Second to last. That’s where Michigan stands on population growth, compared to all 50 states and the District of Columbia. In the two decades between 2000 and 2020, our state only grew by 1%. And things are getting worse. In the last three years, Michigan has lost a stunning 43,000 residents.
But who are these people, and why did they decide to leave the Great Lakes State?
Consider the story of Tyler W. He lived in Michigan and went to Central Michigan University. He loves our state, especially its immense diversity and beautiful nature. He’s built a solid community, with a great group of friends with whom he regularly plays sports. “Michigan has a great mix of rural, suburban, and city life,” he says.
But Tyler recently moved.
He graduated from CMU in December but couldn’t find the jobs he wanted here. He started sending his resume nationwide, ultimately landing a job in Maryland. Tyler moved there in May, and while he loves the job, he misses his friends, family, and state.
“It gets a little lonely,” Tyler says. “The only people I know here are from the office. They’re all very nice but we don’t hang out after work.” Yet his likelihood of moving back to Michigan is slimmer than ever. His family also left Michigan for other work. And the continued lack of opportunity gives him little reason to return.
Tyler’s story is far from unique. Young Michigan residents like him are leaving in droves, finding better job opportunities and quality of living in other states. We need the next generation to stay here and strengthen our state for decades to come.
Our lawmakers can help turn the tide and give people more reasons to stay in Michigan. Please consider reaching out to your legislators with a simple message: Pass the pro-growth, pro-opportunity, pro-family policies that Michigan needs – so people like Tyler don’t have to leave.