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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

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    Detroit’s 70-year population decline continues; Duggan says city undercounted

    Detroit — The city suffered a substantial drop in population in the decennial census, prompting a vow Thursday from Mayor Mike Duggan to challenge the number and get it adjusted upward.

    Duggan had suggested Detroit would have experienced a leveling by now after annual counts showed a slowing decline from 2010, when the city’s population was more than 713,000. But the U.S. Census Bureau put 2020’s population tally at 639,111, a drop of 10.5% or almost 75,000 residents from a decade ago, according to data it released Thursday.

    It’s the seventh straight decade Detroit’s population has declined since the census showed the city with nearly 1.85 million residents in 1950.

    But Detroit remained Michigan’s largest city, followed by Grand Rapids, which grew 5.8% to 188,040 residents. Warren remains the state’s third-largest city.

    Detroit fell to the 27th largest city in the country, down three spots from No. 24 in 2010. Among the cities that surpassed Detroit were Oklahoma City, Boston, Portland and Las Vegas. The city ranked just ahead of Memphis, which had about 633,000 residents, and Baltimore with almost 587,000 residents. 

    Much of Detroit’s population shrinkage in the last decade came from the loss of Black residents. The latest census figures show the city, which was 77% African American in 2020, lost 16% of its Black residents from 2010. The number of Black Detroiters fell by more than 93,000, to just more than 493,000. That’s down from 586,000 10 years ago when the city was 83% Black.

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