Wayne County is the most populous county in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of 2018, the United States Census estimated its population as 1,753,893 making it the 19th-most populous county in the United States. The county seat is Detroit, the largest and most populous city in Michigan and 23rd-most populous city in the United States. The county was founded in 1796 and organized in 1815.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 673 square miles (1,740 km), of which 612 square miles (1,590 km) is land and 61 square miles (160 km) (9.0%) is water. Its water area includes parts of the Detroit River and Lake St. Clair.
Wayne County borders on Oakland County and Macomb County to the north, Washtenaw County to the west, Essex County, Ontario, Canada to the east, and Monroe County to the south.
The eastern (and sometimes southern) boundary is a water boundary in the Detroit River and Lake St. Clair with Essex County, Ontario. Automotive traffic crosses this boundary at the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel and the Ambassador Bridge. Due to the southwestern course of the river, this small portion of Canada actually lies to the south of Wayne County. The southern communities of the county are usually referred to as “Downriver”, in reference to their location downstream of downtown Detroit.
Grosse Ile is the largest island in Wayne County and is connected to the mainland by the Wayne County Bridge and the Grosse Ile Toll Bridge.
The 2010 United States Census indicates Wayne County had a 2010 population of 1,820,584. This is a decrease of 240,578 people from the 2000 United States Census. Overall, the county had an -11.7% growth rate during this ten-year period. In 2010 there were 702,749 households and 450,651 families in the county. The population density was 2,974.4 per square mile (1,148.4 square kilometers). There were 821,693 housing units at an average density of 1,342.5 per square mile (518.3 square kilometers). 52.3% were White, 40.5% Black or African American, 2.5% Asian, 0.4% Native American, 0.8% of some other race and 2.4% of two or more races. 5.2% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race). 7.5% were of German, 6.8% Polish and 5.2% Irish ancestry.
There were 702,749 households out of which 33.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.4% were husband and wife families, 20.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 35.9% were non-families, and 30.7% were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 3.22.
In the county, the population was spread out with 25.4% under age of 18, 9.7% from 18 to 24, 25.5% from 25 to 44, 26.8% from 45 to 64, and 12.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.7 males.
The 2010 American Community Survey 1-year estimate indicates the median income for a household in the county was $39,408 and the median income for a family was $49,176. Males had a median income of $26,823 versus $17,744 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,948. About 18.6% of families and 23.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 34.8% of those under the age 18 and 11.7% of that age 65 or over.