It's the birth rate, stupid at Pacific Standard magazine.
Theme: Demography and mesofacts.
Subject Article: "Is it mining? Timber? Weather? Upper Peninsula population trend puzzles."
Other Links: 1. "What's A Yooper?"
2. "Michigan’s 'Cool Cities' Initiative."
3. "Fewer college grads moving to Michigan, demographer finds."
4. "Why the Smartest People in the Midwest All Move To Chicago."
5. "Where 'Eds and Meds' Industries Could Become a Liability."
Postscript: Good or bad, the connection is local and the relevant history recent. If we can't see it or remember it, then it doesn't exist.