Bing plans to challenge Detroit census numbers

Mar 22, 2011

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing says he wants a recount of Detroit’s 2010 census numbers. That data shows the city with its smallest population since 1910.

Bing says he thinks census numbers that fix Detroit’s population at just under 714,000 are wrong.

 Bing says a recount could turn up as many as 40,000 more residents. That would put the city above a key 750,000 person threshold.

“If we can go out and identify another 40,000 people that were missed, that brings us over the threshold of 750,000. That would make a difference in terms of what we can get from the federal government as well as the state government.”

Detroit and other urban areas have historically had their populations undercounted. But it’s far from clear whether or not census takers missed Bing’s target number of 40,000 people.

It’s also still unclear exactly who has fled Detroit in the past decade. But Bing was willing to hazard a guess at the majority.

“A lot of our middle class African Americans have moved out of the city and into the suburbs."

Bing says the census numbers reaffirm his approach to reinventing the City by focusing on building up Detroit’s stronger neighborhoods.