2020 Census data and map: Michigan population change by county since 2010

Data shows population growth, declines across state since 2010

Michigan population growth from 2010 to 2020 via US Census data. (WDIV)

The first local level data for the 2020 US Census was released this week, showing population growth and decline at the county level from 2010 to 2020.

In Michigan, the areas with the most growth in population since 2010 are mostly in the West Michigan area, including Ottawa County (+12.3%) and Kent County (+9.2%), and in Metro Detroit, including Washtenaw County (+8%), Livingston County (+7.1%) and Oakland County (+6%).

The areas that saw the biggest drops in population were mostly in the Upper Peninsula, where some counties saw double-digit percentage decline in the last decade. Luce County, in the eastern U.P., had a population loss of 19.5%, while Ontonagon County, in the northwest U.P., dropped 14.2%.

Wayne County, the state’s most populated county, declined slightly, by about 1.5%, while Macomb County saw a 4.8% increase in population.

Mid-Michigan counties saw decent drops in population, including Saginaw County (-5%), Genesee County (-4.6%), and Bay County (-3.6%).

Census figures released in April showed that, as a whole, Michigan grew slightly in population to 10,077,331 in 2020, but the increase was not enough to stop the state from losing a U.S. House seat.

Related: How the census data could change Michigan’s political landscape

Here’s a map and table showing the 2020 Census data for Michigan population change:

More on the 2020 Census data from Michigan from the AP:

As expected, Detroit’s population continued a decades-long slide that began in the 1950s when more than 1.8 million people filled the 139-square-mile city.

The 2020 census pegs the Motor City’s population at 639,111, a decrease of about 6% from 2010 when the census count showed 713,777 residents.

Mayor Mike Duggan said in a news release that census workers told last year how Detroit neighborhoods were being undercounted and that their efforts prematurely were halted. Duggan also said that census data released Thursday shows 254,000 occupied households in Detroit, but utility DTE Energy reports nearly 280,000 households paying electric bills.

“At a minimum, the census somehow failed to count 25,000 occupied houses with running electricity,” Duggan said. “It appears the Census Bureau has undercounted Detroit’s population by at least 10%. We will be pursuing our legal remedies to get Detroit an accurate count.”

Obtaining an accurate count is critical because the census determines the allocation of $1.5 trillion in federal spending and decides which states gain or lose congressional seats.

Detroit’s census count of 639,111 “seems exceptionally low to me,” said Ren Farley, a research scientist at the Population Studies Center at the University of Michigan.

“The Census Bureau, in June of this year, published an estimate of Detroit’s population as of July 1, 2020. That number was 668,000,” Farley said Thursday. “Given the estimates that the Census Bureau has been making, I thought the count for Detroit would be about 660,000 to 670,000.”

Census figures also shows a slight shift in the state’s racial makeup.

Michigan’s Hispanic and Latino population has grown from 2010 to 2020, while the number of white and Black residents has decreased, the Census Bureau says.

Figures from the 2020 census show that the 564,422 Hispanics and Latinos in Michigan make up 5.6% of the state’s residents, up from 4.4% in 2010. That number is over 128,000 more than were counted in the previous census.

Whites — at nearly 74% — make up the vast majority of Michigan residents, but the more than 7.4 million counted in 2020 are 358,146 fewer than those tallied in 2010.

Meanwhile, Michigan’s 1.3 million Black residents make up 13.7% of the 2020 population. That’s 23,783 fewer than in 2010 when the group comprised 14.2% of Michigan residents.


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About the Author:

Ken Haddad is the digital special projects manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013.