AMES, Iowa – Iowa’s 17 and younger age group decreased according to 2010 census results. According to the Community Vitality Center report, “Population 18 and Older and 17 and Younger in Iowa’s Counties, 2000 – 2010,” Iowa’s youth population has decreased by 5,645 in the last decade.
According to Sandra Burke, assistant scientist in economics, some counties have experienced significant growth in the youth population even though Iowa’s overall youth population decreased by 0.8 percent in the last decade.
“There has been a reshuffling across the state as to where youth are located. There has been a surge in the most urban counties and a decline in the more rural ones,” Burke said. “This distinctly impacts schools because a lot of community activities revolve around the school. It’s where children are during the day, and many activities and sports take place during the evenings.”
Burke credits fewer births as the main reason for the youth decline in the state, but outmigration and the ongoing recession also aided in the decline.
“The recession colors everything for every age group. It affects older people trying to retire or keep their jobs and it affects younger people trying to get jobs. In a recession, people typically delay marriage and they delay having children. There were three to four years of recession prior to the 2010 census that help account for fewer births,” Burke said.
The full report is available on the Community Vitality Center website at www.cvcia.org.