A deep dive into why the city of Detroit, Michigan has been labeled as one of America’s most dangerous cities.
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History of Detroit
Detroit has a long and rich history, dating back to the early 1800s. The city was founded by French settlers and was once a thriving metropolis. However, over the years, Detroit has become synonymous with crime and poverty. In recent years, the city has been making a comeback, but there is still a long way to go.
The city’s decline
In the late 1950s, the automobile industry began to relocate production outside the United States. The city’s tax base declined as a result, and services deteriorated. The 1967 Detroit riot marked a major turning point in the city’s history; white flight from Detroit accelerated after the 12th Street riot. Parts of the city remained white until the early 2000s. In 1957, nearly one-third of Detroit’s population was black; by 2010, it was more than 80%.
The city’s bankruptcy
In July 2013, Detroit filed for bankruptcy, the largest municipal bankruptcy filing in U.S. history by debt at $18–20 billion. It is also the largest city by population to file for bankruptcy, more than twice the size of St. Louis, which filed in December 2011.
On December 3, 2013, Judge Steven Rhodes of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan ruled that Detroit was eligible for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection. His ruling said that “the city delivered a plan of adjustment that is fair and equitable and feasible”. The city’s case was assigned to Judge Rhodes and a hearing was initially set for December 19, 2013, to approve the city’s disclosure statement—a necessary precursor to any plan of adjustment—but that hearing was postponed until January 16, 2014.
In his ruling on the matter, Judge Rhodes said: “This is a case about a city that has reached its financial end… its populations has declined precipitously.. almost all basic services have eroded.. [and] its ability to generate Enough revenues to fund those services has nearly disappeared”. The filing also noted that over 78 percent of the city’s property owners had not paid their 2011 property taxes.
The city’s crime rate
The city’s crime rate has been a problem for many years. In 2013, the city had the second highest murder rate in the country.1 Violent crime overall is also very high in Detroit. In 2016, there were 2,047 violent crimes per 100,000 people in the city.2 That means that there were about 20 violent crimes for every 1,000 people in Detroit that year. To put that in perspective, the national average violent crime rate is 383 per 100,000 people.3
There are a number of factors that contribute to Detroit’s high crime rate. These include poverty, unemployment, and a lack of opportunity.4 Additionally, the city has a long history of police corruption and misconduct.5 This has led to a lack of trust between the police and the community.
The city has been working to improve its public safety for many years now. It has implemented a number of programs and initiatives aimed at reducing crime.6 These have included hiring more police officers, increasing funding for youth programs, and improving neighborhood conditions.7 While there has been some progress made, the city’s crime rate remains one of the highest in the country.
Property crime is a category of crime that includes all crimes involving the taking of property, but does not involve force or threat of force against a person. In 2013, there were about 8.6 million property crimes in the United States. The majority of property crimes are thefts, which can include shoplifting, bicycle theft, motor vehicle theft, and burglary. Arson is also considered a property crime, but is typically a very small percentage of all property crimes.
The rate of property crime in the United States has been declining since the early 1990s. In 2013, the property crime rate was 2,730 per 100,000 residents. This is a decrease from the 2012 rate of 2,859 per 100,000 residents. The 2013 rate is also lower than the rates in 2009 (2,908 per 100,000) and 2006 (3,001 per 100,000).
The city’s poverty rate
Detroit’s high poverty rate is one of the main reasons why the city is so dangerous. About 40% of the population lives below the poverty line, which is much higher than the national average. This means that there are a lot of people in Detroit who are struggling to make ends meet. When people are struggling, they are more likely to turn to crime.
The city’s unemployment rate
For much of the 20th century, the city of Detroit was a booming economic powerhouse. However, in recent decades, the city has suffered from a massive decline in industry and jobs. This has led to a correspondingly drastic increase in poverty and crime. As of 2018, the poverty rate in Detroit is a staggering 34.5%. This is more than double the national poverty rate of 13.4%.
Part of the reason why Detroit is so dangerous is that its large impoverished population is highly concentrated in specific areas. According to data from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, nearly 60% of people living in poverty in Detroit live in neighborhoods that are at least 80% African American. Concentrated poverty leads to increased crime rates, as well as poor educational outcomes, poor health outcomes, and limited economic opportunities.
The city’s unemployment rate is also sky-high, at 8.9%. This means that there are far fewer opportunities for employment and economic advancement for residents of Detroit. The lack of good-paying jobs leads many people to turn to criminal activity in order to make ends meet. In addition, the high unemployment rate creates an environment of hopelessness and despair, which can further contribute to crime rates.
The city’s median income
The city’s median income is $26,095, while the poverty rate is 36.2%. That means more than a third of residents don’t earn enough money to cover basic living expenses. The high poverty rate is likely due to a combination of factors, including the loss of manufacturing jobs, a decrease in population, and low wages.
The city’s population
The city’s demographics
The city’s population is more than 80% African American, and more than 30% of residents live in poverty. The unemployment rate is high, and many residents don’t have access to basic necessities like food, water, and shelter. These factors all contribute to the city’s high crime rate.
The city’s infrastructure
The city’s schools
The schools in Detroit are in a critical state. In the 2015-2016 school year, the district had an enrollment of 46,000 students in 167 schools, making it the largest school district in the state. Of those 167 schools, 142 were ranked in the bottom 5% of all Michigan schools. In addition, 24 of those schools were ranked in the bottom 1% statewide.
The high school graduation rate for Detroit was just over 60% in 2016. This is down from 71% in 2012. The dropout rate has also increased, from 7.5% in 2012 to 11.6% in 2016.
There are several reasons for the poor performance of Detroit’s schools. One is that many of the city’s students come from low-income families. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 83% of Detroit students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. This is more than double the national average of 40%.
Another reason for the poor performance of Detroit’s schools is that they have been underfunded for years. In 2011, Michigan cut $327 per student from its education budget. This was one of the deepest cuts to education funding in the country. As a result, Detroit’s schools have been struggling to provide a quality education to its students with dwindling resources.
The city’s transportation
A well-functioning city needs an efficient transportation system to move people and goods around. Unfortunately, Detroit’s transportation infrastructure is not up to par. The city’s streets are in poor condition, and its public transportation system is unreliable. These problems make it difficult for residents to get to work, school, and other places they need to go. As a result, many people end up walking or biking on dangerous streets, which can lead to accidents.