Mapping Michigan’s growth in 2011

While Michigan has 83 counties and hundreds upon hundreds of communities, when it comes to economics, the only number that really matters is 14.

That figure represents the “metropolitan statistical areas” defined by the federal government as cohesive economic units. Those 14 places – sometimes a single county, sometimes multiple counties – account for nearly 90 percent of all of the state’s economic product.

In other words, that’s where the jobs are.

So, how did the 14 MSAs do in 2011? (Editor's note: There are no Metropolitan Statistical Areas in the Upper Peninsula, which is why this map does not include the U.P. counties.)


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Doug Drake
Tue, 03/05/2013 - 3:02pm
REally need to look at the 2001 to 2011 chqnges...see my post on "How Did Your City do...?"
Jim Turner
Wed, 03/06/2013 - 10:35am
How amazingly shortsighted. First, a majority of the GDP is located in ONE MSA. Secondly, six of the MSAs had negative growth. This "analysis" tells us nothing except that people (and jobs) are concentrated in MSAs. Who knew? This tells us nothing of the economic impact of agriculture in Michigan, which is huge, and growing. It tells us nothing of the innovation and entreprenuership taking place outside of the MSA. To suggest that we should only concentrate on a few areas could cause us to miss great opportunities.
Derek Melot
Wed, 03/06/2013 - 2:43pm
Mr. Turner, Statewide, agriculture is indeed growing in GDP. In our inflation adjusted figures, the sector went from $1,670,000,000 in 2001 to $2,943,000,000 in 2010 to $2,717,000,000 in 2011. So that's impressive growth in the last decade. Two caveats, however: 1. The federal Bureau of Economic Analysis groups "agriculture" with "forestry, hunting and fishing" in one single GDP line. 2. Michigan's overall GDP in 2011 was $337,427,000,000, so the "ag-plus" share of the state economy is just less than 1 percent of overall state GDP. For just one point of comparison, "finance and insurance" are 6.8 percent of overall GDP.
Mitch Bean
Wed, 03/06/2013 - 8:46pm
If you look at how GDP growth changed from the prior year, you will notice significant declines. It demonstrates how state economic growth is slowing. It's also important to consider job growth which is declining as well. While GDP is an important measure to an economist, the public is far more interested in jobs a a measure of economic well being.