Detroit and surrounding communities have highest population density

In this post we will examine the population density for the Southeast Michigan region as a whole, as well as the population density of each municipality within each county in the region. The first map shows the population density of the entire region by county, is presented in a different color because the data represents a larger region.

Population density is described as a measurement of population per area or unit volume; for this post population density is examined per square mile.

Overall, according to the maps below, Wayne County, as a whole, has the highest population density of the counties being examined. It can also be seen that the City of Detroit and the surrounding communities  have the highest population density; not all the surrounding communities are in Wayne County.

The data used for these maps came from the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) December 2012 population estimates. We use the SEMCOG estimates for 2012 because they are the most recent available.  That data was then divided by each municipality’s square mileage to determine the population density per square mile.








Of the three counties represented above, Oakland County has the highest number of municipalities with a population density ranging from 4,700 to 10,770 (this is the highest category, displayed in dark brown), although all of these are relatively small. These municipalities are: Berkeley (5,840), Clawson (5,840), Ferndale (5,073), Hazel Park (5,882), Keego Harbor (7,657), Oak Park (5,618) and Royal Oak (4,976). Ferndale, Oak Park and Hazel Park, all directly border Detroit, which is the largest municipality in the seven county region. However, even though Detroit is the largest municipality in the region, it does not have the highest population density; the population density for Detroit is 4,792. This still puts the city in the largest population density category, but Lincoln Park, which borders Detroit, has the highest population density in the county, it has been recorded at 6,513. The population density for Dearborn Heights, which also borders Detroit and is in the highest category, is recorded at 4,929; Wyandotte has a population density of 3,632. In Macomb County, with the exception of Center Line and Roseville, the municipalities with the highest population density also border Detroit. These municipalities are St. Clair Shores (4,186) and Eastpointe, (6,406). The population density for Roseville has been recorded at 4,793 and for Center Line it is recorded at 4,913.


In next week’s post we will examine the population density for the remainder of the Southeast Michigan region. The post will focus on Livingston, Monroe, St. Clair and Washtenaw counties. All of these counties have much lower population density levels than the three counties we examined this week.

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