Monday, March 24, 2008

Michigan gains population since 2000

Posted at Blogging For Michigan, too.

I was surprised to see this figure, given the endless stories about people leaving the state. We actually have had growth - small compared to the Sun Belt states, but it is there.

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (AP) — A sour economy and chronically high unemployment haven't kept Michigan's population from inching upward.

U.S. Census Bureau estimates show the state had 10.09 million residents as of mid-2006, up 1.3 percent from 9.94 million in 2000.

It dropped slightly from 2006 to 2007, most of the losses coming from the Detroit area...

The Census Department said Michigan's population declined by .3% from 2006 to 2007 - a decline of over 30,000 people. Most of the decline came from Wayne County, home to Detroit and the state's struggling auto industry.

... but there were gains on the west side of the state, which leads me to say, "Youze kids git off my streets!" Place is starting to remind me of Chicago sometimes.

Kent County enjoyed a .6% percent population increase - 3,713 people.

The numbers don't surprise Don Stypula, Executive Director of the Grand Valley Metropolitan Council, a regional planning agency.

"There are opportunities here that they can take advantage of, and they can have a real good living, right here in Grand Rapids and I think to some extent the census numbers are reflecting that uptick in opportunity over here," Stypula said Friday.

Corrigan Moving Systems is the company that moved the Justices into their Kentwood home. General Manager Gary Steensma says the West Michigan market, while still seeing many people leave, is healthier than other parts of the state, since, he says, it's economy is more diversified.

"Western Michigan is actually doing better than the rest of Michigan or even New York or Ohio," Steensma said Friday.

The BC Enquirer reports that Kalamazoo and Barry have gained population since 2000 as well.

Diversify that area economy is the lesson to be learned here - Grand Rapids is diving deep into the medical field, and we are almost guaranteed to keep growing at this point. Good thing I know my way around town and can avoid the highways. They're nasty at rush hour.