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This time lapse photo shows how a street in Detroit changes over the period since the 2008 financial crisis until today. The city has gone through a major economic and demographic decline in recent decades. The population has fallen from 1,850,000 in 1950 to 680,000 in 2015. Local crime rates are among the highest in the United States and vast areas of the city are in a state of severe urban decay. In 2013, Detroit filed the largest municipal bankruptcy case in U.S. history. Poverty, crime, shootings, drugs and urban blight in Detroit are ongoing problems.



The vast majority of this population loss was due to the deindustrialization of Detroit that moved factories to the suburbs.


Many people often cite political corruption as a major reason for Detroit's decline. While Detroit's city government is undeniably rife with corruption, it is almost certainly not any more corrupt than the governments of other major cities such as New York, Chicago, or San Francisco that fared far better economically from 1970–2010.


As foreign imports (mostly from Japan) captured an increasingly large part of the market, American cars were less and less able to compete. US companies were unable or unwilling to adapt to the changing markets and increased competition.



Detroit's decline began mainly because structural changes in the auto industry led to the steady loss of manufacturing jobs over several decades. Other contributing factors include longstanding racial tensions leading to crime and public safety issues, increasing burdens placed on businesses as the city tried to maintain its shrinking tax base, the business practices of the Big 3 auto companies, and poor urban planning.


In many ways, Detroit represents the perfect storm of what happened to a lot of cities that had been built on an industrial base which fled overseas, coupled with the flight of folks to suburban areas ringing the cities. It's case is unique in severity, but not in kind.

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