DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Detroit’s population loss slowed significantly last year, but the city still lost another 12,000 residents, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The figures show Detroit lost residents between 2011 and 2012, but the decline was at a slower pace than in previous years. Most of the nation’s largest cities posted strong population growth, but Detroit fell 0.7 percent, or 4,726 residents, to an estimated 701,475 as of last July.

The Census Bureau estimates Detroit’s population is just above 700,000, and Demographer Kurt Metzger said the city’s population could fall to 650,000 or 600,000 before it stabilizes.

“In the core in Downtown we know that housing is probably at a premium, there isn’t that much housing left in those areas, and we also know that many of the neighborhoods are in bad shape and many of the families are still trying to leave the city because of crime and lack of education,” Metzger said.

So, where is everyone going? Metzger said 18,000 moved to Oakland County last year and 6,000 people moved to Macomb County, while almost every community in Wayne County lost residents.

“The outlying communities like Macomb Township, Lyon Township and Novi are areas that have grown the fastest over the years. We’re also seeing growth in the inner communities of Warren, Ferndale, Berkley, Southfield, Oak Park and even Pontiac,” Metzger said.

Metzger said young people, in particular, like the older more walkable communities, which is good news for the foreclosure crisis.

As a whole, the Census Bureau says Michigan’s population edged up to nearly 9.9 million in 2012.

TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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