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Michigan population expected to rise over next decades, but not evenly

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Economists forecast that Michigan's population will increase by about a half-million people over the next three decades, with growth concentrated in certain areas.

Gabriel Ehrlich heads up the group of economists at the University of Michigan. He says growth is expected in a band of counties from the suburban Detroit area, west through Lansing and on to the Grand Rapids region. Ehrlich and other economists say there also will be population growth in the Traverse City to Petoskey region.

“But then along the shores of Lake Huron and in most of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan we actually expect the population to decline," Ehrlich said. "And in fact, we actually forecast more counties in Michigan to lose population over the next three decades than to gain population.”

The economists expect the population to peak at about ten-and-a-half million by the 2040's and then stall.

Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Public from 1998-2010.