Southeastern Michigan Net Out-of-State Net Migration Far Lower than County-to-County Migration

Just as our previous post showed all seven counties in the Metro-Detroit region were gaining residents from other Michigan counties, additional data shows that growth goes beyond Michigan residents. According to 2015 Census data (the most recent migration data available), all counties in the seven county region had an overall net growth of residents, with the exception of Washtenaw County. According to the data, Washtenaw County had a net migration loss of five residents; there were 523 new residents who moved to Washtenaw County from outside of Michigan and 528 Washtenaw County residents who left the state for another. According to the data, Oakland County had the largest net gain of out-of-state residents at 1,661; 3,825 out-of-state residents moved to Oakland County in 2015 and 2,164 left Oakland County for another state. The only other county that had a net gain of more than 1,000 new residents was Wayne County. In total, 6,542 out-of-state residents moved into Wayne County in 2015 and 5,154 Wayne County residents left the state, meaning there was a net growth of 1,388 residents.

In comparing migration patterns between county-to-county in Michigan (previous post) and those moving in and out of the state, the data clearly shows migration within the state is much more common. For comparison, in 2016 there were 33,148 people who moved to Wayne County from other areas in Michigan while there were 6,542 out-of-state residents moved into Wayne County in 2015. In-state migration appears to be much easier for residents, but, as this post highlights, out of state migration into the seven county region is higher than those leaving the area for outside of Michigan.

Washtenaw County Sees Highest Percentage on In-State Population Influx

In 2016, Washtenaw County had the highest percentage of residents move into its boundaries in Southeastern Michigan, according to Census data. According to the data, 5.7 percent of the Washtenaw County population (or 20,213 people) was made up of residents who moved there from other counties in the State of Michigan in 2016. The large share of Washtenaw County residents that attend the University of Michigan from other counties in the state may help account for this result.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Wayne County had the lowest percentage of Michigan residents moving into the county from elsewhere in the state in 2016. According to the data, 1.9 percent of Wayne County’s population was made up of people who moved there from elsewhere in the State of Michigan. But, despite Wayne County having the lowest percentage of residents from elsewhere in Michigan move into its boundaries, it had the second highest overall number of people moving there. In total, there was an estimated 33,148 people who moved to Wayne County in 2016 from other areas in Michigan.

Oakland County was the only county in the region with a higher number of Michiganders who moved inside its boundaries in 2016. According to the Census data, there were 42,748 people from Michigan, outside of Oakland County, who moved to Oakland County in 2016. This number made up 3.5 percent of the Oakland County population.

In terms of sheer volume, Monroe County had lowest number of people move there from elsewhere in the state at 4,004 people; this was equivalent to 2.7 percent of its population.

While the map above shows the percentage of Michiganders who moved into a Southeastern Michigan county from elsewhere in the state in 2016, the map does not represent the net gain, or loss, of the migration in each county. Next week we will be diving deeper into the county-to-county migration in Southeastern Michigan to better understand how, and if, counties in the region are growing.