Michigan Population 2016

Situated in the heart of the Great Lakes, Michigan is one of the largest states in the US both in terms of land mass and population. As of 2016, the state has an estimated population of 9,922,576.

The last confirmed set of population figures date from the countrywide census of 2010 when it was declared that there were 9,883,640 people living in Michigan. Those figures from 2010 represented a small loss of less than 1% compared to the numbers declared at the 2000 census.

In 2015, it was estimated by the US Census Bureau that the population had risen to 9,922,576. This reflects a less than 1% increase in population since the 2010 Census, which puts Michigan in 45th place in terms of population growth.

With a total land mass of 96,716 square miles, (250,493 square kilometers), Michigan is the eleventh biggest state in the USA by area. The land is fairly densely packed, although not exceptionally so -- for every square mile of Michigan territory, there is an average of 174 people (67.1 per square kilometer). Those figures leave Michigan ranking 18th in terms of population density.

The racial breakdown of Michigan's population, according to 2015 US Census Bureau data is:

  • 79.7% White (75.6% non-Hispanic)
  • 14.2% Black or African American
  • 0.7% American Indian
  • 3.0% Asian
  • 2.3% Multiracial

A large majority of the population in Michigan is Caucasian, with ancestries that include German, Belgian, British, Polish and Irish. The Upper Peninsula of Michigan has a fairly large population of people of Scandinavian, especially Finnish, descent, while Western Michigan has a notable presence of Dutch residents, which is the highest concentration of any state.

African Americans, who came to Detroit and other northern regions during the early 20th century, still represent a large majority of the population of Detroit and nearby areas like Flint. Meanwhile, Southeast Michigan, particularly Dearborn, has a great deal of people of Middle Eastern descent, with a large population of Arab people.

Michigan Population History

In 1800, the population of Michigan was declared at 3,757 and over the next 25 years, the numbers grew at a slow but steady rate.

In 1825, however, a new route into Michigan was carved out -- courtesy of the Erie Canal -- and this brought an influx of farmers, merchants and other settlers into the state. The development had a clear effect on the population, and in 1830, numbers had swelled to 28,004, which was an increase of over 275% when compared to the 1820 Census figures.

The biggest Michigan population spike was yet to come, however, and just ten years later in 1840, numbers had exploded by 658% to a new high of 212,267. More significant increases were to follow, although none quite as mind-blowing as the growth from the 1830s. By the start of the 20th century, the census of 1900 showed that the population of Michigan had grown to 2,420,982.

Similar rapid growth continued throughout the 20th century (during the pre-war years, growth was regularly at 30% per decade), fueled by the growth of the auto industry in Detroit. By the end of the century, it had started to slow down to the point where, at the last census, the first population decrease in Michigan's history was recorded.

Largest Cities in Michigan

The largest city in Michigan is the Motor City, Detroit. The 2010 census confirmed that it was home to 713,862 people. This number has decreased to just over 677,000 according to 2015 estimates. If you take a look at the population of Detroit, it’s clear that this is where much of the state’s demographic problems lie. At its peak in 1950, there were 1.85 million people living in the city. In 2016, that number has declined by over one million people. Many of those leaving the city are actually not moving far -- they move out toward the suburbs. But following the city's bankruptcy filing and urban decay, it’s likely that some are packing up completely and moving out of state, which doesn’t help the state’s overall population figures.

Other large cities in Michigan include Grand Rapids (pop: 195,097), Warren (pop: 135,358), Sterling Heights (pop: 132,052), Lansing (pop: 115,056), Ann Arbor (pop: 117,070), and Flint (pop: 98,310).

Michigan Population Projections

According to the US Census, Michigan remains the only state in the country to see a population drop over the last decade, which is mostly caused by the sharp decline in the state's auto industry, which has indirectly led to the bankruptcy declaration from the city of Detroit in 2013. The state's labor force has remained heavily dependent on the stagnant US auto industry, and Michigan's declining population runs against regional trends.

Some economists are hopeful that Michigan can push for new tax incentives to encourage new business in the state, but only time will tell how long it takes Michigan to rebound from what has been a bad decade.

The next Census in 2020 is going to be difficult to predict -- it's quite possible that there will be a continued slow decline in population. Alternatively, if the state's government tries to boost immigration and business growth, a change may occur and there could potentially be a slight rise in population. It is estimated that the total Michigan population will grow 7.6% from 2000 to 2030, adding an additional 755,728 people to the population by the 2030 Census.

Michigan Population in 2016 Source: User Criticalthinker on en.wikipedia

Michigan Facts

  • The first permanent settlement in Michigan was established by Father Jacques Marquette in 1668.
  • By 1700, the area had been further explored, and trading posts and missions have been built on the Upper and Lower Peninsulas.
  • Wayne County is the oldest county in the state. It was established in 1815.
  • Michigan settlers frequently raided American settlements during the Revolutionary War.
  • Michigan has the second-highest amount of shoreline in the United States, after Alaska.
  • The first soda was made in Detroit in 1866. The soda, ginger ale, was made completely by accident.

Population Data via US Census

Year Population % Change Rank
2020 9,953,926 0.06% 10
2019 9,947,656 0.06% 10
2018 9,941,386 0.06% 10
2017 9,935,116 0.06% 10
2016 9,928,846 0.06% 10
2015 9,922,576 0.06% 10
2014 9,916,306 0.16% 10
2013 9,900,506 0.14% 9
2012 9,886,879 0.10% 9
2011 9,876,589 -0.07% 8
2010 9,883,640 -0.06% 8
2000 9,938,444 0.67% 8
1990 9,295,297 0.04% 8
1980 9,262,078 0.43% 8
1970 8,875,083 1.27% 7
1960 7,823,194 2.07% 7
1950 6,371,766 1.94% 7
1940 5,256,106 0.82% 7
1930 4,842,325 2.82% 7
1920 3,668,412 2.70% 7
1910 2,810,173 1.50% 8
1900 2,420,982 1.46% 9
1890 2,093,889 2.49% 9
1880 1,636,937 3.29% 9
1870 1,184,059 4.68% 13
1860 749,113 6.54% 16
1850 397,654 6.48% 20
1840 212,267 22.45% 24
1830 28,004 14.15% 28
1820 7,452 4.58% 27
1810 4,762 2.40% 26
1800 3,757 0.00% 21
Michigan Population by Race
Race Population Percentage
White 7,949,497 80.43%
Black or African American 1,416,067 14.33%
American Indian and Alaska Native 68,396 0.69%
Asian 243,062 2.46%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 3,442 0.03%
Two or more races 203,176 2.06%
Languages Spoken in Michigan
Language Population Percentage
Population 5 years and over 9,300,837 100.00%
Spanish 270,695 2.90%
German 39,505 0.40%
Chinese 29,960 0.30%
French 24,590 0.30%
Syriac 24,315 0.30%
Albanian 20,060 0.20%
Bengali 13,795 0.10%
Romanian 11,375 0.10%
Serbocroatian 8,930 0.10%
Michigan County Populations
County Population Rank
Wayne County 1,759,335 1
Oakland County 1,242,304 2
Macomb County 864,840 3
Kent County 636,369 4
Genesee County 410,849 5
Washtenaw County 358,880 6
Ingham County 286,085 7
Ottawa County 279,955 8
Kalamazoo County 260,263 9
Saginaw County 193,307 10
Livingston County 187,316 11
Muskegon County 172,790 12
St. Clair County 159,875 13
Jackson County 159,494 14
Berrien County 154,636 15
Monroe County 149,568 16
Calhoun County 134,314 17
Allegan County 114,625 18
Eaton County 108,801 19
Bay County 105,659 20
Lenawee County 98,573 21
Grand Traverse County 91,636 22
Lapeer County 88,373 23
Midland County 83,632 24
Clinton County 77,390 25
Van Buren County 75,077 26
Isabella County 70,698 27
Shiawassee County 68,619 28
Marquette County 67,215 29
Ionia County 64,223 30
Montcalm County 62,945 31
St. Joseph County 61,018 32
Barry County 59,314 33
Tuscola County 53,777 34
Cass County 51,657 35
Newaygo County 47,948 36
Hillsdale County 45,941 37
Branch County 43,664 38
Mecosta County 43,067 39
Gratiot County 41,540 40
Sanilac County 41,475 41
Chippewa County 38,033 42
Houghton County 36,380 43
Delta County 36,377 44
Emmet County 33,161 45
Wexford County 33,003 46
Huron County 31,883 47
Clare County 30,553 48
Alpena County 28,803 49
Mason County 28,783 50
Charlevoix County 26,238 51
Oceana County 26,105 52
Dickinson County 25,788 53
Cheboygan County 25,427 54
Iosco County 25,345 55
Gladwin County 25,164 56
Manistee County 24,461 57
Otsego County 24,253 58
Roscommon County 23,898 59
Menominee County 23,548 60
Antrim County 23,154 61
Osceola County 23,058 62
Leelanau County 21,981 63
Ogemaw County 20,937 64
Benzie County 17,457 65
Kalkaska County 17,260 66
Gogebic County 15,431 67
Arenac County 15,261 68
Missaukee County 14,903 69
Crawford County 13,801 70
Presque Isle County 12,841 71
Lake County 11,424 72
Iron County 11,348 73
Mackinac County 10,890 74
Alcona County 10,349 75
Alger County 9,383 76
Montmorency County 9,259 77
Baraga County 8,575 78
Oscoda County 8,251 79
Schoolcraft County 8,173 80
Luce County 6,415 81
Ontonagon County 6,007 82
Keweenaw County 2,168 83