Henry Ford rented his first manufacturing plant, the Ford Mack Avenue Plant, in Detroit. The second one and the birthplace of the iconic Model T is the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant, also in the city.
When the assembly line production method had been perfected, Ford Motor Company moved again to Highland Park Ford Plant, just ten minutes away from the previous facility.
The “Big Three,” including Ford Motor Company, General Motors, and Chrysler Corp., started in Detroit.
For nearly throughout the first half of the 1900s, Detroit was the undisputed automobile capital of the world. It still is regarded as such today but to a much lesser extent.
The second half of the 20th century told a different story. Deindustrialization and segregation were daily news in Detroit.
In 1967, the city saw one of the violet urban riots in the history of the United States.
A good portion of the population, mainly the white middle-class, began to leave and settle in suburban towns.
People are still leaving Detroit today, emptying the neighborhoods.
Right now, Detroit looks very much like an abandoned city.
10 /10 Population Exodus
Detroit reached its peak population in 1950. As many as 1.85 million people lived there, making it the fourth-largest city in the United States.
There were 296,000 jobs in the manufacturing industry alone. Then the exodus began in a quick, steady fashion.
In 2016 and for the first time before the Civil War, Detroit didn’t even make it to the top 20 of the most populated cities in the country. It only had a population of 677,116 or a loss of more than 3,100 residents from the previous year’s record.
9 /10 Diminishing Advantage
According to Kevin Boyle, a history professor at Northwestern University, those who still live in Detroit often think they are in one of the country’s biggest cities, but that is just not the case.
Anybody familiar with the city’s history knows how different the place is from half a century ago. In 1950, it housed 29% of Michigan’s population; now, it’s only 7% at best.
The shrinking population happens not because of some natural disaster forcing people to abandon their homes. It is an exodus triggered by financial instability. People can no longer afford to live in Detroit.