Detroit’s White Population Growing for the First Time Since 1950

Sudden growth in downtown Detroit raises the question: Is Detroit big enough for everyone?

It’s no secret that Detroit, especially Downtown and Midtown, is going under some changes with major construction to revitalize the downtown area. But that’s not the only thing that’s changing. Stephen talks with Christine MacDonald, a staff writer for Detroit News, and Ariella Cohen, Editor-in-Chief of about the growing white population in Detroit.

  • Detroit: Stephen notes that Detroit’s overall population isn’t growing. People are still moving, but the downtown area is seeing a population growth it hasn’t seen since 1950,  led primarily by white people. He says blacks are either moving elsewhere or are being ‘pushed out’.
  • Whose City is it?Eight thousand of the new population are white,” MacDonald says. White and non-Hispanics comprise about 10 percent of the Detroit population, a number that hasn’t been seen since 2000, while the black and Latino population has decreased.
  • Gentrification: Cohen says that when the growth is happening in particular areas, residents that already live there are feeling economic pressure in the form of rising rents. Some callers believe that race isn’t the issue, but others feel that’s exactly what it is.
Click the audio link above to hear the full conversation.