Population Losses in Detroit Have Begun Stabilizing as Michigan’s Economy Slowly Builds Up Strength
According to estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau on May 21, Detroit’s population has finally begun to stabilize after the Great Recession. The city is still experiencing a loss in population overall, as the Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News both report, but select suburbs around the city have actually seen slight gains in population.
According to the Census Bureau, Detroit’s population numbered 680,250 in summer 2014, which was a slight decrease (by about 6,400 residents) from summer 2013 population numbers.
This number might seem high, but it’s actually been a long time since the Detroit metro area has seen population losses of such a low number. An annual loss of 6,400 residents works out to be a loss of approximately 1% of the whole city’s population.
Between summer 2012 and 2013, the city’s population decreased by just over 10,000 residents; on average, Detroit has lost about 24,000 residents per year during the 2000s, primarily because of the collapse of the auto industry during the Recession.
This positive trend isn’t just limited to Detroit, according to economists. It’s expected that 2015 will be the strongest year of economic growth globally — and certainly in the U.S. — after nearly a decade of economic woes following the Recession.
The financial crisis hit Detroit residents particularly hard, and the loss of income caused many residents to relocate.
According to the latest data, the specific towns and neighborhoods in Michigan that have seen the most growth include towns close to the cities of Detroit, Lansing, and Ann Arbor. The tri-county area, several Oakland County neighborhoods, and the Macomb and Washington townships have all seen the most growth, while Michigan’s older communities continued to see losses.
Regardless of these numbers, Detroit still remains the 18th most populous city in the country and local officials are optimistic that it will continue to see gains.
“We have seen a significant slowing of people leaving the neighborhoods, and it will continue to improve,” stated Mayor Mike Duggan. “When we talk a year from now, the numbers will look even better.”