Michigan Loses Open Space But Gains Economic Growth | News, Sports, Jobs


HOUGHTON — According to a recent study report, between 1982 and 2017, the state of Michigan lost 2,208.1 miles of open space to urban sprawl and development.

The same study also revealed that the population of the state during the same period was 9,115,196 in 1982. Twenty years later, the population had increased to 10,015,710 and by 2017 had decreased to 9,973 114, for an overall growth of 857,918 in this 35-year, for a population growth of 9%.

As Michigan’s population has grown and open space has shrunk, the study shows that these statistics are evenly distributed among counties.

Houghton County lost 11.1 miles of open space over the 35-year period, which was unrelated to population growth. While Keweenaw County showed no open space loss, Baraga County lost 5.5 miles, none of which was related to population growth; Ontonagon County lost 0.6 thousand, but again, this was unrelated to population growth. In the cases of the four counties, the loss of open land is attributed to “consumption, which refers to the increase in consumption of developed land per capita or per person.”

In contrast, for the same period, Wayne County in the south of the state posted a loss of 84.7 square miles, all of its consumption. At the same time, neighboring Oakland County recorded a loss of 177.7 square miles, 60% of which is related to population growth versus consumption.

Over the 15-year period between 2002 and 2017, the study found that Michigan lost 425 square miles to sprawl or development. The loss of open space is not limited to Michigan.

The March 2022 report, From Sea to Shining Sprawling Sea: Quantifying the Loss of Open Space in America, published by Numbers USA, written by Leon Kolankiewicz, Roy Beck and Eric A. Ruark, examines the decrease in open space due to development and what he calls “sprawl”. The term “sprawl” is defined as the amount of rural land lost to development, regardless of its attractiveness or density. The report says this translates to 17,800 square miles of natural and agricultural land converted over this period to developed land.

The study said in its summary that between 2002 and 2017 — the period of the most recent government data — the Federal Natural Resources Conservation Service identified about 17,800 square miles of new expansion. for residential, commercial, industrial, transportation and other purposes.

The summary indicates that 67% of rural land loss was related to population growth. About 11,950 square miles of rural land has been developed to meet additional consumption needs caused by the U.S. population of 37 million more in 2017 than in 2002, the report said, blaming net foreign immigration for be the cause of most of the population growth, “although its role may differ significantly from state to state.”

Although the NumbersUSA report focuses on population, consumption and sprawl that impoverish open spaces, it does not look at economic growth or decline and relies on data going back 35 years.

IbisWorld, on the other hand, focused its study not only on population growth, but also on economic factors.

Michigan has a population of 9,986,857 and an annual population growth of 0.1% over the five years 2014-2019, which ranks it 35th out of 50 US states according to IbisWorld. IBISWorld provides research on thousands of industries worldwide.

During the same five-year period, however, while the state had a population growth rate of just 0.1% to rank 35th in growth, Michigan’s gross state product is rose to $474 billion, an increase of 1.9%, to rank 19th in the country. with and increase of 259,885 companies over the same period.

IbisWorld reports that Michigan businesses employed a total of 24.2 million people in 2018, with an average annual job growth of 2.6%. The top three employment sectors are health care and social assistance, retail trade, and professional, scientific and technical services, while the unemployment rate in the state in March 2020 was 5.3% . Michigan’s GSP in 2019 reached $473.9 billion, growing 1.9% over the five years to 2019. Michigan’s GSP growth ranks 19th out of the 50 US states. GSP is a measure of a state’s output or the sum of the value added of all industries in the state. It is a commonly used indicator to track the health of an economy.

Across Michigan, the largest employment sector is health and social assistance, accounting for 685,678 jobs, a growth rate of 0.7% in 2018, while manufacturing posted a growth rate of 2.2%, making this sector the number 2 in the state with 657,448 jobs.

However, these statistics do not show that Michigan is in an exceptional economic situation. According to Rich States, Poor States, Michigan is currently ranked 16th in the United States for its economic outlook. This is a forward-looking forecast based on the state’s position (equiweighted average) in 15 important state policy variables. Data reflects state and local rates and incomes and any effects of federal deductibility. But at the same time, the state currently ranks 30th in the United States for its economic performance. This ranking is a retrospective measure based on the state’s performance (equiweighted average) in three important performance variables presented below. These variables are strongly influenced by state policy.

Published annually by the American Legislative Exchange Council Center for State Fiscal Reform, Rich States, Poor States is used by US state legislators to make critical policy decisions that protect hard-working taxpayers.



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