LANSING, Mich., Dec. 20 (UPI) -- Michigan gained population in 2012, ending a seven-year trend of decline, the U.S. Census Bureau said.
Population estimates said Michigan gained 6,559 residents this year, a fraction of a percent increase in the state's 9.8 million residents, The Detroit News reported Thursday.
Births have steadily exceeded deaths in the state, a records analysis shows, but the population loss has largely been laid to the state's persistent unemployment, which has remained higher than the national average since 2000.
At the height of the recession in October 2009, unemployment was 14.1 percent in Michigan, but 10 percent nationally. Presently, Michigan's unemployment rate is 8.9 percent, compared to 7.7 percent nationally, the newspaper said.
Despite the fractional uptick, Michigan fell behind Georgia in the nation's population rankings by state. Georgia is now the eighth largest state and Michigan is ninth.