City of Detroit Population Grows for First Time Since 1957

Detroit has gained population for the first time in more than six decades, according to new population estimates released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau.
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U.S. Census Bureau estimates show Detroit has gaining population for the first time in more than six decades. // Stock photo

Detroit has gained population for the first time in more than six decades, according to new population estimates released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

According to the estimate, Detroit gained 1,852 residents between July 1, 2022 and July 1, 2023, marking the first time since 1957 Detroit has not lost population in the eyes of the Census Bureau. Last year’s official (adjusted) Census population for Detroit was 631,366. As of the new Census Bureau estimate, Detroit’s population now stands at 633,218.

As a result of its gains, Detroit now is the 26th most populous city in America, up three notches from 29th place a year ago. According to U.S. Census data, Detroit now is larger than Memphis, Tenn. (29); Lousiville, Ky, (28); and Portland, Ore. (27).

The city also led the state of Michigan in total population growth in 2023.

“We have known for some time that Detroit’s population has been growing, but this is the first time the U.S. Census Bureau has confirmed it in its official estimate,” says Mayor Mike Duggan. “This day is for the Detroiters who stayed and for everyone who has put in the hard work to make Detroit a great place to live.”

Prior to this estimate, the Census Bureau has shown a population loss in Detroit every year since the estimate released on Sept. 12, 1958, which showed a loss of 10,000 residents. The original U.S. Census population estimate for 2022 was 620,376 but was later revised to 631,218 following challenges from the Duggan administration.

The population increase comes amid a streak of positive news for Detroit recently, including:

  • $1 billion invested in more than 4,600 units of affordable housing over the past five years.
  • Job growth with more than 25,000 more Detroiters employed since 2014.
  • A return to investment grade bond status for the first time since 2009.
  • $3 billion in added wealth for Detroit’s black homeowners since 2014, according to a University of Michigan study.
  • Reductions in crime beating national trends, including the fewest homicides in 57 years.
  • Successfully hosting the largest ever NFL Draft at 775,000 people over three days.