Why Detroit’s Population Growth in 2023 is a Big Deal

According to new Census Bureau estimates, Detroit’s population grew in 2023, increasing to 633,218 from 631,366.

This is significant for a city that has been losing residents for decades due to the decline of the auto industry, suburban migration, and municipal bankruptcy.

The new estimates also show that many large cities in the Midwest and Northeast experienced modest population growth after previous declines during the pandemic.

Las Vegas saw substantial growth in 2024, continuing its trend as one of the fastest-growing cities in the country.

In the Northeast, cities with populations over 50,000 grew by an average of 0.2 percent in 2023, compared to a 0.3 percent decline in 2022.

Similarly, in the Midwest, these cities grew by 0.1 percent after a 0.2 percent decline the year before.

Why Is This So Important?

Why Is Detroit's Population Growth so Important

Detroit’s population is still far from its mid-20th century peak, but it gained 1,852 residents between July 1, 2022, and July 1, 2023.

This is the first time since 1957 that the population has increased. While the number might seem small, it represents a significant reversal of a long-standing decline.

Population Growth and Rising Status

Detroit has seen a population increase of 1,852 residents between July 1, 2022, and July 1, 2023, marking the first growth since 1957 says CBS News.

This rise brings Detroit’s population to 633,218, making it the 26th most populous city in the United States.

Detroit has now surpassed Memphis, Louisville, and Portland, climbing from 29th place last year.

Leading Population Growth in Michigan

Detroit Led Michigan in Total Population Growth

In 2023, Detroit led Michigan in total population growth.

Mayor Mike Duggan emphasized the significance of the US Census Bureau’s confirmation, marking a turning point for the city.

He highlighted the importance of this milestone for long-time residents and those who have contributed to Detroit’s revitalization.

Historical Context and Census Revisions

Since 1958, Detroit had been reporting population losses annually until this latest estimate.

Initially, the 2022 population was estimated at 620,376 but was later revised to 631,218 after challenges from the Duggan administration.

Positive Trends and Developments in Detroit

Positive Trends and Developments in Detroit

Detroit’s resurgence is part of a broader trend of positive news and developments, including:

  • Affordable Housing: Over $1 billion invested in more than 4,600 units of affordable housing in the past five years.
  • Job Growth: An increase of over 25,000 employed Detroiters since 2014.
  • Financial Stability: A return to investment-grade bond status for the first time since 2009.
  • Wealth Growth: $3 billion in added wealth for Detroit’s black homeowners since 2014, as per a University of Michigan study.
  • Crime Reduction: Significant decreases in crime, with the fewest homicides in 57 years.
  • Major Events: Successfully hosting the largest NFL Draft ever, attracting 775,000 people over three days.

Milestone Under Mayor Mike Duggan

Milestone Under Mayor Mike Duggan

Mayor Mike Duggan announced that the latest population estimate marks the first time since 1957 that Detroit has not experienced a population decline, according to the Census Bureau.

Detroit is now the 26th most populous city in the United States, rising from 29th place in 2022.

Historically, Detroit was once the fourth largest city in the nation according to the Week.

Mayor Duggan’s Administration and Population Counts

Elected in 2013 and currently serving his third term, Mayor Duggan has previously challenged the Census Bureau’s population counts, arguing that Detroit residents were undercounted.

The new population estimate fulfills his long-standing campaign promise to reverse the city’s population decline.

“I have said all along, a mayor ought to be judged by whether the population is going up or going down,” Duggan said in an interview. “It took me longer to get there than I hoped.”

Efforts and Achievements

Detroit's Efforts and Achievements

Despite ongoing challenges such as reduced demand for office space, Detroit’s population growth is attributed to years of steady, difficult work. In the past decade:

  • Housing Renovation: Over 10,000 houses have been renovated.
  • Property Value Increase: Property values have risen significantly.
  • New Auto Plant: A new Jeep production plant was established in the city