Monday, December 5, 2011

Brain Drain

From time to time, events in one's everyday work life will lead that person to evaluate their continued service.  It's at that time that I, er, one, considers the possibility of moving somewhere else, somewhere to a place where they feel their needs will be better met.

I've been down that road before, and to a certain extent, for almost everyone, its a continuing evaluation.  In southeast Michigan we have an interesting problem.  We have great universities and a below average economy.  That manifests itself as significant brain-drain, where the talented folk move outside of the area. 

Washtenaw County (think Ann Arbor) attracts lots of people (the young ones) from all over the region,  who then get a great education financed in part by the taxpayers.  A frustratingly high number of those people go out of state seeking the fruits of a less-bad economy.   This makes our economy even worse, with the exception of the night before thanksgiving when everyone comes back to go out to the bars and fellow-high-school-alumni-watch. 

Wayne County (think Detroit) has an even bigger problem, a dwindling population.  Unfortunately it's a rarity for a well-educated Detroiter to stay put in the city.

So we know these issues are there but Forbes just came out with a great tool to visualize it.  Using tax data it shows how many people move between counties, net gain in blue, net loss in red.  Unfortunately I can't embed the cool tool. But here are links to the Washtenaw County and Wayne County maps. It'll take a minute to load...but be patient, it's worth it.

Wayne County

Washtenaw County



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