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Wayne County leads list of 50-year population losses

Detroit's county lost 910,000 residents while neighboring Oakland and Macomb grew; Ontonagon had greatest percentage decline

Out of 83 counties in Michigan, 14 have had a population decrease over the last half century, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Ontonagon County had the largest percentage decrease at 43.9%, losing 4,588 residents between 1969 and 2021. Wayne County had the second largest percentage decrease at 33.9%. The county has lost 910,355 residents over the decades.

Livingston County had the largest percentage increase at 258.5%. Kalkaska County also doubled in size, with a 225.1% increase.

Oakland County took the top spot for actual number of residents gained at 384,880. Macomb County gained 256,070, for second place.

Michigan increased its population by 14.5%, with an additional 1,269,811 residents since 1969.

These statistics are drawn from Census Bureau data that have been repackaged by the Bureau of Economic Analysis

Recent statistics are more troubling. Michigan ranked 8th in population loss from July 1, 2020 to July 1, 2021, shrinking by 16,853 people. notes that states with the biggest tax burdens are losing residents while those with lower taxes are gaining residents.

New York, Illinois, Hawaii, and California are all states with higher taxes and were listed as the top states for population loss in 2021. Idaho, Florida, Texas, Nevada, Delaware and Arizona were among the states with the largest population growth.

Michigan currently ranks 12th in the nation for State Business Tax Climate Index, moving up from 14th in 2021.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.