Population Up In West Michigan; Down In GR
While the state of Michigan lost population during the last decade, West Michigan was the bright spot showing growth in Kent and Ottawa Counties. Population in Kent County increased almost 5 percent; while in Ottawa County it was up 11 percent. Other interesting numbers to share: The city of Grand Rapids lost 9,760 residents between 2000 and 2010. Mayor George Heartwell expects that number to rebound in the next decade.
Heartwell said he believes the city’s investments in health care, higher education and manufacturing leave it poised for growth when the economy recovers.
“I suspect in the upcoming decade, we’re going to see significant improvement,” Heartwell said.
Over on the other side of the state, Detroit lost nearly a quarter of its population dropping 237,000 people. As the Auto Industry goes, so goes Detroit.
“Now’s not the time to look in the rear view mirror,” said Robert Ficano, the Executive for Wayne County, home to the Motor City. “Now’s the time to look in the future and say ‘ok, what do we do to recover and what do we do to stabilize ourselves here?’”
The east side of the state has always had more clout, but as the numbers show that influence is starting to shift.