Wayne County loses more residents than gains

From 2007 to 2011, Wayne County consistently decreased in population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey 5-year estimates for the period. The results indicate a net total of more than 45,000 people left the county, with 53,000 residents leaving and 8,000 new residents moving into Wayne County during that period.

This week, we will explore the overall domestic migration patterns. In a later post, we will examine the data behind Wayne County migration to better understand who is coming into and departing.

First, we will examine the net numbers. From 2007 to 2011, Wayne County had a net loss of residents to the rest of Michigan and to 41 other states.   There was also a net gain of residents from 8 states. Across all states, a total of 813 counties gained residents from or lost residents to Wayne County. The majority (566 counties) gained residents from Wayne County. The map below shows the rate of loss or gain in the counties that had residents relocate to or from Wayne County during that period.


From 2007 to 2011, a total of 28,252 Wayne County residents chose to relocate within their home state of Michigan. No other state gained more than 2,000 Wayne County residents. The most popular relocation states for Wayne County residents are listed below with their total of out-migrants from Wayne County. Neighboring Ohio gained the second highest number of out-migrants from Wayne County, followed by eight southern states. Except for California, Arizona and Texas, these states are largely those Southern states from which the Great Migration came into Michigan came in the early part of the 20th Century.


Out-migration also had three distinct patterns, as listed in the chart below. Neighboring counties received the largest numbers of Wayne County out-migrants. Just under half of all departing residents chose Oakland, Macomb or Washtenaw for their destination. Noted retirement centers in the West and South also drew a fair amount of Wayne residents, as did smaller municipalities in other parts of Michigan.


From 2007 to 2011, there were eight states that were sources of in-migration of residents to Wayne County. These states, listed in the table below, were more rural with predominantly cooler weather conditions. Sparsely-populated Alaska was the largest source of in-migration to Wayne County from 2007-2011, relocating 680 residents to the Detroit area.


When considering the counties that were the source of the most in-migrants to Wayne County, as shown in the chart below, three patterns emerged. First, other large cities contributed many residents to the area – including Anchorage, the Bronx, Chicago and Minneapolis. Wayne County also had in-migrants from some of the most rural areas in Michigan, including Berrien County, Eaton County and Newaygo County. Military outposts such as Annapolis and Fort Payne are also contributors to the Wayne County population, possibly representing residents returning to the area after service.



The next map takes a closer look at the regional patterns. Wayne County had a net gain of residents from counties that border the Great Lakes and other larger cities, including Chicago, St. Louis, Buffalo and the New York metro area. It is still a net-loser of residents to most of the region’s small cities and interior rural areas.


Next week we will continue to look at migration as relates to Wayne County. The upcoming post will drill down on the sex, age and income levels of residents leaving and moving to the region.


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