Macomb, Oakland minority populations grow
Macomb County saw a small increase in its black population last year and Oakland County saw a similar bump in Asian residents, according to U.S. Census Bureau population estimates released Thursday.
Black residents comprised 11.5 percent of Macomb’s residents as of July 2016, an increase of 4,042 or a .4 percentage point gain. Experts have said much of the increase can be traced to black Detroiters moving from the city. In 2010, blacks made up 8.7 percent.
“It is more or less what we’ve seen for a while,” said Kurt Metzger, a demographer and director emeritus of Data Driven Detroit. “We aren’t seeing a large change in the overall minority population.”
Oakland County’s black population remained virtually steady last year at about 14 percent, and the county gained 3,933 Asian residents in 2016, according to the estimates. Asians now make up 7.1 percent of the county, a .3 percentage point gain. In 2010, Asians were 5.7 percent of Oakland County residents.
In contrast, Wayne County lost 6,153 blacks last year, a .2 percentage point drop to 38.7 percent of residents. Overall the county lost 7,696 people — the smallest decline for the the state’s largest county since 2004 — bringing its total population to 1.74 million.
Total population was up in Washtenaw, Oakland and Macomb in 2016. Washtenaw grew by 3,862 residents to 364,709, an increase of 1.07 percent. Oakland County increased by .3 percent, or 3,669, to 1.24 million residents in 2016, while Macomb rose to just under .4 percent, up 3,223 to 867,730.
Nationally, minority populations increased at a faster rate than in Michigan. Overall in the United States, the Asian population grew by 3 percent to 21.4 million, Hispanics grew by 2 percent to 57.5 million and African-Americans grew by 1.2 percent to 46.8 million.
The data also showed Michigan’s median age increased slightly to 39.7. In 2010, it was 39. Nationally, the median age last year was 37.9.
State demographer Eric Guthrie said the high median age means Michigan could gain more residents as jobs become available as the baby boomer generation moves into retirement.
“That is setting us up for future in migration,” Guthrie said.
Michigan gained 10,585 residents as of July 2016, increasing .1 percent to 9,928,300, but that growth was dwarfed by gains in the southern and western states.
In Metro Detroit, Washtenaw County is the youngest, with a median age of 33.3, compared to Livingston at 43.3, Oakland and Macomb at 41.1, and Wayne at 37.8.
“The population is not getting any younger,” Metzger said. “We aren’t attracting that many young people.
“We are pretty much holding on to the status quo.”
Here’s a breakdown of the 2016 population by percentage in Metro Detroit counties:
Source: U.S. Census Bureau