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Detroit is the largest city in the U.S. state of Michigan and the seat of Wayne County. Detroit is a major port city on the Detroit River, in the Midwest region of the United States. Located north of Windsor, Ontario, Detroit is the only major U.S. city that looks south to Canada. It was founded on July 24, 1701, by the Frenchman Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac. Its name originates from the French word détroit for strait, in reference to its location on the river connecting the Great Lakes.
Known as the world's traditional automotive center, "Detroit" is a metonym for the American automobile industry and an important source of popular music legacies celebrated by the city's two familiar nicknames, the Motor City and Motown. Other nicknames emerged in the twentieth century, including City of Champions beginning in the 1930s for its successes in individual and team sport, Arsenal of Democracy (during World War II), The D, D-Town, Hockeytown (a trademark owned by the city's NHL club, the Red Wings), Rock City (after the Kiss song "Detroit Rock City"), and The 3-1-3 (its telephone area code).
In 2009, Detroit ranked as the United States' eleventh most populous city, with 910,920 residents. At its peak in 1950, the city was the fourth-largest in the USA, but has since seen a major shift in its population to the suburbs.
The name Detroit sometimes refers to the Metro Detroit area, a sprawling region with a population of 4,403,437 for the Metropolitan Statistical Area, making it the nation's eleventh-largest, and a population of 5,327,764 for the nine-county Combined Statistical Area as of the 2009 Census Bureau estimates. The Detroit–Windsor area, a critical commercial link straddling the Canada–U.S. border, has a total population of about 5,700,000.
Detroit has a variety of neighborhood types. The revitalized Downtown, Midtown, and New Center areas feature many historic buildings and are high density, while further out, particularly in the northeast and on the fringes, the city suffers from severe vacancy issues, for which a number of solutions have been proposed.
The National Register of Historic Places lists several area neighborhoods and districts such as Lafayette Park, part of the Ludwig Mies van der Rohe residential district. Lafayette Park is a revitalized neighorhood on the city's east side. The 78-acre urban renewal project was originally called the Gratiot Park Development. Planned by Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig Hilberseimer and Alfred Caldwell it includes a landscaped, 19-acre park with no through traffic, in which these and other low-rise apartment buildings are situated.
On Saturdays, about 45,000 people shop the city's historic Eastern Market. The Midtown and the New Center area are centered around Wayne State University and Henry Ford Hospital. Midtown has about 50,000 residents and attracts millions of visitors each year to its museums and cultural centers; for example, the Detroit Festival of the Arts in Midtown draws about 350,000 people.
The University Commons-Palmer Park district in northwest Detroit is near the University of Detroit Mercy and Marygrove College which anchors historic neighborhoods including Palmer Woods, Sherwood Forest, Green Acres, and the University District. In 2007, Downtown Detroit was named 18th (out of 35) best neighborhood in which to retire among the nation's 30 largest metro areas by CNN Money Magazine editors.
Detroit has numerous neighborhoods suffering from urban decay, consisting of vacant properties. These neighborhoods are concentrated in the northeast and on the city's fringes. The 2009 residential lot vacancy in Detroit was 27.8%, up from 10.3% in 2000, with the population continuing to shrink and foreclosures that exacerbate the problem. An estimated 20 to 30 percent of lots are vacant. A 2009 parcel survey found 33,527 or 10% of the city's housing to be unoccupied, but recommended that only one percent or 3,480 of the city's housing units be demolished. The city states it costs about $10,000 to demolish one vacant house, which takes many legal steps. In 2010, the city began using federal funds on its quest to demolish 10,000 empty residential structures. About 3,000 of these of the residential structures will be torn down in 2010. A number of solutions have been proposed for dealing with the shrinkage, including resident relocation from more sparsely populated neighborhoods and converting unused space to agricultural use, though the city expects to be in the planning stages for up to another two years. In April 2008, the city announced a $300-million stimulus plan to create jobs and revitalize neighborhoods, financed by city bonds and paid for by earmarking about 15% of the wagering tax. The city's working plans for neighborhood revitalizations include 7-Mile/Livernois, Brightmoor, East English Village, Grand River/Greenfield, North-End, and Osborn. Private organizations have pledged substantial funding to the efforts.
Immigrants have contributed to the city's neighborhood revitalization, especially in southwest Detroit. Southwest Detroit has experienced a thriving economy in recent years, as evidenced by new housing, increased business openings and the recently opened Mexicantown International Welcome Center.
Many of the area's prominent museums are located in the historic cultural center neighborhood around Wayne State University. These museums include the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Detroit Historical Museum, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the Detroit Science Center, and the main branch of the Detroit Public Library. Other cultural highlights include Motown Historical Museum, Tuskegee Airmen Museum, Fort Wayne, Dossin Great Lakes Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD), the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit (CAID), and the Belle Isle Conservatory. Important history of Detroit and the surrounding area is exhibited at The Henry Ford, the nation's largest indoor-outdoor museum complex. The Detroit Historical Society provides information about tours of area churches, skyscrapers, and mansions. The Eastern Market farmer's distribution center is the largest open-air flowerbed market in the United States and has more than 150 foods and specialty businesses. Other sites of interest are the Detroit Zoo and the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory on Belle Isle.
The city's Greektown and casino resorts serve as an entertainment hub. Annual summer events include the Detroit Electronic Music Festival, Detroit International Jazz Festival, and Woodward Dream Cruise. Within downtown, Campus Martius Park hosts large events such as the Motown Winter Blast. As the world's traditional automotive center, the city hosts the North American International Auto Show. Held since 1924, America's Thanksgiving Parade is one of the nation's largest. The Motown Winter Blast, and the summer River Days, a five-day festival on the International Riverfront, leading up to the Windsor-Detroit International Freedom Festival fireworks can draw super sized-crowds of hundreds of thousands to over three million people.
An important civic sculpture in Detroit is Marshall Fredericks' "Spirit of Detroit" at the Coleman Young Municipal Center. The image is often used as a symbol of Detroit and the statue itself is occasionally dressed in sports jerseys to celebrate when a Detroit team is doing well. A memorial to Joe Louis at the intersection of Jefferson and Woodward Avenues was dedicated on October 16, 1986. The sculpture, commissioned by Sports Illustrated and executed by Robert Graham, is a twenty-four foot long arm with a fisted hand suspended by a pyramidal framework.
Artist Tyree Guyton created the controversial street art exhibit known as the Heidelberg Project in the mid 1980s, using found objects including cars, clothing and shoes found in the neighborhood near and on Heidelberg Street on the near East Side of Detroit.
Detroit and the surrounding region constitute a major manufacturing center, most notably as home to the Big Three automobile companies, General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler. The city is an important center for global trade with large international law firms having their offices in both Detroit and Windsor. About 80,500 people work in downtown Detroit, comprising 21% of the City's employment.
There are about four thousand factories in the area. The domestic auto industry is primarily headquartered in Metro Detroit. New vehicle production, sales, and jobs related to automobile use account for one of every ten jobs in the United States. The area is also an important source of engineering job opportunities. A 2004 Border Transportation Partnership study showed that 150,000 jobs in the Windsor-Detroit region and $13 billion in annual production depend on the City of Detroit's international border crossing.
The Detroit area is accustomed to the economic cycles of the auto industry. A rise in automated manufacturing using robotic technology has created related industries in the area; inexpensive labor in other parts of the world and increased competition have led to a steady transformation of certain types of manufacturing jobs in the region with the Detroit area gaining new lithium ion battery plants. Local complications for the city include higher taxes than the nearby suburbs, with many unable to afford the levies on property. In addition to property taxes, residents must pay an income tax rate of 2.50%. In January 2010, the Department of Labor reported metropolitan Detroit's unemployment rate rose to 15.3%. Since 2009, the area's total employment contracted 1.7%. The Labor Department reported at 24.3% for December 2009.
The city has cleared large swaths of land while retaining a number of historically significant vacant buildings in order to spur redevelopment; though the city has struggled with finances, it issued bonds in 2008 to provide funding for ongoing work to demolish blighted properties. In 2006, downtown Detroit reported $1.3 billion in restorations and new developments which increased the number of construction jobs in the city. In decade leading up to 2006, downtown Detroit gained more than $15 billion in new investment from private and public sectors.
The Detroit automakers and local manufacturing have taken heavy hits as a result of market competition from foreign rivals. The 2000s energy crisis, the subsequent Late-2000s recession, and the increasingly unwieldy burden of employee retirement and healthcare costs have all been implicated. Concern among analysts over restored profits has fueled economic uncertainty in the metro Detroit area.
In January 2009, President Barack Obama formed an automotive task force in order to help the industry recover. The severity of the recession required Detroit's automakers to take additional steps to restructure, including idling many plants. With the U.S. Treasury extending the necessary debtor in possession financing, Chrysler and GM emerged from 'pre-packaged' Chapter 11 reorganizations in June and July 2009 respectively.
GM plans to issue an initial public offering (IPO) of stock in 2010. General Motors has invested heavily in all fuel cell equipped vehicles, while Chrysler is focusing much of its research and development into biodiesel. In August 2009, Michigan and Detroit's auto industry received $1.36 B in grants from the U.S. Department of Energy for the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries.
Firms in the region pursue emerging technologies including biotechnology, nanotechnology, information technology, and hydrogen fuel cell development. The city of Detroit has made efforts to lure the region's growth companies downtown with advantages such as a wireless Internet zone, business tax incentives, entertainment, an international riverfront, and residential high rises. Thus far, the city has had some success, most notably the addition of Compuware World Headquarters, OnStar, regional offices of HP Enterprise Services at Tower 500 of the Renaissance Center, PricewaterhouseCoopers Plaza offices adjacent to Ford Field, and the 2006 completion of Ernst & Young's offices at One Kennedy Square.
Detroit MI Area Information
- Total Crime Risk: 372.0 (100 = National Average)
- Population: 778,002
- Population Growth Since 2000: -18.21%
- Annual Max Avg. Temperature: 58 F
- Annual Min Avg. Temperature: 39 F
- Male Median Age: 30.3 years
- Female Median Age: 34.7 years
- Median Household Income: $33,754
- Highest Education Level Attained: High School 32.05%, Bachelors 7.96%, Grad School 4.98%
Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Demographic Information FAQ
|2010 Population Growth and Population Statistics||Detroit, MI||Michigan|
|Population Change Since 1990||-24.30%||7.14%|
|Population Change Since 2000||-18.21%||0.20%|
|Forecasted Population Change by 2014||-11.44%||-1.34%|
Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Demographic Information FAQ
|2010 Weather Summary||Detroit, MI||Michigan|
|Annual Maximum Avg. Temperature||58.0 °F||54.0 °F|
|Annual Minimum Avg. Temperature||39.0 °F||35.0 °F|
|Annual Avg. Temperature||48.6 °F||44.2 °F|
|Annual Heating Degree Days (Tot Degrees < 65)||6,569||7,909|
|Annual Cooling Degree Days (Tot Degrees > 65)||626||358|
|Percent of Possible Sunshine||53||49|
|Mean Sky Cover (Sunrise to Sunset - Out of 10)||7||7|
|Mean Number of Days Clear (Out of 365 Days)||76||68|
|Mean Number of Days Rain (Out of 365 Days)||136||149|
|Mean Number of Days Snow (Out of 365 Days)||13||28|
|Avg. Annual Precipitation (Total Inches)||33.00"||32.00"|
|Avg. Annual Snowfall (Total Inches)||41.00"||85.00"|
Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Demographic Information FAQ
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