More people have been leaving Kansas than moving here over the last four years, new Census figures show.
That number offsets a net gain of 9,830 people who migrated into the state from 2007 to 2009, Census numbers show.
Although the numbers seem at odds with Gov. Sam Brownback’s “Road Map for Kansas,” which aims to grow the state by improving the economy, Brownback’s spokeswoman Sara Belfry said “Kansas’ population has declined for a long period of time. She said the new Census data doesn’t reflect the true impact of Brownback’s tax cuts, which went into effect in January 2013. Brownback took office in January 2011“. These “tax cuts” are not being felt by the average Kansans, in fact, most working Kansans agree taxes seem to be rising and skilled jobs diminishing.
“The Governor has watched the population decline in Kansas throughout his lifetime,” Belfry wrote in an e-mail to The Eagle. “Since being elected, the Governor has worked hard to grow the Kansas economy and jobs. The numbers don’t lie though. Belfry works for the Governor, so she really has no choice but to narrate excuses in a positive light. Belfry also stated “we are happy with the growth Kansas has seen.” This statement sums up what is wrong with Kansas.
Kansas has never been known as a progressive state, usually following the rest of the nation. Crime rates rise and population falls. People move to locations with good schools, good hospitals and healthcare and good job opportunities. That is just basic, general knowledge.
Sedgwick County saw more people leave from 2010 to 2013 than any other county in the state, with a net loss of 5,236 people. Wyandotte and Shawnee counties each lost about 1,500 people to migration during that time.
Johnson County saw a net gain of 9,699 new residents over the same time period. Other big gainers were Riley County, with 1,588 new residents, and Douglas County, with 1,360.
The Census data confirms what many of Sedgwick County’s elected officials and business leaders already know. Although there is no data to confirm it, it’s natural to connect the county’s large job loss with an exit of people, wrote Tim Chase, president of the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition, in an email to The Eagle.
Sedgewick County reported losing 32,000 jobs and gaining 7000 new jobs. Not exactly the plan that Governor Brownback had in mind.
Area leaders are working to find new ways to rebuild the regional economy by growing primary jobs, Chase said. This may be the case but the numbers do not indicate good job growth in Kansas.
The Census shows that Kansas gained 16,752 people from international migration over the last four years, but lost 26,949 to other states, resulting in the net 10,197 loss. Sedgwick County gained 2,136 people from other countries, but lost 7,372 to domestic migration.
The numbers don’t reveal any information about who left, or why.
Kansas was among the bottom 10 states in the number of people who moved in from other states compared with the number who moved out during the 12 months ending July 1, 2013. Kansas ended that 12 months with a net loss of 12,557. Colorado and Oklahoma, on the other hand, were in the top 10 states receiving people.
For the 10-year period from 2000 to 2009, the state had a net migration loss of 17,574. Most of it occurred during the five-year period from 2001 to 2005 when Kansas had a net loss of more than 27,000 people.
Kansas being known for rich farmland, could have industrial hemp, which is used for paper, clothes, you name it, but the conservative, right-wing would rather import from other countries than open up this new revenue stream.
Kansas is still behind the times. I guess the old saying “if you want to travel back 50 years in time, go to Kansas” still rings true.
Baby Boomers also are expected to move out of the state in large numbers as well.
Maybe Kansas needs to think a little more about the economic future. This may include passing HB2198 and SB9, which would open up new markets for medicinal cannabis (marijuana) and also improve the quality of life for thousands of Kansans, while providing much-needed job growth and tax revenue for the state.
By Emery Myers
Additional information obtained HERE.