Although the population in Wayne County has always remained higher than the other two counties–Oakland and Macomb–that make up the Metro-Detroit area, Wayne County has seen its population decline while the opposite has happened for the other two. The population increase in Oakland and Macomb counties began around 1970, the same time Wayne County began to lose its population. Since then Oakland and Macomb have seen a slow, but steady population growth, while Wayne County’s population has been decreasing since 1950. While Wayne County has lost about 240,000 residents in the last decade, according to Census data, Oakland County has only gained about 53,000 residents and Macomb County has gained about 8,000. Much of the loss of Wayne County residents was to other states because of the economy, according to information provided by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget. The department does describe though how rates of migration to other states decreased from 2009-10, particularly for ages 1-29, 35-59, and those 75 and up.
A closer look at the population