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Detroit---The City in Brief

From www.Gasgoo.com| February 13,2007

Detroit is the seat of Michigan's Wayne County, the center of a consolidated metropolitan statistical area that includes Ann Arbor and Flint, and the center of a metropolitan area that includes Oakland County, third wealthiest in the country. One of the oldest settlements in the Midwest, Detroit played an instrumental role in the development of the Northwest Territory. During the War of 1812 Detroit became the only major American city ever to surrender to a foreign power; in 1847 the city lost its status as state capital when the legislature moved the state headquarters to Lansing. Detroit was a leading regional economic power in the nineteenth century. The invention of the automobile and its mass production in Detroit headed by Henry Ford changed American and world culture. As more and more manufacturing jobs moved to lower-wage areas of the U.S. and increasingly overseas, Detroit's population declined and the economy struggled. In the early 1990s Detroit's position as the automobile capital of the world was being challenged by foreign competition. Throughout, though, the city's metropolitan area has grown and the regional economy diversified, making metropolitan Detroit still one of the largest and most prosperous areas of the country. Detroit has a long history of producing groundbreaking and influential musical talent, such as the Motown greats Iggy Pop, Bob Seger, and the White Stripes, known throughout the world. City sports franchises such as the Detroit Tigers, Red Wings, and Pistons are among the most storied in American history.

Detroit---The City in Brief

Detroit is set on the Detroit River; the metropolitan area includes the St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair, and the west end of Lake Erie. The land is nearly flat, rising gently north-westward from the waterways, then becoming rolling terrain. The climate is influenced by the city's location near the Great Lakes and its position in a major storm track; climatic variations also arise from the urban heat island, the effect becoming most apparent at night, when temperatures downtown will remain significantly higher than those in suburban locations. The city enjoys four distinct seasons. Winters are generally long and cold, and storms can bring combinations of rain, snow, freezing rain, and sleet with heavy snowfall possible at times. Annual snowfalls average around 45 inches. During the summer, storms pass to the north, allowing for intervals of warm, humid weather with occasional thunderstorms that are followed by days of mild, dry weather. Autumn colors can be spectacular, particularly to the north of the city. Air pollution coming from heavy industry in the area is said to have been minimized with state-of-the-art pollution control efforts.

The City in Brief
Founded: 1701 (incorporated, 1815)
Head Official: Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick (D) (since 2001)
City Population
1980: 1,203,339
1990: 1,027,974
2000: 951,270
2003 estimate: 879,575
Percent change, 1990–2000: -7.4%
U.S. rank in 1980: 6th
U.S. rank in 1990: 7th
U.S. rank in 2000: 14th
Metropolitan Area Population (CMSA)
1990: 4,266,654
2000: 4,456,428
Percent change, 1990-2000: 5.2%
U.S. rank in 1990: Not reported
U.S. rank in 2000: 7th (CMSA)
Area: 138.7 square miles (2000)
Elevation: 581 feet above sea level at Detroit River
Average Annual Temperature: 48.6° F
Average Annual Precipitation: 30.97 inches of rain, 45 inches of snow
Major Economic Sectors: Services; trade; manufacturing; finance, insurance, and real estate
Unemployment Rate: 8.2% (February 2005)
Per Capita Income: $14,717 (1999)
Major Colleges and Universities: Wayne State University, University of Detroit-Mercy
Daily Newspapers: Detroit Free Press; Detroit News

Largest Private Employers
Chrysler Corporation                           Detroit Medical Center
General Motors Corporation               Henry Ford Health System
St. John Health Corporation                Blue Cross Blue Shield
Detroit Edison                                       Comerica
SBC Michigan                                       NBD Bank

To be continued

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