Bankrupt, Decaying And Nearly Dead: 24 Facts About The City Of Detroit
|Michigan Central Station, Detroit. Closed 1988. Image source|
The Economic Collapse, February 3, 2013: If you want to know what the future of America is going to be like, just look at the city of Detroit. Once upon a time it was a symbol of everything that America was doing right, but today it has been transformed into a rotting, decaying, post-apocalyptic hellhole. Detroit was once the fourth-largest city in the United States, and in 1960 Detroit had the highest per-capita income in the entire nation. It was the greatest manufacturing city the world had ever seen, and the rest of the globe looked at Detroit with a sense of awe and wonder. But now the city of Detroit has become a bad joke to the rest of the world. Unemployment is rampant, 60 percent of the children are living in poverty and the city government is on the verge of bankruptcy. They say that Detroit is just a matter of "weeks or months" away from running out of cash, and when Detroit does declare bankruptcy it will be the largest municipal bankruptcy in the history of the United States. But don't look down on Detroit, because the truth is that Detroit is really a metaphor for what is happening to America as a whole. In the United States today, our manufacturing infrastructure has been gutted, poverty is absolutely exploding and we are rapidly approaching national bankruptcy. Detroit may have gotten there first, but the rest of the country will follow soon enough.
Back during the boom years, Detroit was known for making great cars. Today, it is known for scenes of desolation and decay. It is full of vandalized homes, abandoned schools and empty factories. The following description of what Detroit looks like at this point is from an article by Barry Yeoman...
It’s hard to describe the city’s physical landscape without producing what Detroiters call “ruin porn.” Brick houses with bays and turrets sit windowless or boarded up. Whole blocks, even clusters of blocks, have been bulldozed. Retail strips have been reduced to a dollar store here, a storefront church there, and a whole lot of plywood in between. Not a single chain supermarket remains.So what caused the downfall of one of the greatest cities on earth?
Well, here is a hint...
Between December 2000 and December 2010, 48 percent of the manufacturing jobs in Michigan were lost.
When you are a manufacturing area, and you lose half of your manufacturing jobs over the course of a single decade, of course things are going to get really, really bad.
So just how bad have things gotten in Detroit?
The following are 24 facts about the city of Detroit that will shock you...
#1 Detroit was once the fourth-largest city in the United States, and it was once home to close to 2 million people. But over the last several decades people have been fleeing in droves. According to the 2010 census, only 713,000 people now live in Detroit, and city officials admit that the population has probably slipped under 700,000 at this point.
#2 The population of Detroit has declined by about 25 percent over the past decade. The last time the population of Detroit was this low was all the way back in 1910.
#3 Today, Detroit is only the 18th-largest city in America. It is now smaller than Austin, Texas and Charlotte, North Carolina.
#4 Back in 1960, the city of Detroit had the highest per-capita income in the United States.
#5 Today, the unemployment rate in Detroit is more than 18 percent, which is more than twice as high as the nation as a whole.
#6 According to a report that was just recently released, approximately 60 percent of all children in Detroit live in poverty.
#7 Approximately one-third of Detroit's 140 square miles are either vacant or derelict.
#8 The city government of Detroit has closed dozens of schools and has decided to cut off public services to the "heavily blighted areas".
#9 According to one estimate, there are 33,500 empty houses and 91,000 vacant residential lots in the city of Detroit today.
#10 The median price of a home in Detroit is just $9,000, and there are some areas of Detroit where you can still buy a house for $100.
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