2020 Census Results Show Oakland County’s Population Has Grown
In Oakland County, Michigan’s second-largest county, the population grew — as expected — by about 6%, according to census figures released Thursday.
The county’s number increased by 72,033 people, from 1.2 million in 2010.
Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter called the increase “encouraging,” adding that since 1900 the county’s population has grown, crediting the county with “its economic strength, welcoming county status and quality exceptional life”.
Coulter cited growth in communities largely on the west side of the county, such as Novi, Wixom and Lyon Township. But, he also singled out Troy, Rochester Hills and Southfield.
But there were also gains in communities that seemed to reverse the declines.
Pontiac — a city that has steadily lost population since the 1970s as thousands of auto jobs and even the Pontiac automobile nameplate disappeared — gained more than 2,000 residents.
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Pontiac – which grew to 61,606 residents in 2020, from 59,515 a decade earlier – has recovered from just over a decade ago, when former factory workers pawned their rings of GM gold loyalty for cash.
Additionally, communities in Oakland County that lost population a decade ago were generally inner suburbs, with the exception of Oak Park. Southfield has lost some 6,500 and stands at 71,739. Ferndale has lost around 2,000, landing at 19,900 in 2010.
This go-around there were mostly slight gains in these communities, although Ferndale still lost residents, down to 19,190.
Royal Oak, however, rose slightly from 57,236 to 58,211; Berkley grew from 14,970 to 15,194, and Oak Park continued to grow, to 29,560.
“The southeast corner of the county is a popular place for young people,” Oakland County spokesman Bill Mullan said. “They want to be in an urban environment, want good restaurants, and want to be able to walk around and easily cycle.”
Demographer Kurt Metzger, who is also the incumbent mayor of Pleasant Ridge, speculated that the county’s suburbs close to Detroit could be the beneficiaries of Detroit’s comeback.
“I think it’s because Detroit is hip, not hip enough to live in, necessarily,” he said, noting that people, especially younger generations, want to live in walkable communities in Oakland. . “But definitely hip enough to live nearby.”
In 2011, census figures from the previous year suggested that while the suburbs closest to Detroit were experiencing population declines as the auto industry struggled, some of those numbers were offset by black residents and Hispanic residents. who left town.
The racial breakdown of the county was approximately 69% non-Hispanic white, 13% non-Hispanic black, 8% non-Hispanic Asian or Asian American, and nearly 5% Hispanic.
Southfield’s population has grown from 71,739 ten years ago to 76,618 in 2020.
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Other big winners include the canton of Lyon, which was 23,271 in 2020, up from 14,545 in 2010; Novi, 66,243, versus 55,224; Troy, 87,294, against 80,980; Rochester Hills, 76,300, vs 70,995, and Wixom, 17,193, vs 13,498.
Contact Frank Witsil: 313-222-5022 or [email protected]