Thursday, August 7, 2008

The numbers game

New census numbers are out for Genesee County and the results are distressing, but not surprising — people are leaving the county, especially young people and African Americans.

RoNeisha Mullen reports:

"Genesee County is losing residents at a rate more than double that of years past, according to a Census report released today.

"It hits home especially in the black community, where population has been on a constant decline. Nearly 5 percent of the county's black residents have packed up and headed elsewhere since 2000.

"Many young black people don't believe they can succeed in Flint, said Torchio Feaster, a 26-year-old lawyer.

"'The city is struggling, and a lot of these kids don't have two-parent homes, so they don't think it's feasible to achieve the American Dream here in Genesee County,' he said. 'They don't know any black people who've made it, so they think they can't make it (here) either.'

'In all, about 3,000 people left the county in 2007, compared to about 1,500 in 2006.

"Of those 3,000, almost 1,000 were between the ages of 18 and 24."

The overall county population dropped to 434,715 in 2007, down from 436,141 in 2000.

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Thanks for commenting. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at www.teardownbook.com.