AIP Column: Michigan’s Population Exodus

Today in my American Issues Project column I address the economic mess in Michigan, but I focus particularly on the mass exodus of educated, high earning citizens who are desperately needed to rebuild the state. Are Michigan’s leaders taking steps to attract more people to Michigan? Nope. They’re continuing on their high tax, punitive regulations that sent people scattering to begin with. Here’s a portion:

The children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way is how the song goes. Here in Michigan, the young and college educated are the future and they are leading the way right out of the state. It’s gotten so bad that now half of Michigan’s college graduates leave the state within a year of receiving their diplomas to move to states with more job opportunities, and who can blame them? College graduates are filled with excitement for what lies ahead in their future, so naturally they want to live where the economic prospects will take them to that exciting future. Unfortunately, that destination is anywhere but Michigan.

The economy in Michigan is in such decline that it is not just college graduates who are leaving. Last year about 109,000 more people left than moved in, and those who moved out were the educated high income earners who lost their jobs and couldn’t find any new jobs in the state. One of those was Dave Stefanic, a former Ford engineer. He hoped to stay in Michigan but the only job offers he got were out of state, so eventually he and his wife Cindi moved to South Carolina in January. And when others like Dave moved, the very people needed to rebuild the state’s economy, they took with them about $1.2 billion more in earnings potential than those who moved into Michigan. And the size of their exodus is staggering. According to a United Van Lines 2008 migration report, 67.1 percent of Michigan-related moves last year were from people moving out of state. This trend, unfortunately, has not only not reversed at all in 2009 but it has only gotten worse. UVL issued a mid-year report for 2009 and, as of June 30th, that number has risen to 70 percent. Not one state in the country has an out-migration rate of even 60 percent.

Read all of it and check out what Michigan’s Democrats are preparing for their state’s remaining small businesses.

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