DETROIT (AP) — Detroit appears to continue its decades-long population loss while most Michigan communities gain residents, the U.S. Census Bureau said Thursday.
Census figures show that Michigan grew by 0.3 percent to more than 9,960,000 residents between 2016 and 2017. Detroit saw a drop of nearly 2,380 residents over the same time period.
The city’s population has declined 6 percent since 2010.
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said one- and two-person households are moving in as families with children move out.
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“At this point it’s about the schools,” Duggan said. “We have got to create a city where families want to raise their children and have them go to the schools.”
Detroit’s continued slide comes as Grand Rapids, Lansing and Ann Arbor see population gains.
“There are more areas of the state that have seen small positive increases than in the past,” said state demographer Eric Guthrie. “That is promising.”
Grand Rapids’ population increased the most statewide, growing by more than 2,500 to around 198,800. Lansing increased by almost 1,190 residents to nearly 117,000, and Ann Arbor grew by more than 760 residents.
Flint’s population dropped last year by almost 540 residents, census figures show. The city faces an ongoing lead-tainted water crisis, though the population decline was less than the previous year.
Keego Harbor in Oakland County is Michigan’s fastest-growing city. The community grew to nearly 4,000 residents last year, up by 12 percent, according to census estimates.
Michigan’s suburban townships saw some of the most dramatic population gains.
“There’s no lessening of the interest in outlying townships,” said Kurt Metzger, a demographer and mayor of Pleasant Ridge. “People are still looking for big houses, big lots with low taxes.”