Michigan Population 2018


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 2018, the state has an estimated population of 9.99 million.

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.

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 History

Michigan was part of the Northwest Territory established in 1787. When Indiana Territory was created in 1800 it included the west half of lower Michigan and nearly all of the Upper Peninsula, leaving the remainder of the present State in the Northwest Territory until 1802, when the eastern portion also became part of Indiana Territory. Michigan Territory was established in 1805, but nearly all the Upper Peninsula remained in Indiana or Illinois Territories. In 1818 Michigan Territory's boundaries were extended to include the rest of the Upper Peninsula and all of present-day Wisconsin and northeastern Minnesota. In 1834 the Territory was expanded still further to stretch to the Missouri River, including the rest of Minnesota, Iowa, and the eastern Dakotas. Michigan Territory included a northern strip of Indiana until 1816, and it also governed a narrow strip of what is now northwestern Ohio which was claimed by that State. This was ceded to Ohio in 1836, and Michigan was admitted as a State on January 26, 1837 with essentially its present boundaries.

In 1790 the Northwest Territory had no census coverage. In 1800 coverage of the present State included only the Detroit area (Wayne County, Northwest Territory) and some persons at "Machilamackanack," Indiana Territory. Coverage in 1810, 1820, and 1830 expanded in the Lower Peninsula and included population in the strip that was ceded to Ohio in 1836. The 1820 and 1830 censuses also included some settlements in present-day Wisconsin, shown under that State. The 1840 census covered all parts of the State.

Michigan Population Chart

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.

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.

Population Data via US Census

Michigan Growth Rate

Michigan Population Rank

Year Pop % Change

Michigan Facts

Michigan Population in 2018Source: User Criticalthinker on en.wikipedia

  • 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.

Michigan Population Density by County

Wayne County

  • Population1,756,598
  • Density2870.19 per sq km
  • Growth Since 2010-3.22%
  • State Rank1
  • % of State17.68%

Michigan Population Growth Rate by County

When evaluating Michigan's population by county, the state as a whole saw a balance of increases and decreases in population from 2010 to 2015. The highest increases in population by county were between 5% and 6%. Ottawa County along the state's western border posted the highest population increase at 5.99%. Just east of Ottawa County, Kent County had the 2nd highest rate of growth at 5.54%, while heading north finds the 3rd highest rate of growth during the 5-year period in Grand Traverse county (5.37%). Other counties saw smaller rates of population growth, such as Oakland and Marquette Counties.

The Michigan County that saw the biggest population decline between 2010 and 2015 is Ontonagon County, recording a 10.94% decrease. Gogebic County, just south of Ontonagon, saw a decline of almost 6%, while Montmorency County located more centrally also experienced a decline of 5.28%. The eastern border of Michigan saw mostly declines in population, including reduceds populations recorded in Huron, Wayne, and Alcona Counties.

Michigan Population Pyramid 2018

0k20k40k60k80kMichigan Male Population0k20k40k60k80kMichigan Female Population80757065605550454035302520151050

To compare Michigan to other states, click here.

Population by Race

Race Population
Black or African American1,363,336
Two or More Races306,220
Some Other Race118,621
American Indian and Alaska Native51,161
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander2,967

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. The state ranks 14th in terms of the percentage of African American residents, according to data from the 2010 Census. Meanwhile, Southeast Michigan, particularly Dearborn, has a great deal of people of Middle Eastern descent, with a large population of Arab people.

Race Data via US Census (2016 ACS 1-Year Survey)

Languages Spoken in Michigan

Language Population Percentage

This chart shows the top 10 languages that are spoken at home in Michigan. The data comes from the most recent release of the American Community Survey (ACS).

Michigan Economy

High school graduate or higher 89.3%
Bachelor's degree or higher 26.4%
With a Disability 10.2%
Persons Without Health Insurance 10%
In Civilian Labor Force 61.4%
In Civilian Labor Force (Female) 57.5%
Food Services Sales $17,962,356
Health Care Revenue $63,018,786,000
Manufacturers Shipments $238,892,383,000
Merchant Wholesaler Sales $115,704,903,000
Total Retail Sales $119,302,046,000
Total Retail Sales per Capita $12,071
Mean Travel Time to Work 24.1 minutes
Median Household Income $49,087
Per Capita Income (past 12 months) $26,143
Persons in Poverty 16.2%

This chart shows the employment and labor force participation rates in Michigan for residents over 16 years of age. The 2015 unemployment rate is 6% and the labor force participation rate is 61.3%.

Michigan Business

Total Nonemployer Establishments 696,730
All firms 834,087
Men-owned Firms 446,128
Women-owned Firms 306,986
Minority-owned Firms 158,946
Nonminority-owned Firms 657,237
Veternan-owned Firms 71,861
Nonveteran-owned Firms 733,517

Michigan Housing

Housing Units 4,532,233
Owner Occupied Housing Rate 71.5%
Median Value Owner Occupied Housing Units $120,200
Median Monthly Owner Costs (w/Mortgage) $1,295
Median Monthly Owner Costs (no mortgage) $463
Median Gross Rent $780
Building Permits 18,226
Households 3,827,880
Persons per Household 2.52 persons
Living in Same House 1 Year Ago 85.3%
Language Other than English Spoken at Home 9.1%
Data Sources
  1. Michigan Census Research Data Center
  2. US Census State Population Estimates - Most recent state estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program
  3. US Census County Population Estimates - Most recent county estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program
  4. American Community Survey (2009 - 2013)
  5. Census QuickFacts
  6. Historical Populations of States and Counties (1790 - 1990)