Michigan’s population leak

In a preview to the 2010 census, Michigan learned this week that it was one of only three states to lose members of its population. Of course, since the state has seen a steady decline in population over the past four years this doesn’t exactly come as a shock.

Michigan lost 32,759 people between July 1, 2008, and July 1, 2009, a decline of 0.3%, while the nation’s population grew 0.9% to 307,006,550. Maine and Rhode Island also lost population.

By the end of the decade researchers estimate that Michigan will have lost 20% of its jobs. And the situation isn’t likely to improve. Michigan politicians continue to demonstrate their lack of understanding about how markets work and why jobs and thus residents are exiting the state for friendlier lands. It isn’t a lack of government funding but rather a glut of government intervention that is driving competition, business, jobs, and residents to other states. For example, as I have written about in the past, Michigan’s solution to the high cost of car insurance in the state is not to examine and solve the mechanisms that drive up the cost of writing insurance in the state, but rather to mandate companies simply charge less and take less of a profit. This ignores the fact that insurers in Michigan are making smaller profits than other states and more controls simply add incentive for insurance companies to leave the state, taking jobs and access to insurance with them.