Detroit, Michigan


City in the United States
State Michigan
County Wayne County
Coordinates 42°19’54″N, 83°2’51″WL
Surface 370.08 km²
– country 359.27 km²
– water 10.81 km²
(April 1, 2020)
(1779 inhabitants/km²)
– agglomeration 5,218,852 (CSA)
– agglomeration
5,778,987 (CSA + Canadian part
Mayor Mike Duggan (D)

According to ehuacom, Detroit is the largest city in the US state of Michigan and the 18th largest city in the United States by population. It’s not the capital of Michigan, that’s Lansing. The city is located in Wayne County, on the banks of the Detroit River between Lake Erie and Lake Saint Clair, opposite the city of Windsor in Canada. The city had a population of 681,090 in the year 2013, while the metropolitan area of ​​Detroit had a population of 5,218,852, ranked 12th in the United States.

Detroit is named after the Detroit River. The name Detroit comes from the French Détroit, or strait.

The city is part of the Rust Belt, the former industrial heart of the United States. Detroit was also the birthplace of ” Motown ” music, named after the record label of the same name, and of techno. “Motown” (a porte-manteau of the words “motor” and “town”) is also a nickname of the city, as is D-town (think D12, also coming from D-town).


The city was founded in 1701 as Fort Ponchartrain du Détroit by the Frenchman Antoine de Lamothe-Cadillac. The French colony of New France stretched across much of North America: from New Orleans on the Gulf of Mexico to Quebec in the north.

In March 1805 the town became the administrative capital of the Michigan Territory, but already on June 15 of that year a city fire broke out. There was no fire brigade, and the inhabitants formed a human chain in which buckets of water were passed from the river. The approximately 600 wooden houses burned down; only a few stone buildings were spared.

Detroit is best known because the major three American car brands have their headquarters there: Ford, General Motors and Chrysler. However, in the first half of the last century there were hundreds of car manufacturers. From this the city derived one of its nicknames, ‘Motor City’.

In 1967 bloody race riots took place in the city. The city was a cradle of the African American civil rights movement.

Although the car industry increasingly moved production to low -wage countries, the generous pension and medical costs for ex-employees cost the companies a lot of money. From 2007, the credit crisis and the sudden sharp rise in oil prices led to a declining demand for typical American cars such as the SUV. The ensuing mass layoffs resulted in falling house prices and further urban exodus. Detroit is characterized by relatively high poverty and crime.

Detroit is in such a deep financial trough that it had to file for bankruptcy in July 2013. An American city of this size has never seen such a shortage. A dispute is still ongoing about the legal correctness of the bankruptcy petition and the consequences for the rights of municipal officials.


Of the population 10.4 % is older than 65 and 29.7 % consists of single – person households. Unemployment once stood at 6.6% (2000 census figures), but has risen sharply since 2008 as a result of the credit crisis.

77.9% of the population is of African descent, 12.3% is white, and the rest of the population is Hispanic, Asian, and other descent.

The population was at its peak in 1950 when 1,850,000 people lived there. Since then, the population has steadily declined to less than half now. In 2008 it was estimated that more than 900,000 people lived there and in 2010 this number fell by more than 20% to 713,777 people, the lowest number since 1910.


Detroit has a continental climate with cold winters and warm summers. In January the average temperature is -4.1 °C, in July it is 23.4 °C. Annually there is an average of 815.1 mm of precipitation, of which a considerable part is in the form of snow. (data based on the measurement period 1961–1990).


Detroit’s premier museums are located in the Historic Cultural Center, the Wayne State University neighborhood and the College for Creative Studies. These museums include: the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Detroit Historical Museum, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the Detroit Science Center, as well as the main branch of the Detroit Public Library. Other cultural institutions include: the Motown Historical Museum, the Pewabic Pottery studio and school, the Tusdegee Airmen Museum, Fort Wayne, the Dossin Great Lakes Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD), the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit (CAID) and the Belle Isle Conservatory.


Detroit played an important role in the development of music. The Motown record label was founded in Detroit in 1959. This label played an important role in the rise of soul. In the sixties the label managed to make several Detroit residents world famous such as Diana Ross, Four Tops and The Temptations. Other big names such as Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and Lionel Richie also released music on Motown.

In the 1980s, Detroit also became part of a new musical movement. The basis for techno was laid by Kevin Saunderson, Derrick May and Juan Atkins. The trio gained quite a following with producers such as Carl Craig, Jeff Mills and Richie Hawtin, who lives just across the border. The music became especially successful in Europe. A second wave followed in the 1990s with the militant collective Underground Resistance and its related Drexciya. House producer Moodymann also stems from the movement. Detroit is also the home city of rapper Eminem.


Detroit has 4 professional sports clubs. Namely Detroit Lions (American football), Detroit Red Wings (ice hockey), Detroit Tigers (baseball) and Detroit Pistons (basketball).

Detroit’s former home of the Detroit Lions, Silverdome. The 1982 Super Bowl was played here. In 1994 Detroit played host to the World Cup with this stadium.

Between 1982 and 1988, the Detroit Street Circuit was on the Formula 1 calendar, as the United States East Grand Prix.


Detroit has a subway system known as the Detroit People Mover.

Newspapers in Detroit

  • Detroit Free Press
  • Detroit News
  • The Metro Times
  • The Michigan Citizen
  • The Dutch -language Gazette of Detroit

Town twinning

  • Dubai (United Arab Emirates)
  • Kitwe (Zambia)
  • Minsk (Belarus)
  • Nassau (Bahamas)
  • Toyota (Japan)
  • Turin (Italy)
  • Windsor (Canada)

Nearby places

The figure below shows nearby places within a 12 km radius of Detroit.

Detroit, Michigan