Michigan’s population rise slows; congressional seat at risk
DETROIT (AP) — Michigan’s population grew by less than 3,000 residents last year, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau that signals the state remains on track to lose one congressional seat following the 2020 count.
The figures from the once-a-decade census released Wednesday showed an increase of 2,785 state residents, which brings its population total to 9,986,857, The Detroit News reported. Michigan appears on pace to lose a congressional seat due to its growth being surmounted by other states, according to an online apportionment tool from the University of Michigan Population Studies Center.
Michigan lost one seat after the 2000 and 2010 counts; two after 1990 and one after the 1980 census. Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina and Oregon would gain one seat, while Texas would gain two, according to the latest estimates.
In recent years, Michigan’s population gains have been much larger: 10,958 residents in 2018 and 22,543 in 2017, according to the data.
The state’s 0.03% uptick lags the nation’s average growth at 0.5% this year. Michigan’s gains are dwarfed by western and southern states such as Arizona and Texas.
Michigan peaked at 10,055,315 residents in 2004, according to census data.
One factor curtailing the state’s growth is women are having fewer babies. Michigan’s births are at their lowest levels since 1941, said Kurt Metzger, a demographer and director emeritus of Data Driven Detroit.
State data shows 110,093 births last year, dropping 28.1% since 153,080 births in the 1990’s, Metzger said.
Eric Guthrie, the state’s demographer, said via email that seeing continued growth was positive, “especially considering Michigan was the only state to lose population between 2000 and 2010.”
However, future growth will rely on bringing more residents to Michigan, he said.
“Current generations are seeing lower fertility rates, and we have a large generation that will begin to see the effects of mortality, which will limit growth,” Guthrie wrote.
Nationwide, international migration continued to plummet, falling 15% to 595,348 between 2018 and 2019. That trend is also happening in Michigan; the increase was only 13,146 residents in 2019, a drop of 37% since 2017.