A Decade of Population Growth in Michigan   

Amy Barczy

| 3 min read

Amy Barczy is a former brand journalist who authored...

Aerial Skyline of Detroit downtown with Michigan at night
Michigan has come a long way from 2010. The state has grown in population and hit the 10 million resident mark, according to the latest estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau. Additionally, more Michigan residents have health insurance. The rate of uninsured individuals under age 65 has been cut in half in the past decade: 14.6% of Michigan residents under 65 were uninsured in 2010, compared to 6.9% of Michigan residents under 65 without insurance in 2020. Throughout this decade of change, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has stood by communities across the state. From providing affordable health insurance options on the individual marketplace to helping businesses weather economic storms to giving health professionals the resources they need to confront a pandemic; Blue Cross is here for it all.

Suburban Boomtowns

Some parts of Michigan are booming, as suburban havens like Auburn Hills, East Grand Rapids and Novi grew by 10% or more in the past decade. Other small towns like Olivet, Dexter, Kent City Village, Frankenmuth, Keego Harbor City, Richland Village, Rockford, Coldwater and Lowell grew by similar margins in the same time frame. Townships in the greater Grand Rapids area experienced some of the largest gains from 2010 to 2020 – including Jamestown Charter Township (an increase of 30.8%) and Allendale Charter Township (an increase of 31.2%). And in Southeast Michigan, Orion, Oxford and Pittsfield charter townships all grew by more about 12% over the same period. Michigan’s population as a state is growing – the most recent U.S. Census counted 10,077,331 residents in 2020; up from 9,883,640 residents in 2010. As the state grows, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is planning for what’s to come next; launching new value-based contracts with health care providers across the state to ensure high-quality, affordable health care continues to be a top priority with hospitals and doctors. Suburbs across Michigan are booming with growth. No matter where in Michigan – or outside of Michigan – you may land, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has large network of providers that are there to support you and your family every step of the way.

Rural and Urban Declines

The biggest cities in Michigan remain Detroit, Grand Rapids and Warren, but while the population of Grand Rapids grew by 6% in the past decade, Detroit’s population dropped by the same margin (-6.7%). Here are some of the cities with more than 10,000 people that have experienced population drops:
  • Highland Park City: -9%
  • Flint: -7%
  • Bay City: -7%
  • Saginaw: -7%
  • Detroit: -6%
  • Monroe: -6%
  • Mount Pleasant: -6%
  • Alpena: -5%
  • Owosso: -5%
  • Grosse Pointe Woods: -5%
  • Sault Ste. Marie: -5%
In some urban areas, residents might face barriers to accessing resources like healthy food and health care, issues that are social determinants of health and can have longstanding impacts on their health and well-being. Blue Cross is committed to helping communities confront these challenges, and helps to fund grassroots efforts, organizations, nonprofits and health clinics doing the work on the ground. Rural areas of Michigan experienced some of the sharpest population declines during the past 10 years, according to the Census estimates. The importance of telehealth options for individuals to access health care professionals for physical and mental health concerns will continue to play a significant role in breaking down barriers for rural Michigan residents now and in the future. While the pandemic may have hastened the widespread adoption of telehealth tools, Blue Cross will continue to support the use of virtual platforms to ensure everyone has access to the care they need. More from MIBluesPerspectives:
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MI Blues Perspectives is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association