The Metro: Declining population means new Detroit City Council districts

Detroit’s population declined 10.5% since the last decennial count, according to 2020 U.S. Census data.

A Detroit neighborhood

Detroit's population declined for the seventh straight decade, according to 2020 U.S. Census data.

Welcome to The Metro, WDET’s daily news and culture show hosted by Nick Austin and Tia Graham. Each week on the program, you’ll hear a collection of important stories from southeast Michigan – covering our home of Detroit and wherever our listeners may call home across the metro region.  

In our debut show, Austin spoke with Detroit News reporter Sarah Rahal about the redrawing of Detroit’s city council districts before the 2024 election to be more aligned with the city’s changing population — which declined in 2020, according to the U.S. Census.

Community members would like to see things change very little, hoping to keep neighborhoods and block clubs intact. Detroit’s seven council districts last changed in 2012, Rahal said. The process typically happens every decade, in line with the census.

The city council district population went from 100,000 to 91,000. Detroit has six options and wants to narrow it down to two by the end of month. It could take longer due to the amount of time needed for community input.  

The city is being very cautious through this process, Rahal said, with the backdrop of new Detroit house district maps being redrawn after a federal court found boundaries were largely based on race.  

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