Population of Detroit plummets

March 23, 2011

by Ida Lieszkovszky

Download Story
(Photo by David Tansey)
Downtown Detroit

The U.S. Census Bureau this week is out with the latest population count for Michigan.  Michigan's biggest cities lost people, like lots of places in the Midwest.

Chicago's population declined by almost seven percent in the 2010 census numbers, and Cleveland's dropped by about 17 percent. But Detroit lost a quarter of its population over the last ten years.

It now has the same population that it had in 1910, before the auto industry boom. .

"Now's not the time to look in the rear view mirror," said Robert Ficano, the Executive for Wayne County, home to the Motor City. "Now's the time to look in the future and say 'ok, what do we do to recover and what do we do to stabilize ourselves here?'"

Ficano said he's not surprised by the population decline, given what's happened to the auto industry. He said going forward, economic diversification is key to Detroit's success.

A few Midwest cities gained population, including Columbus, Ohio and Indianapolis, Indiana.