By Ashleigh Rogers
Holt Journal staff writer
On Tuesday, March 22, the U.S. Census Bureau released the results for the 2010 Census. Overall, the nation’s population increased almost 10 percent.
However, for Michigan residents the news was not so good. In fact, Michigan was the only state that suffered a population decrease.
In 2000, Michigan’s population was nearly 9.9 million. However, the 2010 Census results showed that this number dropped to 9.8 million, resulting in a -0.6 percent change. The Motor City suffered the greatest loss of the population dropping from 9.57 percent of Michigan’s population in 2000 to 7.22 percent. Despite its population drop, Detroit is still Michigan’s largest city.
For Ingham Country residents, the numbers were more positive. In 2000, Ingham County’s population was 279,412. Over the past 10 years, the county increased to 280,895, resulting in a .56 percent increase.
Delhi Township also grew. Over the past decade, Delhi has had a 15.0 percent increase in its population. In 2000 there were 22,496 residents and in 2010 there were 25,877 residents.
The state of Michigan will suffer several consequences due to its population decrease. One guaranteed consequence is the loss of one seat in Congress. After the 1960 Census, the Michigan held 19 congressional seats. However, this number has been declining ever since. As of 2010, Michigan holds 15 congressional seats.
A great deal of concern circulates around the 35 and younger generations. In fact, Michigan’s higher education institutions send far too many of their “freshly degreed professionals” to exercise their careers in other parts of the country and even the world. This has helped other states increase their populations and their economies.
Gov. Rick Snyder’s spokeswoman, Geralyn Lasher, explained to mlive.com that these results are just a reminder of Michigan’s need for reinventing. “Putting our fiscal house in order and really focusing on creating an economic posture that will allow our young people to stay in the state and get jobs,” she stated.
Lou Glazer of Michigan Future based in Ann Arbor, also explained to mlive.com that states have been able to increase their populations due to three important factors:
- Young professional movement
- Empty nesters
“States that are growing their populations are getting some combination of the three,” he said. “Those are the groups you have to do well in if you want to grow your population. Michigan’s problem is that we are hardly getting any of the three.”
In addition to one less congressional seat, Michigan’s population decrease will result in less federal funding. The Oakland County Daily Tribune reported Karen Holcomb-Merrill of the Michigan League for Human Services stated that less federal funding is a great loss, especially when the need for services remains high. “State leaders will be challenged to make up for this loss of federal funding,” she explained.
Within the nation as a whole, Texas gained the largest number of people within the last decade, resulting in the gain of four congressional seats. Nevada was shown to have the fastest growth rate of 35 percent.
The Census results of age, race and gender will be released this summer.