UP Survey From Ford School at U of M, UP Continues to Struggle With Medical Specialist Availability, Home Buyer Changes, & Michigan Continues to Lose Population

Photo credit: University of Michigan
Photo credit: University of Michigan


A belated Happy Thanksgiving to all of our readers and subscribers.

UP Survey From Ford School at University of Michigan

This week we will publish some important data/information from the Center for State, Local and Urban Policy (CLOSUP) at the distinguished Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan.

This data/information is part of surveys conducted by the Ford School CLOSUP statewide and contains some very specific data about the Upper Peninsula. We are proud of working with the Ford School and appreciate them sharing this data with us. We will continue to work with them to expand the data on the Upper Peninsula.

Take a look at this survey. See what UP local government leaders identify as challenges in getting state and federal grants and other information from them about our Upper Peninsula.

More to come from CLOSUP about the UP in coming weeks and months.

Upper Peninsula Continues to Struggle with Availability of Medical Specialists

We are facing similar problems to other rural areas across the nation about the availability of medical specialists and health care.

Around the UP we hear stories of patients frequently having to wait months for an appointment if there is a specialist in the area. UP observers report that people are having to leave the UP in order to see a specialist and sometimes driving six or seven hours in order to see a physician specialist.

We are hearing good things about physicians, hospitals and other health care providers trying to create local solutions to these problems.  We will have more about this issue in the coming months.

Home Buyers

As the median home buyer age has jumped 10 years–to 49– in two decades, according to data from the National Association of Realtors.  They also report that the average household income for home buyers jumped to $107,000, up $20,000 from last year.

Upper Peninsula real estate observers say that this is the case in many areas of U.P. Mortgage rates have driven down demand from buyers looking to upgrade to the next level or size home. They just can’t afford the mortgage payment due to current mortgage interest rates.

Still, though, high end properties are moving and selling.

What State Has More Coastline?

Alaska has more coastline than Michigan–the only state with more than us. BTW, Alaska’s area code is 907.

Michigan Continues to Lose Population

We lost a net of 9,000 residents to other states last year. In 2021 the state lost 15,000 residents. The Governor and the Legislature continue to work on policies that will continue to stem the losses.

Send us your ideas on what Michigan ought to be doing to fix this problem. This is important work being done in Lansing that impacts all of us in the UP.

Quotes That Makes Us Go Hmmm

“Where law ends, tyranny begins.” John Locke.

“When your only idea is a bad one, that’s a sign to wait and think harder.” Peggy Noonan.

Talk To Us

Keep your raves, laurels, rants and darts coming. Send them to us at david@ruralinsights.org. We love to read them.

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David Haynes

David Haynes has served as a professor of public administration and public policy. He previously has served as President of Northern Michigan University. David has been involved in the public administration and political science field for over 45 years.


  1. Christopher Rymarz on December 4, 2023 at 8:32 am

    Thank you, David, for all you do and don’t do for things one doesn’t do is just as important as those things you do do.

  2. tom ward on December 4, 2023 at 8:35 am

    In presenting data from the National Association of Realtors re: average household income for home buyers:

    1) please include a URL so readers can explore the source document. it wasn’t clear if “home buyer” referred to buyers who completed purchase in year 2023?

    2) it would have added more perspective to include average home buyer household income across lower Michigan and also across the UP. this data is likely available to NAR members across Michigan or throughout the UP.

  3. Lois Kallunki on December 4, 2023 at 2:05 pm

    I don’t see a link to the survey here. Or even the official title of the document to aid in searching for it.


  4. Eric Luttinen on December 5, 2023 at 4:15 pm

    Peggy Noonan’s quotation reflects the difference between Republicans in the 1980s (when she worked in the Reagan administration) and today. For today’s Republican(t)s, there are only “good” ideas and nobody thinks harder…

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