In the last decade alone the City of Detroit has lost 25 percent of its population, bringing the numbers down to their lowest levels since 1910.
New US Census data revealed the city’s population fell to 713,777 last year from 951,270 in 2000. The numbers reveal the severity the economy has taken on the city over the years, with the loss of jobs due to a decline in the US automatic industry.
Overall the State of Michigan dropped 0.6 percent to 9.88 million, showing an influx of people leaving the city for more affordable homes and available jobs in the suburbs.
Data showed the city now compares to the population levels of the 1950’s, but remains at the lowest level since the 1910 census showed a population of 285,704 people.
The decline in the automotive market, manufacturing jobs, and the steel industry have placed the city in ruins, nearing municipal bankruptcy.
“The census figures clearly show how crucial it is to reinvent Michigan,” Michigan Governor Rick Snyder said in a statement. “It is time for all of us to realign our expectations so that they reflect today’s realities. We cannot cling to the old ways of doing business.”
Snyder was recently elected on a platform of reinvigorating the state’s economy and making sever cuts to cities in order to save money and spur investment.
Detroit will be no exception to his plans. The city is in debt and with a declining population; the city’s budget will be even lower than previously expected. The municipality’s budget is calculated based on its population.
A renewed focus on keeping talent and recruiting new talent to Detroit and Michigan as a whole is now even more important.
“We cannot successfully transition to the ‘New Michigan’ if young, talented workers leave our state,” Snyder commented. “Michigan will not succeed if Detroit and other major cities don’t succeed.”