(DETROIT FREE PRESS) - Detroit's population hovered just above 700,000 last year as the city lost more residents between 2011 and 2012 - but the decline wasn't as steep as seen in previous years, according to new data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Across Michigan, approximately two out of three communities lost residents during the same time frame, but the state's overall population grew slightly, the data show. Most declines were modest in size, with the average community losing 0.2% in population.
As a whole, Michigan's population increased by 0.07% - 6,559 people - year-over-year, for a total population of 9,883,360 in 2012.
Database: See how much your Michigan hometown grew or shrank in 2012
In southeast Michigan, Oakland and Macomb Counties saw population gains, while almost every community in Wayne County lost residents.
Detroit, the state's largest city, dropped 0.67% - or by 4,726 people - from a 2011 estimate of 706,201 residents to a 2012 estimate of 701,475.
Kurt Metzger, director of Data Driven Detroit, said both Detroit and Highland Park experienced a slowing of their population losses, which have plagued both communities in the last 10 to 15 years. He said Detroit's population decline from 2011 to 2012 was about half the rate of the previous year and one-fifth that of the annual loss during the last decade. Highland Park was estimated to have lost 40 people, or 0.3% of its population.
Metzger noted Hamtramck, recently a growing city, lost 56 people - or 0.3%.
In Wayne County, Northville Township was the only municipality to see population growth.
"Losses were experienced across the county, even in the previously growing areas of Canton and Brownstown Townships - a trend that goes against anecdotal evidence of increased construction," Metzger said.
Meanwhile, both Macomb and Oakland Counties have seen widespread post-2010 population gains, according to Metzger.
"While the outer-ring suburbs, dominated by townships close to major highways, clearly led the charge once again, population gains were seen in all first- and second-tier suburbs, led by Southfield, Royal Oak, Warren, Birmingham, Madison Heights, Pontiac, St. Clair Shores, Rochester Hills, Berkley and Ferndale," he said.
The new figures mirror county-wide trends released in March. Ontonagon County had the largest decline year-over-year, with a loss of 3%. Eleven communities within the county had the fastest drops in population statewide.
Similarly, Ottawa County - the fastest growing county (1.1%) in the state last year - was home to three of the top 10 fastest growing communities: Crockery Township, Jamestown Charter Township and Grand Haven. Statewide, Marenisco Township in Gogebic County was the fastest growing community, seeing a 6.56% population jump.
Of Michigan cities with more than 100,000 people, Lansing and Flint joined Detroit in the population loss category. Lansing's population dropped 0.18%, leaving the city with an estimated 109,266 residents. Flint declined 0.93% - from 101,457 residents to 100,515.
Other large cities that saw population gains: Grand Rapids at 0.73%, Warren at 0.16%, Sterling Heights at 0.38% and Ann Arbor at 0.83%.
Nationwide, eight of the 15 fastest-growing large cities and towns were in Texas, according to the Census Bureau.
Detroit Free Press