Imagining Michigan’s future with Richard Florida and Zoe Clark

Thriving cities are essential to a state’s prosperity. A flourishing population with a robust talent pipeline helps shape a healthy economy, but Michigan’s population has been shrinking for decades, especially in its efforts to attract young, college-educated tech talent from elsewhere.

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A recent report released by the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan found that Michigan has trailed behind other states in population growth for 50 years and this trajectory is projected to continue, if not worsen through 2050. On the heels of this grim news, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer formed a bipartisan, 28-member council to brainstorm strategies to solve the state’s lagging population problem. 

Another new study by renowned urbanist Richard Florida, Founder of the Creative Class Group, identifies and studies regions across North America that are successfully attracting high-tech talent and business, compares them to Michigan and provides recommendations on how the state can become more competitive. 

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One Detroit contributor Zoe Clark, political director for Michigan Radio, talks with Florida about the results from his study, “Michigan’s Great Inflection,” why Michigan’s population has fallen behind, placemaking, and how to ensure the state’s long-term prosperity. 

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