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The Importance of Migration in Michigan

By Louis Bach, Communications

Counties of origin for new Oakland County residents, 2009-2010

D3 Director Kurt Metzger is in the news again, this time featured in a Macomb Daily article covering his analysis of migration patterns in Macomb County. In the report, Kurt examines the counties of origin for new Macomb residents and the counties of destination for those that have moved away from Macomb. Using that data, he hypothesizes about what lured certain residents away from Macomb in 2009-2010. As the Macomb Daily puts it:

Chicago (Cook County) drew 107 of our residents, many of them young college graduates, because of the “cool” factor, according to Metzger.
Chicago consistently steals away young Michigan professionals due to its night life, culture, parks, “walkable” downtown streets, public transportation and close-knit urban neighborhoods.
In fact, the Windy City has become home to certain pubs that are designed to attract Michigan State University or University of Michigan alumni.

Kurt performed a similar analysis for Oakland County, finding that migration into that county came mostly from elsewhere in Michigan:

We first look at the Top 10 Counties that contributed to Oakland County’s growth.  As one would expect, Wayne County, the county that lost more residents over the decade than any other county in the nation, was the largest contributor (one must understand, however, that 12,682 Oakland County residents still moved to Wayne).  The vast majority of these migrants came from the City of Detroit. Counties directly east (Macomb) and north (Genesee) came in second and third.  In fourth place, and the only other to send at least 100 more residents to Oakland than they received, was another Detroit metro county – St. Clair. 

For more expansive explanations of migration and its implications, read the full reports for Macomb and Oakland Counties.

3 comments to The Importance of Migration in Michigan

  • MetroGnome

    Wait, are the migration numbers net migration or raw? If I’m reading it right, it’s the latter, and more people migrated to Wayne County from Oakland County than vice versa. If that is indeed the case, than THAT is the story.

  • I am a young college graduate from Michigan who now lives in Chicago, but not because of night life, culture, parks, walkable streets, public transportation, or close-knit urban neighborhoods. I moved here because I wanted to work for the federal government, and there are scarce few of them in Michigan. My guess is that there are other young professionals who have also left Michigan for broader career opportunities.

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