Slow population growth under Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is fueling advice for homebuyers to avoid the state’s largest city.

A new analysis from Yahoo! Finance is urging homebuyers to avoid five U.S. cities where experts predict home prices to decline based on population trends and the economic impacts that come with them.

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Top of the list: Detroit.

“Since the 1950s, when Detroit was the fifth largest U.S. city, this metropolis best known as the home to major U.S. auto manufacturers has lost 61% of its population. In the past five years, the population has declined by 7.83%, according to,” the analysis read.

Yahoo! Finance notes that reports from The Detroit News show property values in the Motor City jumped by 23% in 2023, and have tripled in the past seven years, though that trajectory is expected to reverse in the long term.

“Just because Detroit has, so far, bucked the trend of falling property values as the population declines, that doesn’t mean it will continue,” the news site reports. “Purchasing a Detroit home now could mean you’ll lose money if you decide to sell over the next few decades.”

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That reality puts Detroit in the same “don’t buy” category as Birmingham, St. Louis, Baltimore, and Cleveland.

The situation brings new context to Whitmer’s State of the State promise to “deliver real change for people right now and for Michiganders for generations to come,” marking the latest in a string of negative reports since she took office.

Just last week, U.S. News & World Report downgraded Michigan from 41st to 42nd in the its annual “Best States” rankings for 2024, based on eight different metrics that measure everything from crime and corrections, to the economy, to opportunity for residents.

“The Best States rankings by U.S. News draw on thousands of data points to measure how well states are performing for their citizens,” according to the report.

The Great Lakes State ranked in the bottom half in every category measured by the media site, with its best ranking a 28th place finish for the state’s economy. The data shows Michigan students have below average math test scores, are less likely to graduate high school, and leave college with more debt, when compared to the national average.

Other metrics show Michigan under Whitmer has a higher poverty rate, lower median household income, more industrial toxins, more drinking water violations, less renewable energy usage, worse roads, and higher rates of incarceration and violent crime than most states.

An analysis of the best high schools from the same site published in April documented a similar decline in education.

“Michigan ranked 31st in a comparison of states with the highest percentage of top-ranked public high schools, dropping five spots from its ranking last year of 26th when it tied with Kentucky,” according to U.S. News & World Report.

Even Whitmer’s own Growing Michigan Together Council raised the alarm last year about research that’s shown “lagging median income, educational outcomes, and attainment have fallen behind faster-growing peer states in key measures of infrastructure, community well-being, and job opportunities.”

A “Michigan Statewide Population Projections through 2050” report from the Michigan Center for Data and Analytics released in April notes “Michigan’s population is projected to increase by approximately 231,000 people (2.3 percent) from 2022 through 2034, and then decline to 9,906,000 people by 2050.

“This represents an overall decline of approximately 128,000 people from 2022 to 2050 (-1.3 percent).”

That report followed Census Bureau estimates for 2022 that show Michigan already has the 49th slowest rate of population growth among all 50 states since 2000. Among the nation’s 100 biggest cities, Detroit ranked dead last for growth, while Grand Rapids ranked 75th, The Detroit News reports.