WHAT YOOPERS DO BEST
All of us care about the future of the Upper Peninsula. We know that forces in our society impact that future. Retaining and expanding our workforce is critical to the prosperity and resilience of the UP.
The population in the Upper Peninsula has declined 6% since 1980 while Michigan's population has increased 7.9%. Population decline negatively impacts workforce, tax revenue, and economic growth, especially when compared to Michigan and the United States.
The average age of Upper Peninsula residents has increased from 33.3 to 48.1 since 1980. The older population includes more retirees and fewer younger workers. Tax revenue decreases, labor force shrinks, and health care burden increases.
Work Force Decrease
An older average population means fewer workers and therefore the region can’t meet the needs of growing business and industry. This further reduces economic growth and tax revenue.
Fewer people means vacant property has increased 300%. This leads to lower quality housing (or blight) and lower property tax revenue
What does this mean for the Upper Peninsula?
As the work force decreases, economic growth, ratio of tax revenue to expenses and ultimately the quality of life all decrease. The U.P. becomes a less attractive place to live…which perpetuates population loss.
The situation will become more challenging as global forces of technology development and sustainability significantly impact the UP. If we act now, we can look at these forces as an opportunity rather than as a threat.
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