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Lakeshore Gains While Michigan, Detroit Loses in Census


WASHINGTON (WHTC News) - Michigan may have lost about 50 thousand residents over the past 10 years, but the Lakeshore showed population growth over the past decade.

In numbers released by the US Census Bureau yesterday, Ottawa County rose 10.6 percent and Allegan County was up 5.5 percent from 2000 to 2010. The official totals were 111,408 in Allegan County; 263,801 in Ottawa County.

Townships in the immediate Lakeshore area showed the biggest increases, while the cities of Holland, Zeeland, Saugatuck and Fennville all suffered declines. The biggest gainers were Zeeland Township at 31 percent, Saugatuck Township at 24.6 percent, and Holland Township at 23.2 percent. Saugatuck was down 13.1 percent, while Holland and Zeeland were almost identical and 5.7 and 5.2 percent, respectively.

Michigan's population growth was almost stagnant at 9.883 million, but the biggest drop was in Detroit, where officials are planning to contest to census officials a 25 percent drop to around 713 thousand, which is the lowest the Motor City has had in a century.

Republicans in the state Legislature say that, now armed with official census numbers, they plan to immediately begin redistricting efforts for state and federal seats. Minority Democrats want public hearings and an independent commission to decide this issue, but GOP lawmakers responded by saying that the Dems should have changed the rules during the years that it had complete control of state government.