Data Show Michigan is #1 in Resident Departures

Mackinac Center Calls for Tax Cuts, Labor Reform to Stem Flow of Residents

For Immediate Release

Michael D. LaFaive, Director of Fiscal Policy
Phone: 989-631-0900

MIDLAND — New data provided to the Mackinac Center for Public Policy by household movers United Van Lines indicates that, as of June 30, Michigan eclipsed North Dakota and moved into the number one position among the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia for outbound traffic.

The figures, which indicate that 65 percent of Michigan’s interstate traffic involved moving families out of the state, prompted the Mackinac Center to renew its call for tax relief and labor reform.

"With every out-of-state move, Michigan residents are revealing their preferences," said Michael D. LaFaive, the Center’s fiscal policy director. "There is perhaps no better quality of life measurement than migration — people don’t lie to their movers.

"Michigan suffers from a combination of growth-suppressing taxes, unnecessary regulations and an unfriendly labor climate," LaFaive added.

Last year, Mackinac Center Adjunct Scholar Michael Hicks performed a statistical analysis of United Van Lines and U.S. Census data and found a high degree of correlation. In other words, United Van Lines client moves reflect the greater migration patterns made by the American population.

In an analysis of the new data, LaFaive recommends changing Michigan’s tax and labor climate, and also addresses the current fad among key officials for promoting increased higher education spending as the solution for Michigan’s economic problems.

"Empirical evidence shows that states that spend more on higher education have slower economic growth," LaFaive said. "Migration patterns like this show how Michigan residents respond to slower growth."