Migration study takes Michigan off top outbound list

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During several years of steady exodus from the state of Michigan, Tecumseh has managed to keep a fairly stable number of residents, losing only 1.1 percent of its population between the year 2000 and the last census in 2010. Tecumseh’s population during the 2010 census was listed at 8,521.

In the United Van Lines 37th Annual Migration Study, which tracks the states the company’s customers move to and from, Michigan was finally moved off the “High Outbound” list after being on it for 16 years in a row as residents headed for better jobs in the south and elsewhere. Michigan appeared on the state’s “balanced” list for the first time since 1997.

“After 16 years with a migration deficit, Michigan has joined the balanced category due to improvement in its economy over the past two years,” said Michael Stoll, economist, professor and chair of the Department of Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles. “Despite having an unemployment rate higher than the national average, home sales and home prices are up showing an increased demand for housing, the state’s per capita income is up, and automakers in Detroit have rebounded and are hiring.”

Stoll attributed business incentives, industrial growth and relatively lower costs of living as attracting jobs and people to the Southeastern and Western states such as South Dakota, Colorado and Texas. “We are also seeing continued migration to the Pacific Northwest as young professionals and retirees are drawn to amenities including public transit, green space and the local arts and entertainment scene,” he added.

“As the nation’s largest household goods mover, United’s shipment data illustrates national state-to-state migration trends,” said Carl Walter, vice president of United Van Lines. “We’ve been tracking the number of inbound and outbound domestic moves for nearly 40 years, and through our study are able to identify the states that are attracting or losing residents.”

Top inbound states in the study were: Oregon, South Carolina, North Carolina, District of Columbia, South Dakota, Nevada, Texas and Colorado. The top outbound states for 2013 were: New Jersey, Illinois, New York, West Virginia, Connecticut, Utah, Kentucky, Massachusetts, and New Mexico.

During the past few years, student enrollment numbers at Tecumseh Public Schools were an indication of some families moving away — or placing students in other districts. During 2003 through 2006, enrollment reached highs of 3,400 students, then began to drop in 2008. According to Tecumseh School Supt. Kelly Coffin, the district budgeted for approximately 3,000 students this year and it appears that the decline has begun to level out.

City increases in registered voters show a steady rise for the past five years, increasing from 4,353 registered voters in 2009 to 6,386 in 2013.

“I think we lost a few people overall from a few years before, but I think it’s been pretty stable,” said Tecumseh City Manager Kevin Welch. He believes many find Tecumseh an attractive place to live.

“I’d be speculating, but I think Tecumseh is a good location for people to be able to live in a community that has a high quality of life, yet being within a one hour drive to work in other communities such as Ann Arbor, Toledo, Detroit, Jackson and Lansing,” Welch said. “Tecumseh is pretty unique in that aspect. I would attribute some of the attraction to the high quality of life available here, meaning low crime rates, a good school system and a number of activities for families.”




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