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Posted on Sun, Feb 6, 2011 : 9:34 a.m.

U.S. Census Bureau figures show population losses in Michigan, but Washtenaw County is an exception

By David Jesse

News from the U.S. Census Bureau has not been kind to Michigan, which saw a decline of 54,000 residents. That means the loss of one of the state's 15 seats in Congress, beginning in 2012.

But the Census Bureau’s county and local population counts, slated for release in the coming weeks, may offer a more complex picture, and even a bit of encouragement — especially for Washtenaw County municipalities.

One of the biggest gain areas is expected to be in Washtenaw County, where the University of Michigan and related business start-ups have, to an extent, sheltered the economy and brought new people to town.

Michael Land, 37, is among those who moved to the Ann Arbor area in the last decade.


Washtenaw County saw a population gain, while many other counties recorded fewer residents in the 2010 census.

“I came for grad school, then got a job, then got laid off, then got a different job,” he said. “I’ve got friends who live across Michigan who are having to move away in order to find a job. I’ve been lucky.”

In December, the Census Bureau reported its 2010 counts for states and the nation as a whole. Those figures showed Michigan’s population declined by about 0.6 percent, to just under 9.9 million people.

Local figures, intended for use in drawing new congressional and legislative districts, are to come out in February or March, though a precise time has not been announced.

In Washtenaw County, the city of Ann Arbor dropped about 1,700 residents, while surrounding townships — including Pittsfield, Scio and Ypsilanti Township[ — saw increases in population. Both Scio and Ypsilanti Township gained more than 3,500 residents apiece in the last decade, and Pittsfield gained almost 4,500.

At the county level, Census Bureau estimates predict the largest growth in residents will be in Macomb, Kent, Livingston, Washtenaw and Ottawa counties, each with an increase of 20,000 or more.

Read the Booth Newspapers special report on the U.S. Census and what it means for Michigan:


Vivienne Armentrout

Mon, Feb 7, 2011 : 12:10 a.m.

Thanks, MyOpinion. Your link led me to an even nicer one, <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> &quot;The New American FactFinder is your official source for Census 2010 and Census 2000 data. Data from the American Community Survey, the Economic Census, and Population Estimates will be moved to the NEW American FactFinder in the coming months.&quot;


Sun, Feb 6, 2011 : 9:21 p.m.

The Census Bureau has come out with new estimates for the US/state populations for April 2010: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> However, what everyone is really waiting for are the redistricting data. So far, 5 states have their data (LA, MS, NJ, VA, VT). And, we know which states are getting their data next week: AR, IN, IA, MD. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> One can also access the data via an FTP site (quickest) or American FactFinder (new version only): <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>

David Cahill

Sun, Feb 6, 2011 : 8:14 p.m.

The factthat Ann Arbor's population is estimated to have dropped by 1,700 over the past decade is one more reason to doubt the wisdom of fomenting out-of-scale residential developments here.


Sun, Feb 6, 2011 : 9:57 p.m.

People shouldn't be told where to live. the problem is that people can move a mile away, have great schools, and lower taxes. Ann Arbor should be making itself more attractive to residents rather than driving families away.


Sun, Feb 6, 2011 : 8:01 p.m.

If you want to cut down on parking and traffic in Ann Arbor, push for a city income tax. That ought to clear things out.

Ben Connor Barrie

Sun, Feb 6, 2011 : 7:42 p.m.

Is there any information on why Ann Arbor's population dropped?


Sun, Feb 6, 2011 : 6:10 p.m.

Build a homeless shelter and they will come ! I suppose its &quot;good&quot; for the Economy.. But what is the tax base doing? Lets not hear about headcount. What is headcount times income doing? That's the answer to the question no Democrat wants to ask.

John B.

Sun, Feb 6, 2011 : 6:19 p.m.

Yeah, all of those new residents in Scio Twp. live in homeless shelters, that's for sure....

Jay Thomas

Sun, Feb 6, 2011 : 5:06 p.m.

The growth in the Asian community over my lifetime is amazing.


Sun, Feb 6, 2011 : 4:55 p.m.

State worker pensions are not the problem(so much for the middle class)how about welfare/throwing wasteful money at Detroit/ upper management state pensions and llifetime benefits for 5 years on the job/too many school districts/giving money to the u of m college/ counting to much on a cigarette and gas tax/large corporation having tax shelters/&amp; I will pay tons of money to social security that I will never see, so republicans can start more wars, that kill the economy! oops my sunday two cents. Also my 401k will never being anything with white collar wallstreet ripping off the market. I think lotto tickets would be better then trusting wallstreet.


Sun, Feb 6, 2011 : 7:04 p.m.

I would disagree with your comment on pension. The unfunded liability in state worker pensions and health care is in the 10's of billions. I would agree with you that we need to reduced the number of school districts.


Sun, Feb 6, 2011 : 4:46 p.m.

The news Washtenaw is growing is bad news. The municipals may masticate and flex, but the citizens are left on the State St, Washtenaw Ave, and Main Street parking lots EVERY DAY; instead of enjoying their liberty and/in community. The reported &quot;growth&quot; is from wanton zoning temerity. Every time I am stuck in traffic here, I always ask myself what perk was slid to get the commissioners to so BLINDLY overeach and burden vexation on the public who voted them in. Ann Arbor grows only because the zoning commission puts personal ambitions above ANY public interest whatsoever.

John B.

Sun, Feb 6, 2011 : 6:17 p.m.

I wish I knew what you were trying to say.

Tom Joad

Sun, Feb 6, 2011 : 4:35 p.m.

Michigan and the rest of the country have to deal with the inescapable fact that the economy has contracted to the point where the demand for labor isn't there. Many millions of jobs in the pre-bust economy are never coming back. We will have structural unemployment over 10% and the real rate probably higher. As oil prices increase more jobs will be shed. People built lives, homes, families and expectations on a model of reckless spending that is quite simply gone.

joe golder

Sun, Feb 6, 2011 : 4:59 p.m.

You 're spot on.


Sun, Feb 6, 2011 : 3:59 p.m.

In most cases the first people to leave are the people the state needs to keep, as they are typically higher paid and have important skills. Young college grads (with no house acting as an anchor or roots) are a huge loss. Higly paid engineers, entrepenuers, accountants etc. and with portable jobs are enormous losses. These are the people that create business and value that employ unskilled labor and act as the driving force in any manufacturing or knowledge based economy. But who can blame them when a state govt. attempts to take wealth from them and shift it to other people, state worker pensions etc. It is easy for them to leave so.... they do. The flight of Comerica, Pfizer, Electrolux etc. also illustrates the issues with running businesses in Michigan. That being said, I am bullish about the future, there are a core group of people and companies that can rebuild this state, attract investment, and keep people in this state.


Sun, Feb 6, 2011 : 5:21 p.m.

I believe that the myth that Pfizer left because of preceived poor business climate in Michigan has been thoroughly debunked here many times before. But since it doesn't fit into your ideologic picture you conveniently continue to make up your own facts.

joe golder

Sun, Feb 6, 2011 : 4:59 p.m.

I wish I could share your optimism.

Tom Whitaker

Sun, Feb 6, 2011 : 3:47 p.m.

Vivienne is correct. These are the same estimates that have been available, and often cited by public officials and others, for quite some time now. If the actual figures have not been released and didn't somehow get hold of a leaked copy, then what is the story here? WHO is expecting gains in Washtenaw County population that are contrary to the estimates or the previously released state-wide figure?

Vivienne Armentrout

Sun, Feb 6, 2011 : 3:18 p.m.

Thank you for including the links to spreadsheets for population estimates. As careful reading of the story indicates, these are not the official Census 2010 counts, but merely estimates. Where will the full results be available, when they are announced? A link to that site would be very helpful.

David Jesse

Sun, Feb 6, 2011 : 5:53 p.m.

They are announced sometime in the next few months. The Census is rolling the numbers out state by state. No word yet on when Michigan's will be released.