In a Nutshell
- Michigan’s population growth has lagged the nation for 50 years. From 2000 to 2020, Michigan grew slower than all but one state and is on a path to continue to grow slower than the rest of the country.
- Michigan’s tie to the manufacturing sector and the severe consequences of past recessions have hindered economic growth and created workforce issues that will grow larger in the future.
- A town hall meeting discussed the new research and its importance.
On Tuesday, May 16, we joined forces with Altarum to release the first two papers in a five-part series entitled Michigan’s Path to a Prosperous Future: Challenges and Opportunities. Each of the papers addresses threats and opportunities, presenting a realistic, data-informed vision of Michigan’s future based on current trends and trajectories across multiple dimensions: demographic, economic, workforce, health, infrastructure, environment, and the capacity of state and local governments to address the issues.
In releasing the first two reports, Altarum, Citizens Research Council, and Bridge Michigan hosted a virtual town hall meeting. Ani Turner, Program Director for Health Economics and Policy at Altarum, provided a brief overview of the research. Ron French, associate editor at Bridge Michigan, then moderated a panel discussion about the importance of the research and important policy actions to address the issues identified. Guest panelists were Amber Arellano, executive director of The Education Trust-Midwest, Frank Ettawageshik, executive director of the United Tribes of Michigan, Gabe Rodriguez-Garriga, vice president for strategy at Business Leaders for Michigan, Jalonne L. White-Newsome, senior director for environmental justice for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, and Susan Corbin, director of the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity.
Tuesday’s release focused on 1) Population and Demographics and 2) Economy, Workforce, and Talent. The research shows that Michigan has been losing ground over the past five decades. Michigan has fallen behind other states in population growth, jobs, earnings, health, educational achievement, and the quality of public services at the state and local levels. Natural growth is turning negative, too few interstate immigrants target Michigan as a destination, international immigration has fallen, and too many young Michigan residents are leaving.
Absent policy changes and investments, Michigan’s current path will lead to a shrinking population and continuing declines in the state’s competitiveness and quality of life.
The three remaining papers will be released over the course of the summer.
The series was funded by Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, Hudson-Webber Foundation, Grand Rapids Community Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation, Michigan Health Endowment Fund, The Joyce Foundation, The Skillman Foundation, and the Ballmer Group