Census estimates show western Michigan population rising

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Newly released Census Bureau estimates show communities in parts of western Michigan with relatively strong population growth versus other parts of the state.

The figures released Thursday show Kent County, which includes Grand Rapids, added 6,078 people between 2015 and 2016. Wayne County, which includes Detroit, lost 7,696 people between 2015 and 2016.

Demographer Kurt Metzger tells the Detroit free Press that “Kent is a real magnet,” with the economy relatively strong in western Michigan.

Washtenaw County added 3,862 people and Oakland County increased by 3,696 people.

Xuan Liu, manager of research and data analysis for the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, told The Detroit News in an email that education resources, a growing knowledge-based economy and quality of life could be draws for Washtenaw County.

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