Michigan population change and population density. The highest population density area of the state is the Detroit metropolitan area with secondary areas around Grand Rapids and other cities. To the north, densities decline to some of the lowest in the eastern half of the U.S. Thus, Michigan provides one of the best examples of the highly varied nature of population distribution. Two distinct types of change are visible on this map. The first is the suburbanization of areas around the Detroit metro area, Grand Rapids, and other cities in the southern half of the Lower Peninsula where urban out-migrants are "sprawling" into the surrounding rural townships. The second type of migration is found in the northern half of the Lower Peninsula where urban and suburban migrants (mostly retirees) are locating in remote, rural locations in the quest for scenic amenities.