Detroit Evening Report: Panel discussion explores solutions to Michigan’s declining population

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An aerial view of the Detroit River.

An aerial view of downtown Detroit.

A 2023 report by the nonprofits Altarum and Citizens Research Council of Michigan shows that over the past five decades, the state has fallen behind its neighbors in population growth, jobs, education, earnings, health and the quality of public services at both the state and local levels.

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Michigan is now in the bottom third of national rankings on key indicators, including 34th in household
income, 36th in K-12 educational outcomes, and 39th in health outcomes — which, according to the report, will lead to a shrinking population and continued declines in the state’s competitiveness and quality of life.

Bridge Michigan on Tuesday moderated a Virtual Statewide Discussion about potential solutions to and implications of the state’s population struggles based on findings from the report. During the event, Javan Dobbs, communications officer at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, shared what he believes could be the answer to Michigan’s population problem.

“We must invest in the future of our state and create a qualified workforce and economic climate that will position our state for the future,” he said. “Now is the time to be relentlessly inclusive. Business leaders and policy makers must look at the potential for all of Michigan.”

Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s Growing Michigan Together Council will soon release their recommendations for solving the population issue.

Other headlines for Thursday, Nov. 16, 2023:

  • The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services is offering a series of virtual town hall events to help answer questions about open enrollment on the Health Insurance Marketplace.
  • Detroit City Council President Mary Sheffield is hosting a virtual Homelessness and Housing Summit at 4 p.m. Monday, Nov. 20, to share recent findings about homelessness in the city.
  • After a three-year hiatus, the Mole Contest and Tamales Fair will return from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 19 at Candela Detroit, 3564 W Vernor Hwy, Detroit.

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  • Hernz Laguerre
    Hernz Laguerre Jr. is a Multimedia Journalist at 101.9 WDET. He is one of the co-host for "Detroit Evening Report," one of the weekend anchors for "Weekend Edition," the producer for our political podcast, "MichMash," and reports on arts, culture and politics.