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Census Bureau estimates: Detroit population rises after decades of decline, South dominates growth

DETROIT (AP) — U.S. Northeast and Midwest cities are rebounding slightly after years of population declines — particularly Detroit, which saw growth for the first time in decades — although the South still dominates growth of the country, according to US Census Bureau estimates released Thursday.

Detroit, Michigan’s largest city, has experienced a population exodus since the 1950s. Yet estimates released Thursday show the population of Michigan’s largest city increased by just 1,852 people, from 631 366 in 2022 to 633,218 last year.

It’s a milestone for Detroit, which had 1.8 million residents in the 1950s, only to see its population decline and then collapse due to white flight to the suburbs, a 1967 race riot , the migration to the suburbs of a large part of the black middle class and the national economic slowdown. this foreshadowed the city’s filing for bankruptcy in 2013.

“It’s a beautiful day. “It’s a day we’ve been waiting 10 years for,” Mayor Mike Duggan told the Associated Press. “The city of Detroit has joined U.S. communities with growing populations according to the Census Bureau. For our national brand, it was extremely important that the Census Bureau certify our growth.

Modest reversals in population decline were also seen last year in other major cities in the nation’s Northeast and Midwest, while census estimates showed that 13 of the nation’s 15 fastest-growing cities United States were in the South, including eight in Texas alone.

San Antonio, Texas, saw the biggest growth spurt in pure numbers last year, adding about 22,000 residents. It was followed by other Southern cities, including Fort Worth, Texas; Charlotte, North Carolina; Jacksonville, Florida; and Port St. Lucie, Florida.

Three of the largest cities in the United States, which had lost their residents during the decade, have somewhat slowed down these departures. New York City, which lost nearly 550,000 residents over the decade, saw a decline of just 77,000 residents last year, about three-fifths of the previous year’s number.

Los Angeles lost only 1,800 residents last year, after a decline in the 2020s of nearly 78,000 residents. Chicago, which lost nearly 82,000 residents this decade, saw a population decline of only 8,200 last year.

And San Francisco, which lost a greater share of residents this decade than any other major city — nearly 7.5 percent — actually grew by more than 1,200 residents last year.

New York City, with nearly 8.3 million residents, remained the nation’s largest city by population as of July 1, 2023. Los Angeles was second with nearly 4 million residents, while Chicago was third with 2.7 million.

Houston with 2.3 million, Phoenix with 1.7 million, Philadelphia with 1.6 million, San Antonio, Texas, with 1.5 million, San Diego with 1.4 million, Dallas with 1.3 million and Rounding out the top 10 largest cities is Jacksonville, Florida, with 986,000 residents.

For Detroit, population growth is a continuation of slow, steady progress and confidence in the city. NFL Draft Sets New Attendance Record after more than 775,000 fans packed downtown Detroit last month for the three-day event.

This is a far cry from Detroit’s position after its exit from the market in December 2014. the largest municipal bankruptcy in the history of the United States. About $7 billion in debt was restructured or erased through bankruptcy and $1.7 billion was set aside to improve city services.

Duggan took office in January 2014 and set about tackling the city’s major blight problem. More than 25,000 homes have been razed, most with federal funding, and 15,000 have been or are being renovated. About 4,500 vacant homes remain, many of which still need to be demolished or renovated, according to the city.

“As we eliminate blight, more and more people are moving into good homes,” Duggan said. “Right now it doesn’t look like we can build apartments fast enough. »

Duggan also credits automakers and other businesses that have brought back jobs with contributing to population growth in the 139-square-mile (360-square-kilometer) city.

But how many people actually live in Detroit and how they are counted has been a source of friction between the city and the Census Bureau. In September 2022, Detroit continued the Census Bureau compared to 2021 population estimates which showed it had lost 7,100 residents.

Duggan told reporters then that the city wanted the Census Bureau to reveal how it produced its estimates of Detroit’s population loss. The lawsuit follows the city’s appeal of 2020 census data that showed Detroit with 639,111 residents, while 2019 estimates put the city’s population at 670,052.

Detroit was one of several major cities file a dispute of their 2020 census numbers, following a national count in which the Census Bureau acknowledged that a higher percentage of African Americans and Hispanics were being undercounted compared to the previous decade. About 77% of Detroit residents are African American, and Hispanics make up nearly 8% of the population.

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Schneider reported from Orlando, Florida.

News Source : apnews.com
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