Detroit is the largest and most populous city in the U.S. state of Michigan, the largest U.S. city on the United States–Canada border, and the seat of Wayne County. The municipality of Detroit had a 2018 estimated population of 672,662, making it the 23rd-most populous city in the United States. It was founded in 1701 by a French trader, Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, who built a fort on the river and named it Fort Pontchartrain du Détroit in honour of his patron ; later the British called it simply Detroit. In the 20th century the city’s name became synonymous with the American automotive industry.
The metropolitan area, known as Metro Detroit, is home to 4.3 million people, making it the second-largest in the Midwest after the Chicago metropolitan area. The Detroit Metropolitan Airport is among the most important hubs in the United States. The City of Detroit anchors the second-largest regional economy in the Midwest, behind Chicago and ahead of Minneapolis–Saint Paul, and the 13th-largest in the United States. Detroit and its neighboring Canadian city Windsor are connected through a highway tunnel, railway tunnel, and the Ambassador Bridge, which is the second busiest international crossing in North America, after San Diego–Tijuana. Detroit is best known as the center of the U.S. automobile industry, and the «Big Three» auto manufacturers General Motors, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler are all headquartered in Metro Detroit.In 1701, Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac founded Fort Pontchartrain du Détroit, the future city of Detroit. During the 19th century, it became an important industrial hub at the center of the Great Lakes region. With expansion of the auto industry in the early 20th century, the city and its suburbs experienced rapid growth, and by the 1940s, the city had become the fourth-largest in the country. However, due to industrial restructuring, the loss of jobs in the auto industry, and rapid suburbanization, Detroit lost considerable population from the late 20th century to the present. Since reaching a peak of 1.85 million at the 1950 census, Detroit's population has declined by more than 60 percent.In 2013, Detroit became the largest U.S. city to file for bankruptcy, which it successfully exited in December 2014, when the city government regained control of Detroit's finances.Detroit's diverse culture has had both local and international influence, particularly in music, with the city giving rise to the genres of Motown and techno, and playing an important role in the development of jazz, hip-hop, rock, and punk music. The rapid growth of Detroit in its boom years resulted in a globally unique stock of architectural monuments and historic places. Since the 2000s conservation efforts have managed to save many architectural pieces and achieved several large-scale revitalizations, including the restoration of several historic theatres and entertainment venues, high-rise renovations, new sports stadiums, and a riverfront revitalization project.
Data and Facts
- It’s dubbed the Motor City for a reason. Detroit was home to the first mile of concrete highway, the first four-way three-color traffic light, and the world’s first urban freeway
- Detroit boasts the nation’s oldest soda: Vernor’s ginger ale. Legend has it that the refreshment was created by accident.
- Detroit’s 987-acre Belle Isle Park—which has a golf course, museum, basketball courts, and baseball fields—is the largest island park in the United States
- The city has been cited as the birthplace of techno music. And its theater district is the second largest in the country—bested only by New York City
- The 72-floor Marriott at the Renaissance Center in Detroit is the tallest hotel in North America. When it opened in 1977, it was the tallest in the world
- It was once home to the world’s largest stove. But the 15-ton oak stove replica was destroyed in a 2011 fire
The city is governed pursuant to the Home Rule Charter of the City of Detroit. The government of Detroit, Michigan is run by a mayor, the nine-member Detroit City Council, the eleven-member Board of Police Commissioners, and a clerk. All of these officers are elected on a nonpartisan ballot, with the exception of four of the police commissioners, who are appointed by the mayor. Detroit has a “strong mayora”l system, with the mayor approves departmental appointments. The council approves budgets, but the mayor is not obligated to adhere to any earmarking. The city clerk supervises elections and is formally charged with the maintenance of municipal records. City ordinances and substantially large contracts must be approved by the council. The Detroit City Code is the codification of Detroit's local ordinances.
The city clerk supervises elections and is formally charged with the maintenance of municipal records. Municipal elections for mayor, city council and city clerk are held at four-year intervals, in the year after presidential elections. Following a November 2009 referendum, seven council members will be elected from districts beginning in 2013 while two will continue to be elected at-large.Detroit's courts are state-administered and elections are nonpartisan. The Probate Court for Wayne County is in the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center in downtown Detroit. The Circuit Court is across Gratiot Avenue in the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice, in downtown Detroit. The number of homicides peaked in 1974 at 714 and again in 1991 with 615. The murder rate for the city have gone up and down throughout the years averaging over 400 murders with a population of over 1,000,000 residents. The crime rate however has been above the nation average since the 1970s Crime has since decreased and, in 2014, the murder rate was 43.4 per 100,000, lower than in St. Louis.About half of all murders in Michigan in 2015 occurred in Detroit.Although the rate of violent crime dropped 11% in 2008,violent crime in Detroit has not declined as much as the national average from 2007 to 2011.The violent crime rate is one of the highest in the United States. Neighborhoodscout.com reported a crime rate of 62.18 per 1,000 residents for property crimes, and 16.73 per 1,000 for violent crimes . Annual statistics released by the Detroit Police Department for 2016 indicate that while the city's overall crime rate declined that year, the murder rate rose from 2015. In 2016 there were 302 homicides in Detroit, a 2.37% increase in the number of murder victims from the preceding year.The city's downtown typically has lower crime than national and state averages. According to a 2007 analysis, Detroit officials note about 65 to 70 percent of homicides in the city were drug related, with the rate of unsolved murders roughly 70%.Areas of the city adjacent to the Detroit River are also patrolled by the United States Border Patrol.In 2012, crime in the city was among the reasons for more expensive car insurance.Beginning with its incorporation in 1802, Detroit has had a total of 74 mayors. Detroit's last mayor from the Republican Party was Louis Miriani, who served from 1957 to 1962. In 1973, the city elected its first black mayor, Coleman Young. Despite development efforts, his combative style during his five terms in office was not well received by many suburban residents.
Mayor Dennis Archer, a former Michigan Supreme Court Justice, refocused the city's attention on redevelopment with a plan to permit three casinos downtown. By 2008, three major casino resort hotels established operations in the city. In 2000, the city requested an investigation by the United States Justice Department into the Detroit Police Department which was concluded in 2003 over allegations regarding its use of force and civil rights violations. The city proceeded with a major reorganization of the Detroit Police Department.
Those troubles, along with underfunded city services, such as police and fire departments, and ineffective turnaround plans from Mayor Bing and the City Council] led the state of Michigan to appoint an emergency manager for Detroit on March 14, 2013. On June 14, 2013, Detroit defaulted on $2.5 billion of debt by withholding $39.7 million in interest payments, while Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr met with bondholders and other creditors in an attempt to restructure the city's $18.5 billion debt and avoid bankruptcy.On July 18, 2013, the City of Detroit filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection. It was declared bankrupt by U.S. judge Stephen Rhodes on December 3, with its $18.5 billion debt; he said in accepting the city's contention it was broken and negotiations with its thousands of creditors were infeasible. The city levies an income tax of 2.4 percent on residents and 1.2 percent on nonresidents.
In May 2009 former Pistons star Dave Bing was elected to complete Kilpatrick’s final months in office; in November of that year, Bing was reelected to a full four-year term. Faced with a city whose population had declined by one-fourth over the previous decade, Bing embarked on a dramatic plan to turn Detroit around. He shifted city dollars away from distressed neighbourhoods, essentially allowing them to wither on the vine, in an effort to encourage people to move to more stable areas. However, as the city’s financial situation continued to spiral downward, it became a challenge to provide even the most basic of municipal services.
In March 2013 Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder appointed Kevyn Orr, an attorney who had participated in the bankruptcy and restructuring of Chrysler in 2009, to be Detroit’s emergency manager. Orr was granted wide-ranging executive powers to deal with the city’s $19 billion debt, but he was unable to reach an agreement with the city’s creditors; chief among them were the holders of municipal bonds and the public employees who were entitled to retirement benefits. In July 2013 Orr submitted a claim for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection for Detroit, the largest such claim ever filed for a U.S. city. Bing—who had seen much of his mayoral authority transferred to Orr—announced that he would not seek another term, and that November voters elected Mike Duggan, a former Wayne county executive, as mayor.
Several major corporations are based in the city, including three Fortune 500 companies. The most heavily represented sectors are manufacturing , finance, technology, and health care. The most significant companies based in Detroit include General Motors, Quicken Loans, Ally Financial, Compuware, Shinola, American Axle, Little Caesars, DTE Energy, Lowe Campbell Ewald, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, and Rossetti Architects.
About 80,500 people work in downtown Detroit, comprising one-fifth of the city's employment base. Aside from the numerous Detroit-based companies listed above, downtown contains large offices for Comerica, Chrysler, Fifth Third Bank, HP Enterprise, Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers, KPMG, and Ernst & Young. Ford Motor Company is in the adjacent city of Dearborn. Thousands more employees work in Midtown, north of the central business district. Midtown's anchors are the city's largest single employer Detroit Medical Center, Wayne State University, and the Henry Ford Health System in New Center. Like downtown and Corktown, Midtown also has a fast-growing retailing and restaurant scene.
A number of the city's downtown employers are relatively new, as there has been a marked trend of companies moving from satellite suburbs around Metropolitan Detroit into the downtown core. Compuware completed its world headquarters in downtown in 2003. OnStar, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and HP Enterprise Services are at the Renaissance Center. PricewaterhouseCoopers Plaza offices are adjacent to Ford Field, and Ernst & Young completed its office building at One Kennedy Square in 2006. Perhaps most prominently, in 2010, Quicken Loans, one of the largest mortgage lenders, relocated its world headquarters and 4,000 employees to downtown Detroit, consolidating its suburban offices.In July 2012, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office opened its Elijah J. McCoy Satellite Office in the Rivertown/Warehouse District as its first location outside Washington, D.C.'s metropolitan area.In April 2014, the United States Department of Labor reported the city's unemployment rate at 14.5%.
The city of Detroit and other private-public partnerships have attempted to catalyze the region's growth by facilitating the building and historical rehabilitation of residential high-rises in the downtown, creating a zone that offers many business tax incentives, creating recreational spaces such as the Detroit RiverWalk, Campus Martius Park, Dequindre Cut Greenway, and Green Alleys in Midtown. The city itself has cleared sections of land while retaining a number of historically significant vacant buildings in order to spur redevelopment; even though it has struggled with finances, the city issued bonds in 2008 to provide funding for ongoing work to demolish blighted properties.Two years earlier, downtown reported $1.3 billion in restorations and new developments which increased the number of construction jobs in the city. Midtown is one of the most successful areas within Detroit to have a residential occupancy rate of 96%.Numerous developments have been recently completed or are in various stages of construction. These include the $82 million reconstruction of downtown's David Whitney Building , the Woodward Garden Block Development in Midtown, the residential conversion of the David Broderick Tower in downtown, the rehabilitation of the Book Cadillac Hotel and Fort Shelby Hotel also in downtown, and various smaller projects.Downtown's population of young professionals is growing and retail is expanding. A study in 2007 found out that Downtown's new residents are predominantly young professionals , a trend which has hastened over the last decade. John Varvatos is set to open a downtown store in 2015, and Restoration Hardware is rumored to be opening a store nearby.On July 25, 2013, Meijer, a midwestern retail chain, opened its first supercenter store in Detroit,; this was a $20 million, 190,000-square-foot store in the northern portion of the city and it also is the centerpiece of a new $72 million shopping center named Gateway MarketplaceOn June 11, 2015, Meijer opened its second supercenter store in the city.On May 21, 2014, JPMorgan Chase announced it was injecting $100 million over five years into Detroit's economy, providing development funding for a variety of projects that would increase employment. It is the largest commitment made to any one city by the nation's biggest bank.[ Of the $100 million, $50 million will go toward development projects, $25 million will go toward city blight removal, $12.5 million will go for job training, $7 million will go for small businesses in the city, and $5.5 million will go toward the M-1 light rail project . On May 19, 2015, JPMorgan Chase announced it has invested $32 million for two redevelopment projects in the city's Capitol Park district, the Capitol Park Lofts and the Detroit Savings Bank building at 1212 Griswold. Those investments are separate from Chase's five-year, $100-million commitment.[On May 10, 2017, J.P.
Entrepreneurship is key for economic growth of the City of Detroit, and more importantly, an opportunity for its residents to realize their goals. Detroit made the top 100 list for best cities to start a business. It ranked No. 74 among 180 cities considered in the new analysis. Detroit got high marks for its low business costs. It was ranked the No. 1 city for lowest labor costs, in fact, at $26,249 for an annual median income. But, it didn't do as well in the analysis when it came to access to business resources.
The Greater Detroit Foreign Trade Zone was created in 1981 through the U.S. Department of Commerce to allow for the reduction of taxes across borders and to attract, retain and facilitate international trade In 2011, Metro Detroit ranked as the fourth largest export market in the United States. Infrastructure is an important component in the metro area economy. Detroit has an extensive toll-free expressway system which, together with its status as a major port city, provide advantages to its location as a global business center. There are no toll roads in Michigan.Metro Detroit is the U.S.A.'s number one exporting region and busiest commercial port. Detroit is at the center of the Great Lakes Megalopolis. A 2004 Border Transportation Partnership study showed that 150,000 jobs in the Detroit-Windsor region and $13 billion in annual production depend on Detroit's international border crossing.
The Detroit River International Crossing project calls for a second bridge to be built across the Detroit River to facilitate increased trade and ease of travel. Many people commute across the Detroit-Windsor International border daily. Professions identified in the Canada - United States Free Trade Agreement which began in 1988 are permitted TN Visas for legal work in the United States and Canada, creating freedom of labor movement. TN status is recognized in the North American Free Trade Agreement which began in 1994. As an example, a large number of nurses in Detroit hospitals also live in Windsor. The 710-mile Quebec City–Windsor Corridor contains over 18 million people, with 51 percent of the Canadian population and three out of the four largest metropolitan areas in Canada, according to the 2001 Census.
With its proximity to Canada and its facilities, ports, major highways, rail connections and international airports, Detroit is an important transportation hub. The city has three international border crossings, the Ambassador Bridge, Detroit–Windsor Tunnel and Michigan Central Railway Tunnel, linking Detroit to Windsor, Ontario. The Ambassador Bridge is the single busiest border crossing in North America, carrying 27% of the total trade between the U.S. and Canada.On February 18, 2015, Canadian Transport Minister Lisa Raitt announced Canada has agreed to pay the entire cost to build a $250 million U.S. Customs plaza adjacent to the planned new Detroit–Windsor bridge, now the Gordie Howe International Bridge. Canada had already planned to pay for 95% of the bridge, which will cost $2.1 billion, and is expected to open in 2022 or 2023. «This allows Canada and Michigan to move the project forward immediately to its next steps which include further design work and property acquisition on the U.S. side of the border,» Raitt said in a statement issued after she spoke in the House of Commons. Mass transit in the region is provided by bus services. The Detroit Department of Transportation provides service within city limits up to the outer edges of the city. From there, the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation provides service to the suburbs and the city regionally with local routes and SMART's FAST service. FAST is a new service provided by SMART which offers limited stops along major corridors throughout the Detroit metropolitan area connecting the suburbs to downtown. The new high-frequency service travels along three of Detroit's busiest corridors, Gratiot, Woodward, and Michigan, and only stops at designated FAST stops. Cross border service between the downtown areas of Windsor and Detroit is provided by Transit Windsor via the Tunnel Bus.An elevated rail system known as the People Mover, completed in 1987, provides daily service around a 2.94 miles loop downtown. The QLINE serves as a link between the Detroit People Mover and Detroit Amtrak station via Woodward Avenue. The SEMCOG Commuter Rail line will extend from Detroit's New Center, connecting to Ann Arbor via Dearborn, Wayne, and Ypsilanti when it is opened.The Regional Transit Authority was established by an act of the Michigan legislature in December 2012 to oversee and coordinate all existing regional mass transit operations, and to develop new transit services in the region. In 2016, 24.7 percent of Detroit households lacked a car, much higher than the national average of 8.7. Detroit averaged 1.15 cars per household in 2016, compared to a national average of 1.8.
Freight railroad operations in the city of Detroit are provided by Canadian National Railway, Canadian Pacific Railway, Conrail Shared Assets, CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern Railway, each of which have local yards within the city. Detroit is also served by the Delray Connecting Railroad and Detroit Connecting Railroad shortlines.Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport , the principal airport serving Detroit, is in nearby Romulus. DTW is a primary hub for Delta Air Lines , and a secondary hub for Spirit Airlines. The airport is connected to Downtown Detroit by the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation FAST Michigan route.Coleman A. Young International Airport , previously called Detroit City Airport, is on Detroit's northeast side; the airport now maintains only charter service and general aviation. Willow Run Airport, in far-western Wayne County near Ypsilanti, is a general aviation and cargo airport. Metro Detroit has an extensive toll-free network of freeways administered by the Michigan Department of Transportation. Four major Interstate Highways surround the city. Detroit is connected via Interstate 75 and I-96 to Kings Highway 401 and to major Southern Ontario cities such as London, Ontario and the Greater Toronto Area. I-75 is the region's main north–south route, serving Flint, Pontiac, Troy, and Detroit, before continuing south to serve many of the communities along the shore of Lake Erie.I-94 runs east–west through Detroit and serves Ann Arbor to the west and Port Huron to the northeast. The stretch of the I-94 freeway from Ypsilanti to Detroit was one of America's earlier limited-access highways. Henry Ford built it to link the factories at Willow Run and Dearborn during World War II. A portion was known as the Willow Run Expressway. Taken together, I-275 and I-696 form a semicircle around Detroit. Michigan state highways designated with the letter M serve to connect major freeways.Detroit has a floating post office. In 1948, The J. W. Westcott II became a floating post office servicing the Port of Detroit. Its zip code is 48222. Originally established in 1874 as a maritime reporting agency to inform other vessels about port conditions, the J. W. Westcott II is still in operation today.
Within the city of Detroit, there are over a dozen major hospitals which include the Detroit Medical Center , Henry Ford Health System, St. John Health System, and the John D. Dingell VA Medical Center. The DMC, a regional Level I trauma center, consists of Detroit Receiving Hospital and University Health Center, Children's Hospital of Michigan, Harper University Hospital, Hutzel Women's Hospital, Kresge Eye Institute, Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan, Sinai-Grace Hospital, and the Karmanos Cancer Institute. The DMC has more than 2,000 licensed beds and 3,000 affiliated physicians. It is the largest private employer in the City of Detroit. The center is staffed by physicians from the Wayne State University School of Medicine, the largest single-campus medical school in the United States, and the United States' fourth largest medical school overall.Detroit Medical Center formally became a part of Vanguard Health Systems on December 30, 2010, as a for profit corporation. Vanguard has agreed to invest nearly $1.5 B in the Detroit Medical Center complex which will include $417 M to retire debts, at least $350 M in capital expenditures and an additional $500 M for new capital investment. Vanguard has agreed to assume all debts and pension obligations.
The metro area has many other hospitals including William Beaumont Hospital, St. Joseph's, and University of Michigan Medical Center. In 2011, Detroit Medical Center and Henry Ford Health System substantially increased investments in medical research facilities and hospitals in the city's Midtown and New Center.
In Detroit, manufacturing has gone high-tech. The Detroit Region is an IT hotbed, where the convergence of automotive manufacturing and software development is creating an environment where the IT sector thrives. The region’s highly recruited, educated, and skilled workforce helps businesses succeed. Each year, a few thousand computer science professionals graduate with certificates and degrees from many institutions throughout the region. These emerging professionals, employees, and businesses in the Detroit Region have access to the region’s unique local resources and support.More than 60 institutions in Michigan offer computer and information sciences and support services certificates and degrees, graduating more than 4,000 candidates each year. The 10 leading institutions account for more than half of the certificates and degrees earned in the Detroit Region.
In 2010, the Detroit area became the fastest growing region in the U.S. for high technology jobs. Downtown Detroit maintains a wireless Internet zone and has seen an influx of information technology jobs. A report by the Silicon Valley based TechNet group found Michigan to be the leading state for stimulating demand for broadband, positioning it during the early 2000s. The Michigan Information Technology Center provides education, support services, and conferencing facilities for the region's information technology companies. The metro area is home to high tech business incubators such as the Michigan Security Network, a consortium which coordinates business growth of cybersecurity, biodefense, and border security sectors.Some of the metro area's information technology and software companies with a major presence or headquarters include Compuware, HP Enterprise Services, IBM, Google, General Electric, Unisys, Fiserv, Covansys, and ProQuest. Comcast and Verizon maintain a large presence in the area. OnStar, based in the Renaissance Center, is also a source of growth. Chrysler's largest corporate facility is its U.S. headquarters and technology center in the Detroit suburb of Auburn Hills. VisionIT and Kelly IT Resources are other large employers headquartered in the metro area filling a wide range of needs. Five of the world's twenty largest employers began in Metro Detroit.On June 30, 2015, Quicken Loans announced the opening of its new state-of-the-art, 66,000-square-foot Technical Center in Corktown. The new facility will feature two 10,000-square-foot server rooms in addition to training, office, meeting, and technical support space. Half of the data center including one server room will be occupied by the Quicken Loans’ technology team.
Social Wellness and Human Resources
In the 2010 United States Census, the city had 713,777 residents, ranking it the 18th most populous city in the United States.Of the large shrinking cities in the United States, Detroit has had the most dramatic decline in population of the past 60 years and the second largest percentage decline . While the drop in Detroit's population has been ongoing since 1950, the most dramatic period was the significant 25% decline between the 2000 and 2010 Census.The population collapse has resulted in large numbers of abandoned homes and commercial buildings, and areas of the city hit hard by urban decay.
Detroit's 713,777 residents represent 269,445 households, and 162,924 families residing in the city. The population density was 5,144.3 people per square mile . There were 349,170 housing units at an average density of 2,516.5 units per square mile . Housing density has declined. The city has demolished thousands of Detroit's abandoned houses, planting some areas and in others allowing the growth of urban prairie. Of the 269,445 households, 34.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 21.5% were married couples living together, 31.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 39.5% were non-families, 34.0% were made up of individuals, and 3.9% had someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. Average household size was 2.59, and average family size was 3.36.
There is a wide distribution of age in the city, with 31.1% under the age of 18, 9.7% from 18 to 24, 29.5% from 25 to 44, 19.3% from 45 to 64, and 10.4% 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females, there were 89.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.5 males. According to a 2014 study, 67% of the population of the city identified themselves as Christians, with 49% professing attendance at Protestant churches, and 16% professing Roman Catholic beliefs, while 24% claim no religious affiliation. Other religions collectively make up about 8% of the population.
The loss of industrial and working-class jobs in the city has resulted in high rates of poverty and associated problems. From 2000 to 2009, the city's estimated median household income fell from $29,526 to $26,098.As of 2010 the mean income of Detroit is below the overall U.S. average by several thousand dollars. Of every three Detroit residents, one lives in poverty. Beginning with the rise of the automobile industry, the city's population increased more than sixfold during the first half of the 20th century as an influx of European, Middle Eastern , and Southern migrants brought their families to the city. With this economic boom following World War I, the African American population grew from a mere 6,000 in 1910 to more than 120,000 by 1930. This influx of thousands of African Americans in the 20th century became known as the Great Migration. Many of the original white families in Detroit saw this increase in diversity as a threat to their way of life and made it their mission to isolate black people from their neighborhoods, workplaces, and public institutions. Perhaps one of the most overt examples of neighborhood discrimination occurred in 1925 when African American physician, Ossian Sweet found his home surrounded by an angry mob of his hostile white neighbors violently protesting his new move into a traditionally white neighborhood. Sweet and ten of his family members and friends were put on trial for murder as one of the mob members throwing rocks at the newly purchased house was shot and killed by someone firing out of a second floor window.Detroit has a relatively large Mexican-American population. In the early 20th century, thousands of Mexicans came to Detroit to work in agricultural, automotive, and steel jobs. During the Mexican Repatriation of the 1930s many Mexicans in Detroit were willingly repatriated or forced to repatriate. By the 1940s much of the Mexican community began to settle what is now Mexicantown. After World War II, many people from Appalachia also settled in Detroit. Appalachians formed communities and their children acquired southern accents. Many Lithuanians also settled in Detroit during the World War II era, especially on the city's Southwest side in the West Vernor area, where the renovated Lithuanian Hall reopened in 2006.By 1940, 80% of Detroit deeds contained restrictive covenants prohibiting African Americans from buying houses they could afford. These discriminatory tactics were successful as a majority of black people in Detroit resorted to living in all black neighborhoods such as Black Bottom and Paradise Valley. At this time, white people still made up about 90.4% of the city's population.From the 1940s to the 1970s a second wave of black people moved to Detroit in search of employment and with the desire to escape the Jim Crow laws enforcing segregation in the south. However, they soon found themselves once again excluded from many opportunities in Detroit—through violence and policy perpetuating economic discrimination . White residents attacked black homes: breaking windows, starting fires, and detonating bombs. An especially grueling result of this increasing competition between black and white people was the Riot of 1943 that had violent ramifications. This era of intolerance made it almost impossible for African Americans to be successful without access to proper housing or the economic stability to maintain their homes and the conditions of many neighborhoods began to decline. The next largest population groups were white people, at 10%, and Hispanics, at 6%. In 2001,103,000 Jews, or about 1.9% of the population, were living in the Detroit area, in both Detroit and Ann Arbor.
According to the 2010 census, segregation in Detroit has decreased in absolute and relative terms and in the first decade of the 21st century, about two-thirds of the total black population in the metropolitan area resided within the city limits of Detroit. The number of integrated neighborhoods increased from 100 in 2000 to 204 in 2010. Detroit also moved down the ranking from number one most segregated city to number four. A 2011 op-ed in The New York Times attributed the decreased segregation rating to the overall exodus from the city, cautioning that these areas may soon become more segregated. This pattern already happened in the 1970s, when apparent integration was a precursor to white flight and resegregation. Over a 60-year period, white flight occurred in the city. According to an estimate of the Michigan Metropolitan Information Center, from 2008 to 2009 the percentage of non-Hispanic White residents increased from 8.4% to 13.3%. As the city has become more gentrified, some empty nesters and many young white people have moved into the city, increasing housing values and once again forcing African Americans to move. Gentrification in Detroit has become a rather controversial issues as reinvestment will hopefully lead to economic growth and an increase in population; however, it has already forced many black families to relocate to the suburbs. Despite revitalization efforts, Detroit remains one of the most racially segregated cities in the United States. One of the implications of racial segregation, which correlates with class segregation, may correlate to overall worse health for some populations.
As of 2002, of all of the municipalities in the Wayne County-Oakland County-Macomb County area, Detroit had the second largest Asian population. As of that year Detroit's percentage of Asians was 1%, far lower than the 13.3% of Troy.By 2000 Troy had the largest Asian American population in the tricounty area, surpassing Detroit.There are four areas in Detroit with significant Asian and Asian American populations. Northeast Detroit has population of Hmong with a smaller group of Lao people. A portion of Detroit next to eastern Hamtramck includes Bangladeshi Americans, Indian Americans, and Pakistani Americans; nearly all of the Bangladeshi population in Detroit lives in that area.