Feedback collected from more than 11,000 Michiganders will help guide state’s overall population growth strategy
Chief Growth Officer Hilary Doe and the Growing Michigan Together team released a report today that compiles and analyzes feedback from over 11,000 Michiganders that will be used to create the most robust population growth strategy in Michigan’s history. The report focuses on the types of challenges communities face, but also what they love most about calling Michigan home.
Since August, Doe and her team have traveled across the state listening to Michiganders from all backgrounds and perspectives. They hosted and attended more than 70 in-person and virtual events, including visiting nine colleges and universities, speaking at 26 conferences and engaging with over 3,000 Michiganders in-person.
“To successfully boost the population, we have to take the time to listen to our state’s most valuable resource – Michiganders. Our commitment to building a thriving and inclusive Michigan extends beyond statistics and spreadsheets; it’s about understanding the unique aspirations and concerns of individuals and families from all walks of life,” said Doe. “I’m incredibly grateful for every single person who took the time to complete the survey. Ensuring Michigander’s voices are heard and incorporated into the population growth work will make Michigan a better place to live for future generations.”
When asked about the most pressing issues facing their communities, 30% said they need improved infrastructure, 13% said better career and education opportunities and 10% said more accessible and available housing. Respondents who indicated infrastructure as an issue specifically mentioned Michigan’s crumbling roads, access to clean drinking water, broadband connectivity and the need for a more robust transportation system as the main areas of opportunity.
When asked what they love most about living in Michigan, the top responses were the state’s natural beauty, recreation infrastructure like playgrounds, trails and sports fields as well as the weather and its welcoming communities.
In tandem with the statewide survey, the Growing Michigan Together team conducted a national poll to better understand the motivations behind young people choosing to relocate and what characteristics they look for when choosing a new place to live. Of the 2,700 respondents from 15 high-growth metropolitan areas across the country, 50% of respondents said job or educational opportunities motivated them to relocate, 27% said proximity to family and 13% said cost of living. Approximately 94% of respondents were between the ages of 15 – 36. When asked what would prompt respondents to consider relocating, 35% indicated that a down payment on a home would be the most influential consideration, further underscoring the importance of housing.
In addition to informing the state’s growth strategy led by Doe, survey findings will also be taken into consideration by the Growing Michigan Together Council as they prepare to submit final growth-oriented policy recommendations to the governor in December. Governor Whitmer established the bipartisan Council in June 2023 to generate bold ideas that attract talent, improve education, modernize infrastructure and continue Michigan’s economic momentum.
To view the complete report, visit feedback.growingmichigan.org
To learn more about the Growing Michigan Together Council, visit www.growingmichigan.org