Motor City Blues: Detroit Loses 25% of its Population

Mar 22, 2011 6:48pm

ABC News’ Arlette Saenz reports:  With trouble brewing in the auto industry and more people moving to the suburbs, the Motor City experienced a staggering loss in its population, shrinking by one quarter in a decade.  While New Orleans lost 29 percent of its people due to natural disaster, Detroit experienced a 25 percent population decrease in part because of a disaster of another sort – economic strife.

2010 Census data released today shows Detroit shed more than 237,000 people over a ten year period. When you do the math, the shrinking of Detroit amounts to a loss of 65 people each day for a decade.

The Motor City’s population peaked at 1.8 million in 1950, making it the fifth largest city in the nation in that year.

The state of Michigan was the only state to lose population in the 2010 Census.  The state’s population shrank by .6 percent or just nearly 55,000 people.

But while the state decreased in population, Michigan did experience the nation-wide trend of an influx in Hispanic population.  The number of Hispanics in the state increased by over 34 percent, adding 112,000 people, while the white and African American populations dropped by 194,000 and 236,000 people respectively.

And not only did Michigan experience a loss in its population size, but it also lost one congressional seat in the reapportionment process.  With such a significant decrease in its population, the Motor City might be singing the blues again come redistricting decision time.

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