• Detroit's population has fallen from a high of about 1,850,000 in 1950 to 701,000 in 2013. / Neighboring suburban counties population rose from about 1,167,000 in 1950 to over 3,500 000 in 2010. (U.S. Census Bureau)
  • By 1960 there were more whites living in the city's suburbs than the city of Detroit itself. (Sugrue, Thomas (2004). "From Motor City to Motor Metropolis: How the Automobile Industry Reshaped Urban America". Automobile in American Life and Society. University of Michigan - Dearborn. Retrieved December 13, 2013.) 
  • By the 1980 census, whites had fled at such a large rate that the city had gone from 55 percent white to only 34 percent white in a decade.
  • Detroit has lost over 60% of its population since 1950. (Angelova, Kamelia (October 2, 2012). "Bleak Photos Capture The Fall Of Detroit". Business Insider. Retrieved February 10, 2013.)
  • Between 1950 and 2000, 147,000 housing units in Detroit were demolished or lost to arson. / During the same period approximately 1,000,000 new homes were built in the surrounding suburbs.
  • Between 1970 and 2000, more than 161,000 dwellings were demolished in Detroit, amounting to almost one-third of the city's occupied housing stock. (Allen C. Goodman, “Detroit Housing Rebound Needs Safe Streets, Good Schools,” The Detroit News, 10 March 2004.)
  • From 1950 to 2000 the percentage of African Americans in Detroit rose from 16% to over 80%. In the suburbs the percentage of white Americans in 2000 was likewise 80%.
  • Grosse Pointe grew by 725% between 1920 and 1930. (Kenneth T. Jackson, Crabgrass Frontier)


  • In 2013, Detroit filed the largest municipal bankruptcy case in U.S. history.
  • Freeway construction in the 1950s and 1960s made commuting from suburban communities a more viable alternative to living in the city limits.


  • In the postwar period, Detroit had lost nearly 150,000 jobs to the suburbs.
  • In 2000 unemployment was 13.8% in Detroit and 4.2% in the suburbs.


  • Crime rates in Detroit peaked in 1991 at more than 2,700 violent crimes per 100,000 people.("Wayne University Center for Urban Studies, October 2005" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-12-27)
  • Several times during the 1970s and 1980s Detroit was named the arson capital of America, and repeatedly the murder capital of America. Often Detroit was listed by FBI crime statistics as the "most dangerous city in America" during this time.


  • From 1970 to 1980 the white population in Detroit public schools plummeted from more then 100,000 to approximately 29,000.


  • Between 1958 and 1977 Detroit’s share of the commercial sales generated by the region’s 20 major shopping areas dropped from 65.7% to 9.8%. In 1958 10 of the region’s 20 major shopping areas were located in the city of Detroit. By 1977 that number had dropped to 1, and with the closing of the Hudson’s in 1983, the central city - with a population of 1.2 million people - was no longer home to even 1 major regional shopping area. (David Snyder, “Commercial Disinvestment”, DARE City Life Task Force Report, Detroit, Michigan, 1981)
  • “If anything, commercial disinvestment in Detroit has been more catastrophic for the city than has industrial abandonment.” (Darden, Hill, Thomas & Thomas, Detroit, Race and uneven development)
  • The Big Three (General Motors, Ford & Chrysler) were shifting their production out of central Detroit. Between 1945 and 1957 the Big Three built 25 new manufacturing plants in the metropolitan area, not one of them in the city itself.