The historical core municipality of the Detroit metropolitan area, the city of Detroit, continued its steep population decline between 2000 and 2010. The new census count indicates that the city dropped to 733,000 residents, from 951,000 in 2000. This drop of 25 percent was the largest in any census period since 1950, when the city peaked at a population of 1,850,000. Even so, the percentage decline from 1950 of 61.4 percent remains less than that of city of St. Louis, which has experienced the steepest population decline of any municipality that has reached 500,000 population in modern times (62.7 percent).
The decline did not extend to the suburbs, which gained a modest 2.3 percent between 2000 and 2010. Suburban growth has also been substantial since 1950, with 2.2 million new residents added.
However, the suburban growth was not enough to erase the impact of the city of Detroit decline. The Detroit metropolitan area fell from 4,452,000 in 2000 to 4,296,000 in 2010, a loss of 3.6 percent. The loss was the greatest among major metropolitan areas reporting up to this time. Nonetheless, even with the huge city of Detroit loss, the Detroit metropolitan area has grown more than 30 percent and more than 1,000,000 people.