News / USA

Detroit Population Drops Dramatically in Latest Census

A street sign showing Detroit's city limits is shown near where a former Chrysler McGraw glass plant is being torn down along Ford Road in Detroit, March 22, 2011
A street sign showing Detroit's city limits is shown near where a former Chrysler McGraw glass plant is being torn down along Ford Road in Detroit, March 22, 2011

Multimedia

Audio
Kane Farabaugh

New census figures for the Midwest U.S. state of Michigan show dramatic population declines. Michigan was the only state in the 2010 census to lose people. Its biggest city, Detroit, once the fourth largest in the nation, is now the 18th largest. That's due in part to an exodus created by massive job losses in the automotive industry. Here's a look at what the numbers mean for a city and region struggling through a housing and employment crisis.

With the loss of approximately 500,000 automotive jobs in the region during the past decade, Southeast Michigan Council of Governments Executive Director Paul Tait expected the 2010 census numbers to show some decline in Detroit’s population. "We expected much more around 750,000 people and it dropped down to just under 714,000 people. The magnitude of that surprised us."

The population of the so-called Motor City is at its lowest in more than a century. More than 230,000 people left the city in the past decade.  That 25-percent decline is one of the biggest on record for an urban area with a population of more than 100,000.

Significant population drop

"Some folks have left the state because of employment opportunities," said Tait. "Some, particularly middle-class African-American families, have left the city and gone to the suburbs within our region."

The dramatic exodus from a city that was once a symbol of America’s manufacturing boom has staggering implications for Detroit. Mayor David Bing said the low census figures will cost the city and the state of Michigan more money.

"Every person that is counted in the census brings approximately $10,000 to Detroit over the next decade for schools, roads, hospitals, and social service programs like Medicaid. We are in a fiscal crisis and we have to fight for every dollar. We can not afford to let these results stand."

Census figures questioned

Bing said he intends to challenge the current census figures, which puts the population of Detroit at 713,777.

"Personally, I do not believe the number is accurate and I do not believe it will stand up as we go through our challenge. The Census has a history of undercounting residents in urban cities like Detroit. We were undercounted in 2000, and our Census estimate was again revised in 2007. That tells us that the report will not be final as it relates to the total number of our population," said Bing.

Despite new techniques, which Tait said have made this the most accurate census to date, he agrees with the mayor that the figures do not represent Detroit’s current population.

"I do believe that there are more than 714,000 people in the city of Detroit," said Tait. "I firmly believe that. Is that 50,000? Probably not that high, but there are probably a couple tens of thousands of people that were undercounted."

Focusing on job creation

Tait said adjusting census figures, however, is not the answer to solving Detroit’s population decline, and Michigan’s fiscal crisis. "Part of the answer is absolutely righting this transformation of our economy and getting more jobs in the region. That is part of our strategy."

Tait said bringing jobs to Michigan might prevent more people from leaving Detroit and the region for employment in other states with booming populations, such as Arizona and Texas.

But the city is unlikely to attract enough jobs to once again see 2 million people filling the streets of Detroit, the population of the Motor City during its peak in 1950.

You May Like

Will Cuba Follow the Southeast Asia Model?

Decision to restore ties between US and Cuba has some debating whether it will lead to an enhancement or regression of democracy on the Communist island nation More

Kenyan Designer Finds Her Niche in Fashion Industry

‘Made in China’ fabrics underlie her success More

Report: CIA, Israel's Mossad Killed Senior Hezbollah Commander

The Washington Post story says Imad Mughniyah was killed instantly by a bomb "triggered remotely" from Tel Aviv by Mossad agents More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Lateri
X
Deborah Block
January 31, 2015 12:12 AM
Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid