24 December 2009

State Population Now Below 10 Million

Michigan Messenger

With the continuing reduction of the manufacturing base in Michigan, the state’s population has now dropped below 10 million according to new data released by the U.S. Census Bureau. The Detroit News reports:

The July 1, 2009, population estimate shows the state lost an estimated 32,759 people, the fourth consecutive year the population fell. Only Maine and Rhode Island saw their population go down in the last year.

Michigan has been bleeding people since 2005, and at the heart of the decline has been the growing exodus of people moving out looking for work. The current estimate puts Michigan’s population at 9,969,727, down from 10,002,486 in 2008. The state has seen a net loss of more than a half-million people to other states since 2001 — a number that swamps the natural increase from a greater number of births than deaths.

Last year’s decline was actually slower than in previous years, probably because the recession reduced opportunities in other states that might prompt residents to leave Michigan. As the recession lifts and Michigan lags behind the rest of the country in terms of jobs, the rate of decline in Michigan’s population may well speed up.

This has a real impact on the state in a number of ways. Declining population means dropping state revenue through income, property and sales taxes. It also means losing a good deal of federal aid and, after the 2010 census, will almost certainly cost the state one or two seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

No comments: