Michigan is unique among the 50 states in that it is the only state that actually lost population during the past decade. Despite this fact, it only lost one congressional seat.
About half of the counties in Michigan lost population. Wayne County (home to Detroit) continued to lose population as Detroit itself declined by 25%. This continues a trend, as in 1960, Wayne County had about 3 million people. Today, it has about 1.8 million people. A good chunk of that decline is people leaving Wayne County for the suburbs.
In Michigan, the target population is 706,000. Of the 15 current districts, only two districts are over target. The Eighth District — — is just barely over target and should be left pretty much intact. The other, the Tenth District — the eastern part of the “thumb” stretching from the northern suburbs of Detroit along the Canadian border to Lake Huron — is about 14,000 over target. Other than losing some voters, it should stay mostly intact.
The other thirteen seats are all short, ranging from the Thirteenth Disrict at approximately 520,000 to the Second District at just under 700,000. If you were looking at raw number of voters, the two most vulnerable would be the Thirteenth at 520,000 and the Fourteenth at 570,000. However, in this case, the answer is not so fast. The Thirteenth and the Fourteenth are the only two African-American majority districts in the state, and, while Michigan is not a pre-clearance state, the requirements of the Voting Rights Act with regards to vote dilution still apply. As Michigan is about one-quarter minority (and 15% African-American), they should be required by the courts to keep two minority majority districts. That means that the likely targets for elimination will be one of the other four districts in which the minority population is over 10% — the Fifth, the Ninth, the Twelfth, and the Fifteenth