The median income for Michigan households has dropped by more than $9,000 over the past decade. Only one other state, Hawaii, has seen a bigger loss in income.
Michigan’s median household income in 2009 was $45,255, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey. When adjusted for inflation, the median income in 2000 was $54,651, according to the Bureau's Supplemental Survey.
Lou Glazer is president of the think tank Michigan Future, Inc. He says the drop in income is a direct result of Michigan’s slow changeover from a factory-based economy to one that emphasizes higher education:
"Because we’re not making that transition, we have declining income, and a declining middle class. And to be honest with you, unless we deal with that, and switch to a more knowledge-economy, we don’t have a lot of room to go up."
Michigan is 36th in the country in terms of college attainment.