Originally published by The Detroit News
May 16, 2024
Hayley Harding

For the first time in 66 years, Detroit grew in population, according to new Census Bureau estimates for 2023 that Mayor Mike Duggan hailed as “a day of celebration” for Michigan’s largest city.

Detroit gained 1,852 people from July 1, 2022, to July 1, 2023, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau released Thursday, putting the city’s population at 633,218. It is the first time the city has gained population year over year since 1957, Duggan said.

“This was the goal of our administration when I started in 2014, to grow,” Duggan told The Detroit News. “It’s taken 10 years, but we’re here. This is a day of celebration.”

It’s a far cry from just a year ago, when Duggan called the Census Bureau a “clown show,” accusing it of undercounting the city’s populations. On Wednesday, Duggan pointed out that the bureau has updated those numbers in the past year — the original measure for 2022 was 620,376, whereas the newest update put the city at 631,366 in 2022.

Detroit saw the largest growth in terms of actual people of any city in Michigan, beating out East Lansing, which gained 1,266 people in the same time period.

The city is still down in population from 2020, though, when the federal government did a hard count of residents with field workers. Since April 1, 2020 — the official “Census Day” for the decennial census — the bureau estimates the city has lost more than 6,200 people.

Asked about those numbers, Duggan emphasized the year-over-year growth numbers.

“This is the first year the Census Bureau has acknowledged our growth,” he said, pointing to apartments being built in the city, houses being fixed up and more. “I think when you drive around the city, you can feel the vibrancy.”