Census finds big population drops in Michigan's Upper Peninsula

Mackinac Bridge file photo
Posted at 5:39 AM, Aug 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-13 05:39:13-04

(AP) — Figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau showed some of Michigan’s largest percentage population losses were in the state’s Upper Peninsula, while three of the state's four most populous counties gained people.

The U.P. for years has struggled through job losses tied to downturns in the manufacturing and mining industries.

Luce County along Lake Superior in the eastern U.P. had a population loss of 19.5% from 2010 to 2020, while Ontonagon County along the lake in the northwest U.P. dropped 14.2% over that time, according to data released Thursday.

Gogebic, the westernmost county, saw its population drop by 12.5%.

Census figures released in April showed that, as a whole, Michigan grew slightly in population to 10,077,331 in 2020, but the increase was not enough to stop the state from losing a U.S. House seat.

Meanwhile, Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and Kent — in that order — remained the state's most populous counties over the past decade.

Only Wayne, which has Detroit as its largest city, lost people, dipping from 1,820,584 in 2010 to 1,793,561 last year.

Oakland County, north and northwest of Detroit, showed the biggest numerical gain of just over 72,000. Oakland had 1,274,395 residents last year and 1,202,362 in 2010.

The 657,974 people living in Kent County in western Michigan in 2020 were 55,352 more than in 2010, while Macomb County had a bump of more than 30,000, growing from 840,978 to 881,217 over the decade.