As I mentioned in this week’s episode of LOL, Michigan is getting older:
Deaths outnumbered births in all but seven counties in Michigan in the year ending July 2022, new Census figures show, a result of the state’s aging population and the devastating impact of thousands of COVID-19 deaths.
That’s 92 percent of Michigan’s 83 counties, the fourth-highest rate in the nation, surpassed only by Maine, West Virginia and Tennessee.
Michigan’s overall population decreased 0.4 percent — 43,212 — to 10,034,119 from 2020 to 2022, driven largely by residents leaving southeast Michigan. Overall, 51 counties still experienced some population growth, albeit small.https://www.bridgemi.com/michigan-government/census-more-deaths-births-almost-all-michigan-counties?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter
Yes, the COVID pandemic really hammered Michigan hard, but our state’s population is not growing fast enough. As Mike Wilkenson reports:
The changes have left the state with one of the oldest populations in the nation, with its median age of 40.2 years the 12th highest in the country.https://www.bridgemi.com/michigan-government/census-more-deaths-births-almost-all-michigan-counties?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter
Governor Whitmer has signed bills expanding LGBTQ rights, and erasing any kind of “zombie” abortion bans on the books. One of her ways to change Michigan’s image is through her “Bigotry is bad for business” mantra. That can’t hurt in attracting younger people to consider living here.
But make no mistake, More work must be done to build the population, and to lure businesses and younger talent here. That’s why Governor Whitmer sent out a survey asking if people would consider living in Michigan, and if not, why. Issues range from jobs to childcare, and from higher education to climate.
Whitmer’s predecessor, Rick Snyder, and his fellow Republicans, all believed in providing huge tax cuts for their donors and corporations. They thought making Michigan a more “business-friendly” state, Michigan would benefit.
Those ideas, not surprisingly, didn’t exactly lead to economic boon in the state.
That’s why it’s important for Whitmer and Democrats to continue investing in people, and not just in corporations. I suppose that’s why I’m not all that keen on how they’ve funneled some $800 million in corporate handouts to Ford and GM for electric car and battery plants. It’s funny, though, hearing Republicans cry about these handouts, which is something they’ve backed for my entire lifetime.
Regardless, we need to reinvest in our citizens, and educating our youth for the 21st century economy. Showering money towards corporations isn’t the key to economic prosperity. Ask how Wisconites feel about FoxConn.
Democrats did what Governor Whitmer wanted by approving hundreds of millions to corporations.
Now, it’s time for Democrats to press the Governor on passing laws designed to spend on families, and their kids’ education. Democrats must focus on initiatives for affordable child care, health care, mental health care, and getting young people prepared for college or vocational school We need to develop talent here with the hopes of attracting others to relocate here.
That’s the kind of incentives which will truly make us a more “business-friendly” state.
Note: Graph at top of post is courtesy of Bridge Michigan Magazine.