With a total population of 10,020,043, Michigan is the 10th largest state in the United States. While the last official census was taken in 2010, the US Census Bureau provides estimated data on the total population and growth rate for each state periodically, and the number above is their 2019 estimate. While the 2010 census showed a slight decline in population down to 9.8 million people, the future might be looking up as we move into a new decade.
What is Michigan’s Population Density?
Michigan’s estimated population of 10,020,043 divided by Michigan’s 56,539 square miles gives the state a population density of 177 people per square mile. When looking at other population estimates, that number ranks Michigan 19th among all states, just behind Georgia and ahead of South Carolina.
What are the Biggest Cities in Michigan?
Most everyone knows that Detroit is the biggest city in Michigan, but there are a number of other cities eclipsing 100,000 people within the state. This includes:
- Detroit population: 662,172
- Grand Rapids population: 200,498
- Warren population: 134,561
- Sterling Heights population: 133,702
- Ann Arbor population: 126,833
- Lansing population: 119,353
Some of Michigan’s other largest cities by population include:
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While the general population trend in Michigan has gone upward, many cities have famously struggled with the decline of the once mighty auto industry. At one point the city of Detroit had as many as 1.8 million residents and was the fourth largest city in the country. Flint, Michigan was another casualty of the auto industry and saw massive population decline. In the 1960s the city once had as many as 200,000 residents but now has dropped below 100,000. While those cities lost people over the decades, many relocated to suburbs or other area of the states which has led to consistent growth for areas like Sterling Heights, Dearborn and Livonia.
Demographically, Michigan has some interesting numbers. In terms of the average age, Michiganders are an average of 39.5 as of 2019. In terms of gender, females make up just over half of the people living in Michigan at 50.8% while men make up 49.2%.
Michigan Racial Demographics
In terms of races and ethnicities Michigan breaks down as follows:
- 78.9% Caucasian
- 13.9% African American
- 2.8% Asian
- 2.7% two or more races
- 1.1% other races
- 0.5% Native American
In term of religious preference across the state, Michigan comes in with 70% preference to Christian based faiths, 5% are affiliated in non-Christian based faiths, and 24% are unaffiliated with any religion.
Michigan’s Population Past and Present
Michigan first gained statehood back in 1837 and population estimates at the time showed a massive boom. In 1830, Michigan’s population was estimated at only 28,004. After gaining statehood, the 1840 estimate was up to 212,267. Michigan first eclipsed a million residents in the 1860s, reaching a population of 1,184,059 by 1870. The total population grew until 2000, and then became the only state in the country to show a decline in population between the 2000 and 2010 census. Most recently, the state’s Upper Peninsula has seen a population decline along with the Metro Detroit area (Wayne County) as people move out of places like Ontonagon and Gogebic County.
While the population losses are largely tied back to the state’s dependence on the auto industry, there are still many bright spots where Michigan is growing. The fastest growing counties in the state are in West Michigan, with Ottawa County growing by 5.9% and its neighbor to the East, Kent County (home of Grand Rapids, Michigan, the state’s second largest city) which grew by over 5.5% from 2010 to 2015. Another thriving area for population growth is Grand Traverse County in the northwest corner of the state’s lower peninsula, which grew by 5.37% during this timeframe.
Despite some grim numbers the past few decades, there is a general consensus that Michigan’s population is on the upswing. Based on the US Census Bureau’s date the 2020 numbers are expected to show a population increase of roughly 0.3% over 2019 and should take Michigan’s population over 10 million people for the first time ever on an official census.