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U.S. Census

Michigan population is trending older, Census Bureau says

Jun 20, 2019
Elderly woman
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New data from the U.S. Census Bureau show that more than a quarter of Michigan’s 83 counties have a median age of 50 years or older.

The state as a whole has a median age of 39.6 years. This ranks it as the 12th oldest state in the nation.

Challenges threatening the upcoming 2020 census could put more than 4 million people at risk of being undercounted in next year's national head count, according to new projections by the Urban Institute.

The history of the U.S. census asking about people's citizenship status is complicated.

Many of the stops and starts have been unearthed as part of the legal battle over the decision by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who oversees the Census Bureau, to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

comedy_nose / flickr

Community leaders and city officials in Detroit gathered Monday to launch what's being called the Be Counted Detroit: Census 2020 campaign.

The effort aims to encourage Detroiters to participate in next year's census count.

Detroit's census numbers determine home much federal funding the city will receive for things like food assistance, head start, and road repairs.

According to a press release, Detroit will lose around $1,800 a year in federal funding over the next decade for every person that isn't counted.

Steven Dillingham, the new director of the U.S. Census Bureau, is refusing to step into the controversy surrounding a potential question for the upcoming national head count.

The hotly contested question asks, "Is this person a citizen of the United States?"

person weighing weed on scale
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Today on Stateside, Michigan regulators allow unlicensed dispensaries and growers to reopen in midst of a medical marijuana shortage. Plus, a software engineer who traded building software for building kitchen cabinets.

US Census Form
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Today a U.S. House Committee is holding a hearing to get a progress report on the 2020 census. 

If the Trump administration gets its way, the next census will have something that hasn't been on a census in 70 years: a question about your citizenship status.

That has critics on high alert, fearing the question will keep non-citizens and even legal immigrants from responding to the census.

They say an inaccurate head-count is bad for their communities, and for Michigan.

Michigan’s largest city is still losing people, but at a much slower rate than in the past, according to the latest yearly data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Some thought 2017 would be the year Detroit finally reversed its decades-long population bleed.

RGHA 1913 / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

The Great Migration was one of the most significant population shifts of the 20th century. In the 1930s and 1940s, African-Americans migrated out of the South and settled throughout the United States.

Now, a University of Michigan study shows that the Great Migration helped the next generation, the children of those men and women who left the South.

Amer Zhar in front of brick wall
Stateside Staff / Michigan Radio

Dearborn likes to boast that is has the highest proportion of Arab Americans in the country. But according to the U.S. Census, about 89 percent of the city’s approximately 100,000 people are white.

That’s because according to the United States’ government, Arab Americans are white.

“It’s a real mis-identifier [sic], you know,” said Michigan-based comedian and writer Amer Zahr “It’s one thing to not be identified. It’s worse to be misidentified because we’re not white in any way that ‘white’ means.”

Photograph of Downtown Detroit
Ifmuth / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

New numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau show Detroit hasn’t quite yet reversed decades of population loss, but it seems to be getting close.

The Census has Detroit down another 3,541 residents in mid-2016 from the same time a year before. That leaves a total population of 672,795.

That’s a very small drop compared what the city has seen in the past.

Still, many people had hoped this would be the year Detroit finally showed some gains.

(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

The U.S. Census Bureau has released its 2016 population estimates for U.S. counties and metro areas. Michigan was, again, notable for high decline in one place: Wayne County.

A legal battle over redistricting in Michigan could soon be underway.

(Support trusted journalism like this in Michigan. Give what you can here.)

Letters are being sent to some 60 attorneys, legislators and ex-legislators, staffers and ex-staffers, Governor Rick Snyder, and many others, telling them: Anything you have related to the 2011 redistricting process, you better keep it. We’re talking drafts of maps, emails, instructions, and confidential analysis.

Rick Snyder / michigan.gov

Governor Rick Snyder has set a goal of getting Michigan’s population above 10 million people before the next U.S. Census. It was part of the governor’s seventh State of the State address delivered at the state Capitol.      

It’s been 10 years since more than 10 million people called Michigan home. Thousands fled the state through two recessions, and the near-collapse of the auto industry.

flickr user Bernt Rostad / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

New census figures show Wayne County lost .4% of its population between July of 2014 and July of 2015.

Kurt Metzger, founder of Data Driven Detroit, says that's an improvement, after decades of steep decline.

And it holds promise for Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, who says he wants to be judged on things like people moving into the city.

Grand Rapids was the fastest growing metro area in Michigan according to new Census data.
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New Census figures show the Grand Rapids area is the fastest growing metro area in Michigan.

The numbers released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau say the Grand Rapids area, which includes Barry, Kent, Montcalm and Ottawa counties, grew by 0.9% from July 2014 to July 2015. 

Wayne County, conversely, had the nation’s second largest population decrease last year.

DETROIT (AP) - After years of declining population, Michigan's leading population expert says the industrial state finally seems to be on track toward growth again.

  The U.S. Census reported this month that Michigan's population rose a razor-thin 0.1 percent to 9.91 million in 2014, the third straight increase.

Right now, Michigan has 14 representatives in Congress, but that number could drop to 13. That's because Michigan's population is predicted to drop, again.

The U.S.  Census Bureau just published projections for state populations. Generally, they predict that population shifts will continue to follow the same trends as they have in the past. The Midwest will likely have lower populations, and the West will gain people.

User: Brother O'Mara / Flickr

Michigan jobless rate increases to 9 percent

"Michigan lost a net 7,000 jobs last month to bring the state’s unemployment rate to 9 percent. This is the third month in a row the state’s jobless rate has increased," Rick Pluta reports.

Census shows Michigan is doing well with retirement income, bad with health insurance and household income

New Census data sheds light on where Michigan stands nationally in regards to income, poverty and health insurance. As the Detroit Free Press reports, Michigan is among one of the top states for the number of people who have retirement income.

"Nearly 1 in 4 Michigan households has retirement income. . . Michigan’s median household income remains lower than the national average, while the state has fewer uninsured residents than the national average."

Pontiac Schools to have consent agreement, no emergency manager

"The Pontiac Board of Education has approved a consent agreement with the state to deal with a financial emergency in the district, avoiding the appointment of an emergency manager," the Associated Press reports.

User: Brother O'Mara / flickr

Petition to ban abortion coverage allowed to move forward

A state elections board has given the go-ahead to a petition drive by anti-abortion groups to prohibit insurance companies from covering abortion in basic health policies.  

“To get this measure before the Legislature, Right to Life needs to gather more than a quarter-million signatures. If it’s approved by the Legislature, the law could not be vetoed. If lawmakers don’t approve the initiative, it would go to the ballot for voter approval,” Rick Pluta reports.  

Michigan communities face population loss in 2012

The Detroit Free Press reports that roughly two out of three Michigan communities lost residents during 2011-2012, according to the US Census. But the state’s overall population grew slightly and most declines were modest in size. Michigan’s total population increased by more than 6,500 people between 2011-2012.

Wolf hunt referendum will be on ballot

A referendum on a state law allowing a wolf hunt in the Upper Peninsula will be on the ballot in November 2014.

“Petitions to let voters decide whether a law allowing a wolf hunt should remain on the books were certified yesterday by a state elections panel...But the Legislature and Governor Rick Snyder also approved a second law. It circumvents the referendum and still allows the state to establish wolf seasons.” Rick Pluta reports.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

For the first time the Grand Rapids region now has more than a million people.

The boost in the 2012 estimate comes in part because of changes to the way the US Census is calculates the population there. The Grand Rapids metro area now includes Ottawa County because more than a quarter of the people who live there commute to work in Grand Rapids.

Tim Mroz is with the economic development group The Right Place. He says the million mark is significant in attracting big companies to the region.

Homeless camp
Nicole Salow / Flickr

Michigan organizations that help homeless people are taking part in a “snap-shot” census. The federal government requires the overnight count every other year. It’s part of the Obama administration’s plan to eradicate homelessness by 2020.

The census must happen on a single night during the last ten days of January. The count includes people who are in shelters, transitional housing, and on the street.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

130 thousand Michigan businesses are getting something special in the mail this week.   Not a Christmas present, it’s a U.S. Census form.

The twice a decade Economic Census takes a snapshot of the state of American business.

Mark Wallace is the chief of the service sector statistics division for the U.S. Census Bureau.  He says employers are being asked to give detailed information on their annual sales, payroll, the products they make or merchandise or commodities they sell or services they provide.

Wallace says it’s a lot of data.

Household incomes are down while the number of people living in poverty is up. That’s according to new data from the US Census Bureau. Michigan’s numbers mirror national trends.

Michael Newman / flickr

State of Opportunity is covering tomorrow's announcement of poverty estimates by the Census Bureau. The numbers will show how many Americans lived in poverty during 2011.

user Andrew 94 / Flickr

We here at Michigan Radio know that nothing conjures the holiday spirit quite like numerical data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Bureau recently released a set of seasonaly-inspired  facts and figures.

Here are some numbers from their list:

  • Place names associated with the holiday season include North Pole, Alaska (population 2,117); Santa Claus, Ind. (2,481); Santa Claus, Ga. (165); Noel, Mo. (1,832); and — if you know about reindeer — the village of Rudolph, Wis. (439) and Dasher, Ga. (912). There is Snowflake, Ariz. (5,590) and a dozen places named Holly, including Holly Springs, Miss. (7,699) and Mount Holly, N.C. (13,656).
  • $27.2 billion---Retail sales by the nation’s department stores in December 2010. This represented a 44 percent jump from the previous month (when retail sales, many holiday-related, registered $18.8 billion). No other month-to-month increase in department store sales last year was as large.
  • 21,891---The number of electronic shopping and mail-order houses in business in 2009. These businesses, which employed 320,721 workers, are a popular source of holiday gifts
  • $983 million---The value of U.S. imports of Christmas tree ornaments from China between January and September 2011. China was the leading country of origin for such items. Similarly, China was the leading foreign source of artificial Christmas trees shipped to the United States ($79.7 million worth) during the same period.
  • 88---Number of establishments around the country that primarily manufactured dolls and stuffed toys in 2009. California led the nation with 15 locations.
  • 50 percent---Proportion of the nation’s spuds produced in Idaho and Washington in 2010. Potato latkes are always a crowd pleaser during Hanukkah.
  • $1.5 billion---The value of product shipments of candles in 2009 by the nation’s manufacturers. Many of these candles are lit during Hanukkah and Kwanzaa celebrations.
  • More than 312 million---The nation’s projected population as we ring in the New Year.

- John Klein Wilson, Michigan Radio Newsroom

A coalition of African-American and civil rights groups is expected to challenge Michigan’s new congressional and legislative district maps approved earlier this year by the Republican-controlled Legislature. The leader of a group of African-American lawmakers say he expects the lawsuit to be filed in federal court by the end of the month.

State Representative Fred Durhal chairs the Michigan Legislative Black Caucus. He says the new maps violate voting rights laws. He says that’s because they diminish the voting power of urban minority voters – and the evidence of that is how many Democratic incumbents from minority districts will be forced next year to run against each other.

“We want to see new lines drawn that are more fair than the lines that we have and that recognize and allow  all African-American and minority citizens in this state to be able to participate in the franchise.”

Republican leaders say a court challenge to any redistricting plan is normal, and was entirely expected. GOP leaders say the maps reflect population shifts, and that they were very careful to comply with the law.

A lawsuit is the only way to challenge the new political map. A technicality in the law makes it immune to a voter referendum.

U.S. Census Bureau

Today, the U.S. Census Bureau released its report "The Black Population: 2010."

The 2010 Census found that 14 percent of the U.S. population identified themselves as black, "either alone or in combination with one or more other races."

From a U.S. Census Bureau press release:

Of the total U.S. population of 308.7 million on April 1, 2010, 38.9 million people, or 13 percent, identified as black alone. In addition, 3.1 million people, or 1 percent, reported as black in combination with one or more other races. Together, these two groups comprise the black alone-or-in-combination population and totaled 42.0 million.

Detroit has highest concentration of blacks living in an urban area

Census officials report that of the major cities in the U.S. (cities with 100,000 people in them or more), Detroit had the highest percentage of people identifying as black, or black in combination with other races, at 84 percent.

Here are the top ten:

  1. Detroit, Michigan (84.3 percent)
  2. Jackson, Mississippi (80.1 percent)
  3. Miami Gardens, Florida (77.9 percent)
  4. Birmingham, Alabama (74.0 percent)
  5. Baltimore, Maryland (65.1 percent)
  6. Memphis, Tennessee (64.1 percent)
  7. New Orleans, Louisiana (61.2 percent)
  8. Flint, Michigan (59.5 percent)
  9. Montgomery, Alabama (57.4 percent)
  10. Savannah, Georgia (56.7 percent)

New census data show more Michigan residents are living in poverty.

The 2010 numbers from the American Community Survey released Thursday show the poverty rate rose from 16.2 percent in 2009 to 16.8 percent in Michigan. The percent of children under 18 in poverty in Michigan rose from 22.5 percent to 23.5 percent.

In Detroit, 37.6 percent were in poverty and 53.6 percent of children.

Median household income fell more than 1 percent from 2009 to $45,413 as more people worked in the lower-pay service industry than in manufacturing.

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U.S. Census Bureau

The U.S. Census Bureau released more data today cataloging the nation's median household income, poverty rate, and the percentage of people without health insurance coverage.

Census officials say this data represents the first full calendar year after the December 2007-June 2009 recession.

For health insurance coverage, the differences between 2009 and 2010 were not significant. It's estimated that 16.3 percent of the population is without coverage - about 49.9 million people.

Real median household income in the U.S. in 2010 was $49,445, - a 2.3 percent decline from the 2009 median.

Not surprisingly, the nation's poverty rate was up. "Poverty" is defined by the number of people in a household vs. their income. For example, a family of four that includes two children is considered in "poverty" if  their income is below $22,113.

From the U.S. Census Bureau:

The nation's official poverty rate in 2010 was 15.1 percent, up from 14.3 percent in 2009 ─ the third consecutive annual increase in the poverty rate. There were 46.2 million people in poverty in 2010, up from 43.6 million in 2009 ─ the fourth consecutive annual increase and the largest number in the 52 years for which poverty estimates have been published (emphasis added).

This information covers the first full calendar year after the December 2007-June 2009 recession. See section on the historical impact of recessions.

The Detroit News broke down what the numbers mean here in Michigan. They point out that more numbers will be out next week, which could drive the numbers higher:

For Michigan, the numbers hint at a substantial rise in poverty. In 2010, the survey showed 15.5 percent of Michigan residents in poverty, up from 14 percent in 2009. Compared to all states, Michigan's poverty rate is 20th, same as last year.

However, the poverty numbers released Tuesday are from the annual Current Population Survey (CPS) of 100,000 households in the country. Although state-level poverty numbers are being released, more accurate statistics at the state level will come out next week with the release of the 2010 American Community Survey (ACS), which surveys 3 million nationwide. Last year, the CPS indicated that 14 percent of Michigan residents were living in poverty; the ACS revealed that far more, 16.5 percent, were.

Over the last five years, Michigan's poverty numbers from the ACS have trended higher than the CPS.

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