Census: Detroit population dropped 25 percent in 10 years
The troubled city of Detroit lost 25 percent of its population between 2000 and 2010, according to U.S. Census Bureau information released Tuesday. Mayor Dave Bing told the media he planned to appeal the census count, and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder says the report is a sign that the state needs to “reinvent” itself.
According to the 2010 Census, Detroit remained the state’s most populous city with 713,777 residents, followed by Grand Rapids with 188,040; Warren, 134,056; Sterling Heights, 129,699; and Lansing, 114,297. However, in 2000, Detroit had more than 950,000 residents. Many of the state’s other cities and counties also lost population between 2000 and 2010.
Bing told the Detroit News that he planned to officially challenge the census findings. “Personally, I don’t believe that the number is accurate, and I don’t believe it will stand up as we go through with our challenge,” Bing said. “The census has a history of undercounting residents in urban cities like Detroit.” One possible cause for the low count may be the omission of thousands of Detroiters in prisons around the state who should be counted as city residents, City Council President Charles Pugh told the News. Pugh also said, “We know that there are thousands of people, because of car insurance, that have addresses in the suburbs.”
Detroit’s loss of population is expected to mean the loss of both state and federal representatives, as well as a loss in revenue from federal grants, according to the News. That is bad news for the entire state, according to Gov. Snyder’s statement. “Michigan will not succeed if Detroit and other major cities don’t succeed,” Snyder said. “The census figures clearly show how crucial it is to reinvent Michigan. It is time for all of us to realign our expectations so that they reflect today’s realities.”
Specifically, Snyder said the census data highlights the importance of ensuring that high school and college graduates can find jobs and lead successful, productive lives in Michigan. “Losing our best and brightest young adults to other states, or failing to rejuvenate our urban areas, are not acceptable options,” the governor says. “We will use these census trends as guideposts as we implement new, collaborative approaches that move our state forward.”