As the 2010 state-by-state census data continues to roll out, the new numbers offer more detail on changes in Michigan. In "Detroit Census Confirms a Desertion Like No Other," New York Times reporter Katherine Seelye examines the scope of the population decline. Social Explorer's Andrew Beveridge helped to explain the trend:
Laying bare the country’s most startling example of modern urban collapse, census data on Tuesday showed that Detroit’s population had plunged by 25 percent over the last decade. It was dramatic testimony to the crumbling industrial base of the Midwest, black flight to the suburbs and the tenuous future of what was once a thriving metropolis.
It was the largest percentage drop in history for any American city with more than 100,000 residents, apart from the unique situation of New Orleans, where the population dropped by 29 percent after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, said Andrew A. Beveridge, a sociologist at Queens College.
Detroit is the only city in the United States where the population has climbed above one million but also fallen below one million, Mr. Beveridge said. And because of the magnitude of Detroit’s population drain, Michigan is the only state to register a net population loss since 2000. Michigan’s population fell by 0.6 percent while the nation’s as a whole grew by 9.7 percent.
The reasons for Detroit’s losses over the last decade include the travails of the auto industry and the collapse of the industrial-based economy.
“There’s been an erosion of the nation’s industrial base, and this is the most dramatic evidence of it,” Mr. Beveridge said.