Cort Freeman

Cort Freeman

Cort Freeman

A great view of downtown Detroit (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

It’s been a long day. So, let’s play a game! I’m sure you know that Detroit is the most populated city in the state of Michigan. That’s an easy one. However, can you name the 10 largest cities in Michigan by population?

Before finding this list, I took a shot at guessing the top ten. I got the top two! After that, it was all a mess. I guess it’s true that you learn something new everyday. Today, I learned which cities in Michigan have the biggest population.

The Largest Cities In Michigan By Population

It is significantly easier to name the four largest cities in the country by population than it is within the state of Michigan. Without looking it up, I would say the top five are: New York, NY; Los Angeles, CA; Chicago, IL; San Francisco, CA; and Houston, TX. Now, let me look it up…and according to I am wrong. According to them, the list goes NYC, LA, Chicago, Houston, and Dallas. I was close! For some reason I thought San Francisco was higher on the list. Looks like it’s just their rent prices that make the top five. Ouch.

We already know that Detroit is going to be at the top of the list. This isn’t a secret or a spoiler alert. We all know it. I’d be willing to bet you can name number two, as well. However, once we get passed the top two, I think it gets much more challenging. Is it one of the college towns? A close suburb of Detroit? That’s a good way to start thinking. Use your Sherlock Holmes deduction skills to figure out which cities in Michigan have the biggest population.

I know right off the bat I can eliminate my hometown of Clarkston. As much as I love it, I am fully aware that it is not one of the most populated cities in the state. Not the top ten. I’d be shocked if it made the top 25, to be honest. I was going to say top 50 but that might be a little bit of a stretch. It could be on that list.

Now, it’s your turn. The only rule of the game is no Google’ing or looking it up before guessing. Take a second and think. See if you can identify the 10 most populated cities in Michigan on your own. For this list, we’re going off the data provided by World Population Review for 2023. Take another second. Okay. You think you’re ready? Let’s get to the list!

  • 1. Detroit

    Downtown Detroit, Michigan. You can see the Monument to Joe Louis

    Detroit is obviously the most populated city in Michigan. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

    Population: 621,193

    This shouldn’t come as a surprise, let’s be honest. We all knew Detroit would take the number one spot. It’s obviously the biggest city in the state. However, it’s not the capital! That’s something worth remembering. Could the capital be on the list? We’ll find out!

  • 2. Grand Rapids

    Population: 195,911

    Grand Rapids has earned the silver medal for most populated city in the state of Michigan. It’s an amazing city famous for beer. It’s even known as “Beer City.” It’s the home of several delightful beers, including: Founders, New Holland, and more.

  • 3. Warren

    Employees leave work at a Chrysler factor in Warren, Michigan

    Chrysler workers leaving the factory. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

    Population: 136,153

    This was a surprise! I didn’t see it coming. However, it makes sense when you think about it. It shares a border with Detroit, which was the most populated city in the state. Lots of opportunity for work, close to other major suburbs, I get it! I get it!

  • 4. Sterling Heights

    Star Wars fans wait in line to see the movie in Sterling Heights, Michigan

    Star Wars fans line up to see a movie in Sterling Heights, Michigan (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

    Population: 131,523

    I didn’t have this on my list, either. I’m not off to a good start, clearly. According to Wikipedia, Sterling Heights is the second largest suburb in Metro-Detroit.

  • 5. Ann Arbor

    The Big House in Ann Arbor, Michigan is home of the University of Michigan Wolverines football

    The Big House in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Home of the Wolverines! (Photo by Danny Moloshok/Getty Images)

    Population: 119,570

    I would have guessed Ann Arbor would have taken the bronze at number three. However, it’s actually number five on the list. Home of the University of Michigan, there’s tons to do in Ann Arbor and it’s one of the most beautiful cities in the state…and that’s coming from a graduate of Michigan State.

  • 6. Lansing

    Michigan's Capitol Building in Lansing

    Michigan’s Capitol Building in Lansing (Photo by Scott Legato/Getty Images for

    Population: 112,460

    Michigan’s state capital comes in sixth place. There’s the Potter Park Zoo which is a big attraction. Then, just to the East you know what you’ll find? That’s right, East Lansing. Home of my Michigan State Spartans. If you’ve never checked out Michigan’s capitol building, I highly recommend you go sometime! It’s really cool.

  • 7. Dearborn

    Ford Motor Company's World HQ in Dearborn, MI

    Ford Motor Company’s World HQ in Dearborn, MI (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

    Population: 105,988

    Dearborn is the seventh largest city in Michigan. It’s the home of the Ford Motor Company’s World HQ. It also has, in my humble opinion, some of the best restaurants in Metro-Detroit. I can never go to Dearborn without getting a delicious meal.

  • 8. Livonia

    Population: 92,620

    Livonia lands at number 8 on the list. I didn’t guess it, but it makes sense. says it has been rated the best suburb in Southeast Michigan. Other lists name Flint as the eighth most populated city in the state, but according to World Population Review, Flint is actually 12th.

  • 9. Troy

    Black Friday Shopping at Somerset Mall in Troy, Michigan

    Shoppers at Somerset Mall in Troy, Michigan (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

    Population: 86,261

    Troy, Michigan is home of Somerset Mall one of the best malls in the state. Troy has the largest population in Oakland County. It’s located 22 miles north of Downtown Detroit and is very easy to get to no matter where you’re at in Metro-Detroit.

  • 10. Westland

    Population: 83,017

    Westland rounds out our top ten most populated cities in the state of Michigan. It’s considered a safe city and it’s also very diverse. It’s most known for all of its parks. There are a lot!

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