2020 Census Results Show Michigan Population Up, Detroit Population Down

DETROIT, August 13, 2021 ~ The 2020 Census results are in, and many Michigan communities have experienced major changes in the last 10 years.

In Detroit, officials are worried that the population was miscounted due to issues during the pandemic.

The major loss in Detroit was African Americans. I mean that was basically the only loss: 93,000 fewer African Americans. We know that a number went to the suburbs because Eastpointe for instance became a majority African American city between 2010 and 2020,” Demographer and Mayor of Pleasant Ridge Kurt Metzger told 760 WJR‘s Kevin Dietz. “So we know a lot of African Americans from Detroit moved to the suburbs, but we also think that a number of African Americans were undercounted or were missed.”


August 13, 2021 ~ Demographer and Mayor of Pleasant Ridge Kurt Metzger talks about the 2020 US Census with Kevin Dietz.

The interesting thing about Detroit is that every other racial-ethnic group increased in numbers,” said Metzger. “So while the African-American population was going down: the white population was up, the Asian population was up, the Native American population was up, the Latino population was up, the multirace population was up. So Detroit became more diverse in that way, but it was mainly loss of African Americans.”

Last year, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan stated that census workers said Detroit neighborhoods were undercounted, and that the Supreme Court prematurely stopped their efforts to gather data. Duggan added this year that data released shows 254,000 occupied homes in Detroit, but DTE Energy reported almost 280,000 households paying for electricity.

How do you talk about a growing city, and an increasingly diverse and interesting city, and new restaurants and all the other kinds of activities and new developments; when you are also seeing at the same time population losses,” asked Metzger. “Its a difficult message to get across, and certainly it signals issues and problems in the City of Detroit.”

Michigan’s population is up 2%, rising from 9.884 million in 2010, up to 10.077 million in 2020. These numbers factor into critical determinations such as federal funding and seats in Congress. Despite population growth, Michigan is losing a seat in the House of Representatives.

Ottawa County saw the largest population increase, with a 12.3% gain up to 296,200. Luce County in the Upper Peninsula saw the largest decrease, dropping 19.5% to 6,631.