Detroit (/dᵻˈtrɔɪt/) is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Michigan, the fourth-largest city in the Midwest and the largest city on the United States–Canada border. It is the seat of Wayne County, the most populous county in the state.
The municipality of Detroit had a 2015 estimated population of 677,116, making it the 21st-most populous city in the United States. The metropolitan area, known as Metro Detroit, is home to 4.3 million people and lies at the heart of the Great Lakes Megalopolis area, with around 60 million people. Roughly one-half of Michigan's population lives in Metro Detroit alone. The Detroit–Windsor area, a commercial link straddling the Canada–U.S. border, has a total population of about 5.7 million.
Detroit is a major port on the Detroit River, a strait that connects the Great Lakes system to the Saint Lawrence Seaway. The Detroit Metropolitan Airport is among the most important hubs in the United States. The City of Detroit anchors the second-largest economic region in the Midwest, behind Chicago, and the thirteenth-largest in the United States. Detroit and its neighboring Canadian city Windsor are connected through a tunnel and various bridges, with the Ambassador Bridge being the busiest international crossing in North America.
Detroit was founded on July 24, 1701 by the French explorer and adventurer Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac and a party of settlers. During the 19th century, it became an important industrial hub at the center of the Great Lakes region. With expansion of the American automobile industry in the early 20th century, the Detroit area emerged as a significant metropolitan region within the United States. The city became the fourth-largest in the country for a period. In the 1950s and 1960s, suburban expansion continued with construction of a regional freeway system. A great portion of Detroit's public transport was abandoned in favour of becoming an automotive city in the post-war period, which has gradually reversed since the 1970s.
Due to industrial restructuring and loss of jobs in the auto industry, Detroit lost considerable population from the late 20th century to present. Between 2000 and 2010 the city's population fell by 25 percent, changing its ranking from the nation's 10th-largest city to 18th. In 2010, the city had a population of 713,777, more than a 60 percent drop from a peak population of over 1.8 million at the 1950 census. This resulted from suburbanization, corruption, industrial restructuring and the decline of Detroit's auto industry. In 2013, the state of Michigan declared a financial emergency for the city, which was successfully exited with all finances handed back to Detroit in December 2014. Following the shift of population and jobs to its suburbs, other states or nations, the city has focused on becoming the metropolitan region's economic and cultural center.
The erstwhile rapid growth of Detroit left a globally unique stock of architectural monuments and historic places of the first half of the 20th century, with many of them falling into disrepair or torn down since the 1960s. Conservation efforts managed to save many architectural pieces since the 2000s and allowed several large-scale revitalisations. Downtown Detroit has held an increased role as a cultural destination in the 21st century, with the restoration of several historic theatres and entertainment venues, highrise renovations, new sports stadiums, and a riverfront revitalization project. More recently, the population of Downtown Detroit, Midtown Detroit, and various other neighborhoods has increased. Some other neighborhoods remain distressed with abandonment of properties, partly revitalised by initiatives like Blight Busters, or renovated by new inhabitants for affordable housing and homesharing, like students and young entrepreneurs.
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