Poll: Nearly half of young Michiganders might leave state

Nearly half of Michigan’s younger residents say they might leave the state within 10 years, according to a new poll.

Before the Mackinac Policy Conference, the Detroit Regional Chamber released a statewide poll of registered Michigan voters to set the stage for the event that should draw Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Republican leaders, and entrepreneur Mark Cuban to strategize for Michigan’s future.

The Chamber’s polling partner, The Glengariff Group Inc., completed this statewide poll of 600 registered Michigan voters between May 7 and May 10, 2023.

“Whether it be questions on the economy or questions about trust, one common finding is that when the politics of the moment are removed from the equation, voters are both optimistic and can see some common ground,” Glengariff Group President Richard Czuba said in a statement.

Key poll findings include:

Only 55.2% of 18-29-year-old voters believe they will be living in Michigan in 10 years.65% are optimistic regarding Michigan’s future and 72% are optimistic regarding their own future.63% of high school graduates are open to two additional years of education or training to get a higher-paying job. This number jumps to 90% for those aged 18-29 if the education or training was made at no-cost.80% of Michigan voters support state financial aid for two additional years of education or training after high school.65% of Michigan voters are optimistic about the state’s future 10 years from now, while 23.3% are pessimistic, and 11.8% are neutral or indifferent.

The poll follows estimates that 270,000 residents could leave the state by 2050 because of crumbling infrastructure, mediocre schools, and household incomes in the bottom third of the country.

On Mackinac Island, Whitmer is expected to discuss how to stop Michigan’s population loss, Axios reported. The conference follows as more than 40,000 residents have left the state since 2020 and a recent report graded Michigan’s infrastructure as a C-, with the roads receiving a D grade.

The report evaluates 14 categories: aviation, bridges, dams, drinking water, energy, inland waterways, public parks, rail, roads, schools, solid waste, stormwater, transit, and wastewater.

The new poll found that 17% of Michiganders believe they will be living elsewhere in 10 years, 70.1% said they would be living in Michigan, and 12.1% of respondents were not sure.

The 17.3% of Michiganders who believe they will be living elsewhere in 10 years cited the following reasons:

26.9%: better weather.12.5%: better jobs and opportunities.10.6%: needed a change.

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