Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2007 Demographics and Population in Detroit/Big Cities Previous Next
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Emu_steve
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Username: Emu_steve

Post Number: 133
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Sunday, February 11, 2007 - 9:31 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Folks have a tendency to look at the population of big cities in the aggregate (i.e., total population) and say: is it rising or falling?

Rising pop is usually considered a + and falling pop a - .

But is it really?

Demographic uses a simple mathematic equation to the effect:

Total Population = Base population + births - deaths + net migration (can be + or - depending if more folks move in or out of the city).

Most big cities are not havens for young families (they are heading further and further out) so births will be down. Deaths are probably up.

That should lead to a predictable downsizing of big cities.

Now the big question:

Are many new households (could be a single person, or a couple) being formed in the city?

That is a measure of the vitality of the city and also a + for the city (singles and childless couples don't add to the expense of education and a lot of services).

Bottom line:

Are cities like Detroit gaining HOUSEHOLDS while they are still losing population?

I'd suggest the MOST important demographic question is the number of NEW households in a city.

This is the thing folks talk about with empty nesters moving in from the 'burbs and young professionals moving downtown.

I think folks on this board are tuned in to this.

I think most outsiders just look at total population and say, "Detroit (or any other rust belt or Eastern city) is still losing population. It must be dying..."

Miss the new household formation and miss a big story.



(Message edited by emu_steve on February 11, 2007)
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Emu_steve
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Username: Emu_steve

Post Number: 134
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Sunday, February 11, 2007 - 10:01 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I might add that I grew up in a 'burb which is now getting older (I went to church when I was in town and the pews were empty - very few children).

Lot of older 'burbs have many empty nesters or families with SMALLER families then did folks 20 or 30 years ago.

and they are not getting the new household formation that I think we are and will see in Detroit (this should pick up with the new housing along the river).

In a sense, these older 'burbs might be in more trouble then revitalizing big cities.

P.S. I believe Dearborn has done a good job of not getting old.
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Miketoronto
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Username: Miketoronto

Post Number: 489
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Sunday, February 11, 2007 - 10:25 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

All built up places go through the demographic change as they mature.

Toronto's inner city lost over 100,000 people from the late 70's-80's. Not because people fled. But just because the kids grew up, got married, and needed housing, and the housing was only being built outside city limits. So the kids leave, the parents stay in the city.

Now as these older people die off or move into condos, families are again moving into the inner city. Pop goes up again.

Its just a natural cycle that happens in many cities that are built out.

Now its the older suburbs that are facing problems. Many of Toronto's inner suburban areas, and even older parts of the outter suburbs are facing a problem where all the homes have elderly couples, and no kids, and now there is possible school closings that may come into effect. But again, once new families move back in, then you will need the schools, etc.

So its all a cycle. Even my street is full of old people now. I think we have like three homes with kid on our block now. Everyone is old couples :-)
20 years ago when I was small, the street was packed with kids.
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Emu_steve
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Username: Emu_steve

Post Number: 135
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Sunday, February 11, 2007 - 10:37 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Agree, Mike.

It seems to happen in Detroit, in Toronto, in Washington, etc.

In a previous post I used the perm 'perpetual' to describe cities (and someone pointed out some exceptions) but I was trying to do the birth, maturation, decline, revitalization, etc. of big cities.

BTW, I remember in the 60s and 70s when many families left Detroit and were replaced by families moving in from outside of Michigan seeking public assistance benefits which were greater then in the states from which they came.

I don't know how many new households will move into Detroit along the riverfront, in downtown, in mid-town, or any other 'hot' spot in the next few years, but Detroit should realize that they are the seeds of growth.
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Detroitplanner
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Username: Detroitplanner

Post Number: 958
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Sunday, February 11, 2007 - 11:26 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I don't think there has been a great increase in household even with all of the construction activity. You go out into the neighborhoods and you will find a lot of empty houses.

A lot still needs to be done to right the ship. I'm less concerned about the center than about the neighborhoods.

Ten years ago I had the exact opposite opinion.
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Dannaroo
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Username: Dannaroo

Post Number: 28
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Sunday, February 11, 2007 - 1:17 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

While I agree that it is important to look at "number of households" when talking about demographics in major cities, taken alone, the overall number of households can be very misleading.

Old folks living alone, can constitute their own household just as a young professional in their first home is a household as well. I guess what I am trying to say is that if you are looking at number of households, you also need to look at other demographics too (like median age, housing values, number of school age children, etc.); if the number of households are increasing, but median age is rising fast, is this progress? While more households may equate to more possible property tax revenues, less people living in a city could also lead to less sales tax revenues, less children in the public schools and less funding from the state.
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Dannaroo
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Username: Dannaroo

Post Number: 29
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Sunday, February 11, 2007 - 1:34 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Also, FWIW, both total population and number of households has fallen in Detroit according to each census since 1970 (granted, I did not look at specific tracts such as downtown or some in Southwest Detroit which have seen some growth recently).
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Pinewood73
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Username: Pinewood73

Post Number: 21
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Sunday, February 11, 2007 - 1:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

According to SEMCOG

Total Households April 1, 2000 - 375,096
Total Households Feb. 1, 2007 - 361,955

Occupied Households April 2000 - 336,428
Occupied Households Feb. 2007 - 303,586

Average Household Size 2.77
Unoccupied Households increased almost 20K

If average house in Detroit is about 75k, then every 300k condo being build Downtown can offset the loss in property taxes of four 75k houses leaving the city.


http://www.semcog.org/Data/Pop ulationEstimates/assets/po0207 .pdf
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Dannaroo
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Username: Dannaroo

Post Number: 31
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Sunday, February 11, 2007 - 1:49 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

If average house in Detroit is about 75k, then every 300k condo being build Downtown can offset the loss in property taxes of four 75k houses leaving the city.



The problem with this is that houses are not taxed on their sale price, but on their assessed value. Also, how many of these new condos are eligible for some property tax abatements compared to how many of the existing homes in established neighborhoods?

(Message edited by Dannaroo on February 11, 2007)
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Emu_steve
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Username: Emu_steve

Post Number: 136
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Sunday, February 11, 2007 - 1:52 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I believe the next decennial census ('10) will give us some real good clues as to what is happing in big cities like Detroit, Washington, etc.

Maybe Danindc can help, but I think the latest population estimate from the Census Bureau has D.C.'s population GROWING again.

That could be the first evidence of turnarounds of an older central city.

BTW, D.C. with all of its construction of office building and housing turned a 300M buck surplus for the last fiscal year. D.C. used to be a financial basket case.

There is hope for older central cities.
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 2491
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Sunday, February 11, 2007 - 2:14 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The Census figures indicated a drop to 836K at EOY 2005. If this loss were linear from EOY 2000 (most likely wasn't), that means an annual decrease of 23K (~2000 per month). For a linear drop-rate, the February Detroit population would now be about 811K, with two more years of job losses predicted for the Metro area.

A good population indicator for September/October would be to monitor the enrollments in the Detroit charter schools (plus those schools that accept Detroiters) and DPS.
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Emu_steve
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Username: Emu_steve

Post Number: 137
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Sunday, February 11, 2007 - 2:19 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Detroitplanner:

"don't think there has been a great increase in household even with all of the construction activity. You go out into the neighborhoods and you will find a lot of empty houses.

A lot still needs to be done to right the ship. I'm less concerned about the center than about the neighborhoods.

Ten years ago I had the exact opposite opinion."

This is a very common. I've seen it with other cities.

Much money and effort was spent trying to save the downtown and the neighborhoods were last to see the money and improvement.

Am I correct that without the revitalization of downtown Detroit there wouldn't be much interest in Mid-town or the riverfront???

As other posters have noted, if the downtown dies the whole city dies. The resurgence is not from neighborhoods --> downtowns.

Think of Baltimore. If the Inner Harbor wasn't there what hope would there be for Balto?
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Eastside_charlie
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Username: Eastside_charlie

Post Number: 4
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Sunday, February 11, 2007 - 2:21 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Don't forget the "un_accounted population"
Facts: Detroit is losing population to people who want better and safer streets and schools low taxes.
Suburbs are losing people to a lower birth rate and kids moving to other states that "get it" and not having three companies dictate economic policy.
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 2492
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Sunday, February 11, 2007 - 2:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The 2000 Census is based on an enumeration, as per the Constitution, whereas the interim 2005 Census figure is based on statistics and guesstimates.
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Emu_steve
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Username: Emu_steve

Post Number: 138
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Sunday, February 11, 2007 - 2:41 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

LY:

What the '10 census will not show is if the population loss has stablized or even turned around.

I agree population loss in a city like Detroit is NOT linear.

Let's use your numbers of 24K/year as the average.

Let's assume it was 30K/year the first part of this decade and say now 12K/year.

Now is it possible that once all the housing goes up on the riverfront that the population loss could virtually ground to a halt (say < 5K / year)????

And who knows it is possible that in '09 that # of households might be up over '06.

I'm not trying to paint too rosy a scenario but I don't think the sky is falling either.
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Danny
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Username: Danny

Post Number: 5509
Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Monday, February 12, 2007 - 12:46 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The prediction for Detroit 2010 Census should show that the population would decrease to 810,000 people. More black Detroit families will flight to the suburbs. Fewer hip cool skinny white kids will migrate from the suburbs to parts of Midtown and downtown areas. Hispanics will continue to grow in the SW side of Detroit and the Arabs and East Indians will continue to grow in some parts of border ghettohoods near the suburbs.
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 2498
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Monday, February 12, 2007 - 12:56 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It's probably at 810K right now. Then you believe the population will remain steady at 810K for the remainder of this decade, right?
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Danindc
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Username: Danindc

Post Number: 2129
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, February 12, 2007 - 12:58 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Emu_steve--you are correct. I haven't seen the latest numbers, but DC's population has stabilized at around 575,000 and is expected to show some growth in the 2010 Census. Most of the population migrating out of the city are long-time residents who are cashing out on rising property values and buying a bigger house in the suburbs.

The District has had a balanced budget for ten consecutive years, including this year's $300M surplus, and over $1 billion in the bank.

The one thing that confuses me when discussing cities, though, is the desire to attract families. Only 25% of the U.S. population has school-age children--why only cater to a minority of the market potential? These are also the same households who consume the most in services, since schools are typically the largest expenditure by local governments. Young professionals, on the other hand, generate quite a bit of tax revenue, and have a very low demand for services. If you're looking for revenues to outpace growing expenditures, trying to lure families is probably the *worst* idea.

Just something to think about.
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Professorscott
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Username: Professorscott

Post Number: 173
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Monday, February 12, 2007 - 1:15 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I believe the 2005 Census estimate for Detroit was about 887,000. That's a far cry from 810,000.

Having said that, Detroit's massive population loss since the early 1950s can hardly be explained by nationwide phenomena such as smaller household size. The fact is the metro area population has increased a bit since the 1950s while Detroit's population has gone down dramatically.

The good news is that since Detroit decayed from the center out, and the center seems to be rebuilding at a reasonable pace, just maybe the rebuilding will also flow out from the center. This, though, will rely on Detroit being able to compete for all sorts of household and family types. There aren't enough urban-living yuppie types in Michigan to make up for the million and a half people Detroit lost in the last half-century.

So the question is: can the City compete? Will the City even try?
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 2500
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Monday, February 12, 2007 - 1:24 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

I believe the 2005 Census estimate for Detroit was about 887,000. That's a far cry from 810,000.


The EOY 2005 Census figure was reported as being 836K in the local media. That meant an annual (linear) population drop of 23K since EOY 2000. If more Census data were available for the years between 2000 and 2005, then a regression analysis could give a better indication of the current depopulating trend which might be extrapolated from the data past 2005.

(Message edited by LivernoisYard on February 12, 2007)
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Milwaukee
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Username: Milwaukee

Post Number: 788
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Monday, February 12, 2007 - 1:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

http://factfinder.census.gov/s ervlet/ACSSAFFFacts?_event=Sea rch&geo_id=&_geoContext=&_stre et=&_county=Detroit&_cityTown= Detroit&_state=&_zip=&_lang=en &_sse=on&pctxt=fph&pgsl=010

836K as of 2005 according to the Census Bureau.
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Pinewood73
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Username: Pinewood73

Post Number: 22
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Monday, February 12, 2007 - 3:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Wow.

The 836K figure is quite a bit different than SEMCOG's 862K.

http://www.semcog.org/Data/Pop ulationEstimates/assets/po0207 .pdf

I wonder how each agency figures out the totals?
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Danindc
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Username: Danindc

Post Number: 2130
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, February 12, 2007 - 3:09 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

^ Three percent is "quite a bit different"? I would imagine that's actually within the statistical margin of error.
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 2502
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Monday, February 12, 2007 - 3:13 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

Wow.

The 836K figure is quite a bit different than SEMCOG's 862K.

http://www.semcog.org/Data/Pop ulationEstimates/assets/po0207 .pdf

I wonder how each agency figures out the totals?


Include DPS with their questionable predictions and assessments too over that time.

My guess: wands, potions, cauldrons, and incantations were used.
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Ndavies
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Username: Ndavies

Post Number: 2441
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, February 12, 2007 - 3:39 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Both counts are estimates. Both use the 2000 census as a base. Neither one actually counted real people after that. The federal government census numbers for Detroit are listed as being +-16000 people. The semcog survey calculates it a little differently and states that areas losing people are more likely to be higher than actual.

With those two explanations of how they calculated the numbers, I would consider the 3% difference between the two to be telling us the same thing. Detroit is still hemorrhaging people.
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Emu_steve
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Username: Emu_steve

Post Number: 140
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Monday, February 12, 2007 - 6:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I used to work at the Census Bureau when I first came to Washington. I worked in the area of housing surveys. I did not work in Population Division although I know a fellow runner who works there (he is a Ph.D. demographer - used to be on the staff at Georgetown).

I can tweak his brain if folks are really interested in demographic data.

BTW, I haven't worked at the bureau for many, many years so my knowledge is stale.

From what I remember, the Census Bureau uses mostly administrative records (e.g., data available from governments, etc. such as birth and death records, and I believe, info from driver licenses which show a lot of demographic info - like where someone was when the last renewed and current renewal address) to augment their decennial census data.

Births and deaths are obviously very important to a demographer.

Measuring migration is much tougher.

I know Census Bureau has a branch which does nothing more then study 'journey to work'. They use that data, in part, to determine metropolitan areas (the counties become economically meshed because folks commute from one county to another for work).
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Emu_steve
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Username: Emu_steve

Post Number: 141
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Monday, February 12, 2007 - 6:55 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Oops, I didn't realize that the '05 pop estimate for Detroit came from the American Community Survey and not the pop. estimate programs.

I'll do some more checking.

I know another person who was on advisory panels for the American Community Surveys.
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Yelloweyes
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Username: Yelloweyes

Post Number: 44
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Monday, February 12, 2007 - 6:56 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

If this helps DPS currently has about 115,000 students and Charters have about 40,000.

Schools of choice might count for another 5,000

160,000 school age children. There are also some dropouts that go uncounted in these estimates.
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Emu_steve
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Username: Emu_steve

Post Number: 142
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Monday, February 12, 2007 - 8:36 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I might do some checking if the Census Bureau has yearly estimates for say '01,'02...'05.

If so, they would use the same methods and that longitudinal data series might be the most reliable data we have. At least it is consistently measuring whatever is being measured.

I'd guess that the 'decrease in Detroit's population is occurring at a decreasing rate."
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Danny
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Username: Danny

Post Number: 5510
Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Monday, February 12, 2007 - 9:04 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Livernoisyard,

Detroit's population is not 810,000, its over 860,000. By the end of the 2007 the population would decline to about 857,000 people. Nearly 90,000 people left Detroit since April of 2000.
Over 50,000 blacks left Detroit since April of 2000. Over 10,000 whites left Detroit since April of 2000. And about 2,500 Hispanics, 10,000 East Indians and about 3,000 Arabs came to Detroit since April of 2000.
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Yelloweyes
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Username: Yelloweyes

Post Number: 47
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Monday, February 12, 2007 - 9:20 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Danny, where does one obtain such detailed information?
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Danny
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Username: Danny

Post Number: 5511
Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Monday, February 12, 2007 - 9:23 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yelloweyes,

You can find this factual data from SEMCOG.org
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Professorscott
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Username: Professorscott

Post Number: 174
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 11:04 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It is not "factual". It is an estimate. The last factual data we have is the 2000 census (which is also disputed, but at least is based on a real count).

There are many different ways to estimate things. The only apparent certainty in 2005 is that the City's population is between 800K and 900K. The next-most-certain thing is that it is still decreasing year over year.

The question is: what can the City do in order to attract more residents than it loses?

Someone posted that since only 25% of the population consists of families with school age children it is not necessary to try to appeal to that demographic. Really? We have, let's say, 4.8M people in the region, so 1.2M (according to this particular post) would live in such families. Can the City afford to start off by writing off 1.2M possible future residents?

I think the City has to try to appeal to all demographic groups, and has to make some changes in order to be appealing. Any way you look at the current population, things are still not good.
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Danindc
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Username: Danindc

Post Number: 2133
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 11:18 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:



Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 11:04 am: Edit PostDelete Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)
It is not "factual". It is an estimate. The last factual data we have is the 2000 census (which is also disputed, but at least is based on a real count).

There are many different ways to estimate things. The only apparent certainty in 2005 is that the City's population is between 800K and 900K. The next-most-certain thing is that it is still decreasing year over year.

The question is: what can the City do in order to attract more residents than it loses?

Someone posted that since only 25% of the population consists of families with school age children it is not necessary to try to appeal to that demographic. Really? We have, let's say, 4.8M people in the region, so 1.2M (according to this particular post) would live in such families. Can the City afford to start off by writing off 1.2M possible future residents?



I did not suggest to write them off, but given the current state of Detroit Public Schools (and many other big-city school systems), families are currently the LEAST likely to move into the city. Let's turn your question on its head: Why target only the families and write off the other 3.6 Million (not to mention folks who currently live in other regions)?

If you do the benefit/cost analysis, the city needs to have the young, single, taxpayers who do not consume services. Only when it gets its financial footing to improve services will it have a chance in hell of attracting people who need the services, e.g. families.
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Danny
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Username: Danny

Post Number: 5514
Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 11:52 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Professorscott,

That data is factual. You have to think deductively about the numbers of people or things.
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Emu_steve
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Username: Emu_steve

Post Number: 143
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 6:27 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

here is Census Bureau's estimate series for Detroit from the '00 census to '05 in the old CSV format.

Bottom line: Census Bureau data series suggest the population losses have been consistent but not as great as some (most?) would think.

11,Detroit city,Michigan,"886,671","899,1 22","911,851","922,426","934,6 94","947,864","951,270","951,2 70"

http://www.census.gov/popest/c ities/tables/SUB-EST2005-01.cs v
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Charlottepaul
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Username: Charlottepaul

Post Number: 476
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 6:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It's interesting that all of the cities larger than detroit are still gaining population to some extent or another...
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Cman710
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Username: Cman710

Post Number: 242
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 6:48 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Charlottepaul hints at a good point, and that is the following: While the Detroit Metro area may be showing some mild growth, and that is surely good, the area's slow rate of growth demonstrates how it has fallen behind other areas of the country. Immigrants simply do not come to Detroit in the numbers that they come to the New York Metro area, or Texas, or Southern California. This remains a problem, because it means that Michigan is not attracting some of the most hard working, creative people entering the country, who will form a great part of the next generation's middle class.

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