Data Shows Population Shifts to and from Oakland County

Data Shows Population Shifts to and from Oakland County

(Kurt Metzger, Dec. 27, 2017)

Oakland County, MI – Population change in any geographic area, be it city, township, county or state, is comprised of four primary components – Births and Deaths (combining to create Natural Increase), Immigration and Domestic Migration (combining to create Net Migration). Birth and death counts are monitored by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and reported to the CDC.  Immigration estimates come from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), while Domestic Migration (movement within the United States) is measured by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

IRS has just released their 2015-16 migration file, based on tax filings made in 2016, covering the calendar year 2015.  What is most interesting about these data is the fact that in- and out-migration numbers are provided by geography – Michigan data are tied to the other states and DC, and county data are tied to other counties across the country.

Overall, we find that Oakland County saw 958 more households leave the county between 2015 and 2016 than arrive.  These households accounted for a loss of 1,799 residents and $222,978,000 in adjusted gross income. [The previous year’s data showed a loss of 253 households and 587 individuals.  In spite of the population loss, adjusted gross income actually increased by $27,657,000.]  While the county received 399 more Michigan residents than it lost to other counties in the state, it had a net loss of 2,198 residents to other parts of the country.

The chart below shows the Top 10 population contributors and recipients.  It is clear that Wayne County was far and away the major donor county.  While 14,980 Wayne County residents moved to Oakland County between 2015 and 2016, 12,141 Oakland County residents chose Wayne County for their move.  The result was a net gain of 2,839 residents.  The next 9 contributor counties only accounted for 585 new Oakland County residents.

When we look at the counties that netted the bulk of Oakland County residents, neighboring Michigan counties take the first four slots, with Livingston County coming in first with a net gain of 741 residents.  Once we get past Michigan moves, we find that counties in southern states – Arizona, Florida, Texas and North Carolina – held the next six slots.  Maricopa County, home of Phoenix, Lee County, home of Cape Coral and Ft. Myers, and Mecklenburg County, home of Charlotte, were the primary out-state destinations.

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