Detroit population rank is lowest since 1850
For the first time since before the Civil War, Detroit is not among the nation’s 20 most populous cities. Detroit’s population was 677,116 as of last summer, a loss of 3,107 residents from the previous year, according to estimates released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau. That’s the smallest decline in decades, but it was enough to drop the city to 21st in the nation, surpassed by Seattle, Denver and El Paso, Texas. The last time Detroit wasn’t a Top 20 city by population was the 1850 census, when it ranked 30th, according to the bureau. In 1940, it was the fourth largest city behind New York, Chicago and Philadelphia. “A lot of Detroiters really think of themselves as being in one of the country’s biggest cities, and that’s just not true anymore,” said Kevin Boyle, an author and history professor at Northwestern University, who grew up in Detroit. “It’s just a fundamentally different place than it was a half century ago.” The good news is Detroit’s decline is the smallest in decades.
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