Region, like state, is growing older

While not necessarily something we haven’t already known, Michigan in general, and this region in particular, is growing older.

Census figures made available this week confirmed that fact.

Michigan has gone from the 12th oldest state in the country to now, 10th oldest. The median age in the state today is 39.5 years old, compared to 38.9 years in 2010. The median age in the U.S. is 37.6

And, the number of silver hairs in Northeast Michigan is even greater. In Alpena County the median age is 47, up from 45.8; in Alcona County it is 56.9, up from 54.6; in Montmorency County it is 54.8, up from 51.7; while in Presque Isle County it is 53.5, up from 51.3.

Understanding demographics such as this is important. While it shows that the region is a wonderful place to retire to, and many residents have done just that, it also helps explain the shortage of labor for potential businesses and industries, or why schools in the area often struggle with enrollment numbers.

It also help give insight about what potential new businesses might want to concentrate on, for instance medical supply companies, transportation services or recreational hobbies.

We hesitate to put too much value in just statistics. Numbers often times don’t tell the whole story, thus we look at them with some caution and common sense. However, as a business whose job it is to inform the public, statistics like this are part of the information residents need to know.