How slower population growth could cost Michigan

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — While recent U.S. Census Bureau estimates show Michigan’s population is slowly increasing, our state is still on track to lose a U.S. House seat.

Population determines each state’s political representation in Congress and Michigan’s growth rate is behind the national average. According to estimates from July 1, Michigan’s population is 9,986,857 people. The state grew by 2,785 residents — approximately .03%. Comparatively, the U.S. population increased by .05%.

Slower Growth for Nation's Population[Source: U.S. Census Bureau]

Experts say national trends of declining birth rates and fewer immigrants are also showing up in Michigan. In 2010, the number of people moving out of our state was higher than the number of people moving in, which echoes census findings of greater growth in the South and West over the Midwest and Northeast.

Based on Michigan’s new population estimate, our state is expected to lose a seat in the U.S. House, dropping down to 13 representatives, according to the University of Michigan’s Population Studies Center.

Michigan could also lose funding. The West Michigan Research Network says our state is on track to miss out on an estimated $1,800 per person per year for programs that use census data, including Medicaid, highway construction and economic development.

The 2020 census begins next month in remote areas of Alaska. Michigan should receive its census information by mid-March.