This is a great posting Gordie. I've been talking about this for years. Look at the states that people are moving to when they decide to leave Michigan: Washington(no income tax), Nevada(no income tax), Texas(no income tax), Florida(no income tax), Tennessee(no income tax). In the current argument over how much of a state and local government we can afford this map really hits home. When people ultimately make the decision to leave cities like Flint they ask themselves why they should continue to fork over 5.35% of what they've earned when other cities and states seem to be able to provide services as good or better than Flint and Michigan do with no income tax penalty at all. And when people and businesses from out of state think about coming here they come to that same logical conclusion as well. This is why companies like Comerica, which was a mainstay in Michigan for over 100 years, decided to up and move their headquarters to a place like Dallas after the governor and legislature decided back in 2007 that we weren't taxed enough. I think Flint and Michigan are great places with great histories and are often prettier places to live than some of these other states. It's just too bad our leaders don't have the foresight or will to level the playing field in these areas and attract people back here.
The figures are finally in. Flint's population declined from 124,943 in 2000 to 102,434 in 2010. Considering that some yahoos are trying to burn Flint down and others are trying to return the land to the state it was when Mastodons ruled the area, I'd say it's doing surprisingly well, as bad as it is. Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, Warren, and all the other cities who like to tell us what we're doing wrong all lost population. They didn't lose as fast, and probably because they have a higher inward immigrant migration to make up for other losses.Genesee County as a whole lost population, but consistent with my observations in fairly frequent travels through Genesee County, the county population OUTSIDE FLINT INCREASED from 311,198 to 323,356.
Where have all the Flintoids gone?Gone to Grand Blanc and Fenton-Every one.Well, not every one, but a good number of them.People leaving Flint proper are buying up the deals in the southern Genseee County suburbs created by the housing downturn. About 20 years ago, people were talking about Flint moving toward "Blinton", and that has been a big trend. Grand Blanc Township is up about 26%.http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2011/03/census_2010_flints_population.html
Gross. I was one of the few who moved from the suburbs into the city in the last decade, and don't regret it at all. I feel like I'd be rolling over and giving up if I moved down to the vapid southern half of the county. A characterless ranch built in the 70s is no deal, it's a punishment.
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.