immigration policies could help define the next century of success for Hoosiers in urban and rural communities.”

To learn more, check out FWD.us report: Immigration Can Reverse Rural Population Decline</em>

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