The graying of northern Michigan

Many parts of “up north” are populated by a higher percentage of older folks than in southern Michigan and elsewhere, and it’s putting a strain on everything from the economy to social services. But our area is different.

Not all of northern Michigan is facing the same ills. The northwestern part of the Lower Peninsula, surrounding the Traverse City region, has done better. [demographer Kenneth]Johnson calls that part of the state the “amenity rich” side, where golf courses, ski resorts and the lure of the more popular Lake Michigan beaches created an economy unto itself, requiring more construction and service workers.

In a number of those counties, young people abound. In Grand Traverse County, the schools have seen only a slight dip in enrollment and the jobless rate is lower than the rest of the state.  Detroit News

But the problems elsewhere in Michigan will likely affect us. In my opinion, we would be well served to not try to separate ourselves from the problem areas, but seek to help them find solutions. Otherwise, we could be building walled communities and resentment.

Not easy to do.

aging 
Tufts Open Courseware

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About elkrapidslive

More than a lifelong connection to Elk Rapids
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