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Detroit metropolitan area

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Detroit metropolitan area

Metro Detroit
Detroit metropolitan area
Metropolitan area
National Historic Landmarks.
Landsat 7 satellite.
Country  United States
State Michigan Michigan
Largest city Detroit
 • Urban 1,337.1 sq mi (3,463 km2)
 • MSA 3,888.4 sq mi (10,071 km2)
 • CSA 5,814 sq mi (15,060 km2)
Elevation 569–1,280 ft (173–390 m)
Population (2010)
 • Urban 3,734,090 (11th)
 • Urban density 2,792.5/sq mi (1,078.2/km2)
 • Metro density 1,104.8/sq mi (426.6/km2)
 • MSA 4,296,250 (13th)
 • CSA 5,218,852 (11th)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Area code(s) 248, 313, 586, 734, 810, 947

The Detroit metropolitan area, often referred to as Metro Detroit, is a major metropolitan area located in Southeast Michigan, constituted of the city of Detroit and its surrounding area. There are several definitions of the area, including the official statistical areas designated by the Office of Management and Budget, a federal agency of the United States. Metro Detroit is known for its automotive heritage, arts, entertainment, popular music, and sports. The area includes a variety of natural landscapes, parks, and beaches, with a recreational coastline linking the Great Lakes.


The Detroit Urban Area, which serves as the core of the metropolitan area, ranks as the 12th most populous in the United States, with a population of 3,734,090 as of the 2010 census and an area of 1,337.16 square miles (3,463.2 km2). This urbanized area covers parts of the counties of Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne.[1] These counties are sometimes referred to as the Detroit Tri-County Area and had a population of 3,862,888 as of the 2010 census with an area of 1,967.1 square miles (5,095 km2).

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB), a federal agency of the United States, defines the Detroit–Warren–Livonia Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) as the six counties of Lapeer, Livingston, Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, and Wayne. As of the 2010 census, the MSA had a population of 4,296,250 with an area of 3,913 square miles (10,130 km2).

The nine county area designated by the OMB as the Detroit–Ann Arbor–Flint Combined Statistical Area (CSA) includes the Detroit–Warren–Livonia MSA and the three additional counties of Genesee, Monroe, and Washtenaw (which include the metropolitan areas of Flint, Monroe, and Ann Arbor, respectively). It had a population of 5,218,852 as of the 2010 census and covers an area of 5,814 square miles (15,060 km2). Lenawee County was removed from the CSA in 2000.

With the adjacent city of Windsor, Ontario and its suburbs, the combined Detroit–Windsor area has a population of about 5.7 million.[2] When the nearby Toledo metropolitan area and its commuters are taken into account, the region constitutes a much larger population center. An estimated 46 million people live within a 300-mile (480 km) radius of Detroit proper.[3] Metro Detroit is at the center of an emerging Great Lakes Megalopolis.


The region's nine county area with its population of 5.3 million has a workforce of about 2.6 million with about 247,000 businesses.[4] In May 2012, the metro area unemployment rate was 9.9 percent.[5][6] Metro Detroit has made Michigan's economy a leader in information technology, biotechnology, and advanced manufacturing; Michigan ranks fourth nationally in high tech employment with 568,000 high tech workers, including 70,000 in the automotive industry.[7][8] Michigan typically ranks second or third in overall Research & development (R&D) expenditures in the United States.[9][10] Metro Detroit is an important source of engineering and high tech job opportunities.[11] As the home of the "Big Three" American automakers (General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler), it is the world's traditional automotive center and a key pillar of the U.S. economy.[12][13][14] In the 2010s, the domestic auto industry accounts, directly and indirectly, for one of ten jobs in the United States making it a significant component for economic recovery.[15]

For 2010, the domestic automakers have reported significant profits indicating the beginning of rebound.[16][17][18][19] A Center for Automotive Research (CAR) study estimated that tax revenue generated by the automotive industry in the United States for a single year, 2010, amounted to $91.5 billion in state and local tax revenue and additional $43 billion in federal tax revenue.[20]

Metro Detroit serves as the headquarters for the United States Army TACOM Life Cycle Management Command (TACOM), with Selfridge Air National Guard Base. Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) is one of America's largest and most recently modernized facilities, with six major runways, Boeing 747 maintenance facilities, and an attached Westin Hotel and Conference Center.

Detroit is a major U.S. port[21] with an extensive toll-free expressway system.[22][23] A 2004 Border Transportation Partnership study showed that 150,000 jobs in the Detroit-Windsor region and $13 billion in annual production depend on Detroit's international border crossing.[24] A source of top talent, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor is one of the world's leading research institutions,[25] and Wayne State University in Detroit has the largest single-campus medical school in the United States.[26]

From the metro area economy, Michigan was second in the U.S. in 2004 for new corporate facilities and expansions.[27] From 1997 to 2004, Michigan was the only state to top the 10,000 mark for the number of major new developments.[27] Metro Detroit is a leading corporate location with major office complexes such as the Renaissance Center, the Southfield Town Center, and Cadillac Place with the Fisher Building in the historic New Center area. Both BorgWarner and TRW Automotive Holdings chose Metro Detroit for their new headquarters. Quicken Loans, Ernst & Young, Ally Financial, Visteon, and OnStar are sources of growth.

Compuware, IBM, Google, and Covansys are examples information technology and software companies with a headquarters or major presence in Metro Detroit. HP Enterprise Services makes Metro Detroit its regional headquarters, and one of its largest global employment locations. The metropolitan Detroit area has one of the nation's largest office markets with 147,082,003 square feet.[28] Virtually every major U.S company and many from around the globe have a presence in Metro Detroit. Chrysler's largest corporate facility is its U.S. headquarters and technology center in the Detroit suburb of Auburn Hills. In decade leading up to 2006, downtown Detroit gained more than $15 billion in new investment from private and public sectors.[29]


Tourism is an important component of the region's culture and economy, comprising nine percent of the area's two million jobs.[30] About 15.9 million people visit metro Detroit annually, spending about $4.8 billion.[31] Detroit is the largest city or metro area in the U.S. to offer casino resort hotels (MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino, Greektown Casino, and nearby Caesars Windsor).[32]

Metro Detroit is a tourist destination easily accommodating super-sized crowds to events such as the North American International Auto Show, the Windsor-Detroit International Freedom Festival, 2009 NCAA Final Four, and Super Bowl XL. The Detroit International Riverfront links the Renaissance Center a series of venues, parks, restaurants, and hotels. In 2006, the four-day Motown Winter Blast drew a cold weather crowd of about 1.2 million people to Campus Martius Park area downtown.[33]

Detroit's metroparks include fresh water beaches such as Metropolitan Beach, Kensington Beach, and Stony Creek Beach. Metro Detroit offers canoeing through the Huron-Clinton Metroparks as well as downhill and cross-county skiing at Alpine Valley Ski Resort, Mt. Brighton, Mt. Holly, and Pine Knob Ski Resort. The Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge is the only international wildlife preserve in North America, uniquely located in the heart of a major metropolitan area. The Refuge includes islands, coastal wetlands, marshes, shoals, and waterfront lands along 48 miles (77 km) of the Detroit River and Western Lake Erie shoreline.

Metro Detroit contains a number of shopping malls, including the upscale Somerset Collection in Troy, Great Lakes Crossing outlet mall in Auburn Hills, and Twelve Oaks Mall in Novi, all of which are draws for tourists.

The region's leading attraction is The Henry Ford, located in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn, which is America's largest indoor-outdoor museum complex.[34][35] The recent renovation of the Renaissance Center, a state of the art cruise ship dock, new stadiums, and a new RiverWalk have spurred economic development. Nearby Windsor has a 19 year old drinking age with a myriad of entertainment to complement Detroit's Greektown district. Tourism planners have yet to tap the potential economic impact of the estimated 46 million people that live within a 300-mile (480-km) radius of Detroit.[3][36]


As of the census of 2010, there were 4,296,250 people, 1,682,111 households, and 1,110,454 families residing within the metropolitan statistical area. The census reported 70.1% White, 22.8% African American, 0.3% Native American, 3.3% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.2% from other races, and 2.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.2% of the population. Arab Americans were at least 4.7% of the region's population (considered white in the US Census).

As of the 2010 American Community Survey estimates, the median income for a household in the MSA was $48,198, and the median income for a family was $62,119. The per capita income for the MSA was $25,403. The region's foreign-born population sat at 8.6%.

Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 20124,292,060−0.1%

In 1701, French officer Antoine de La Mothe Cadillac, along with fifty-one additional French-Canadians, founded a settlement called Fort Ponchartrain du Détroit, naming it after the comte de Pontchartrain, Minister of Marine under Louis XIV. The French legacy can be observed today in the names of many area cities (ex. Detroit, Grosse Pointe, Grosse Ile) and streets (ex. Gratiot, Beaubien, St. Antoine, Cadieux). Later came an influx of persons of British and German descent, followed by Polish, Irish, Italian, Lebanese, Assyrian/Chaldean, Greek, Jewish, and Belgian immigrants who made their way to the area in the early 20th century and during and after World War II.[37] There was a large migration into the city of from the rural South following World War I.[37]

Today, the Detroit suburbs in Oakland County, Macomb County, and northeastern and northwestern Wayne County are predominantly Caucasian. Oakland County is among the most affluent counties in the United States with populations over one million.[38] In Wayne County, the city of Dearborn has a large concentration of Arab Americans, mainly Lebanese. Recently, the area has witnessed some growth in Albanian, Asian and Hispanic populations. Immigration continues to play a role in the region's projected growth with the population of Detroit-Ann Arbor-Flint (CMSA) estimated to be 6,191,000 by 2025.[39] In 2010 four Metro Detroit counties had at least 200,000 people of Middle Eastern origin. Bobby Ghosh of TIME. said that some estimates give much larger numbers. A 2007 Wayne University study said that the Metro Detroit Arab American community produced $7.7 billion annually in earnings and salaries.[40] As of 2007 about 300,000 people in Southeastern Michigan trace their descent from the Middle East.[41] Dearborn has a sizeable Arab community, with many Assyrian/Chaldean/Syriac, and Lebanese who immigrated for jobs in the auto industry in the 1920s along with more recent Yemenis and Iraqis.[42] Sally Howell, author of Howell, "Competing for Muslims: New Strategies for Urban Renewal in Detroit", wrote that Yemeni people had a presence in the area since the late 1960s.[43] The majority of the Chaldean population as it was in 2011 settled in Metro Detroit in the late 1960s. The Chaldeans settled the area because of job availability in the automobile industry, the presence of a Lebanese Maronite community that the Chaldeans worshiped with and could relate to, and a pre-existing Chaldean community in nearby Windsor, Ontario. As of 2011 many Chaldeans are involved in the merchant trade.[44]

From 2000 to 2010 the Asian American population combined of Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties increased by 37%. As of 2010 almost half of the Asian Americans in the three county area live in Oakland County. according to Sarah Swider, a sociologist from Wayne State University who specializes in gender issues, labor relations, and immigration from Asia, the increase in the Asian population in the Detroit area is due to Asian Americans leaving traditional immigration gateway cities such as Los Angeles, New York City, and Washington DC and settling in areas with high-tech job opportunities and lower costs of living.[45]

In 1996 4,084 Japanese nationals lived in Metro Detroit. By 1997 the figure of Japanese nationals in Metro Detroit was 4,132.[46] As of April 2013, the largest Japanese national population in the State of Michigan is in Novi in Metro Detroit, with 2,666 Japanese residents. West Bloomfield Township had the third largest Japanese population and Farmington Hills had the fourth largest Japanese population.[47]

As of 2007 most Hmong people in the State of Michigan live in northeastern Detroit, but they have been increasingly moving to Pontiac and Warren.[48]

In the 2000s, 115 of the 185 cities and townships in Metro Detroit were over 95% white. Of the more than 240,000 suburban blacks in Metro Detroit, 44% lived in Inkster, Oak Park, Pontiac, and Southfield; most of the African American population in the area resided in Detroit, Highland Park, Inkster, Pontiac, and Southfield.[49]

As of 1990, there were about 50,000 to 60,000 Chaldeans in the metropolitan area. The population of Jewish people was slightly larger than the Chaldean population that year. The groups first arrived in Detroit decades before 1990 and started grocery stores and small shops. Once the socioeconomic standing improved, the group members moved to the suburbs. During the first wave they settled Oak Park and Southfield. During the second wave they moved to Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Farmington Hills, and West Bloomfield Township.[50]

Metro Detroit
Major city Detroit
over 80,000
Canton TownshipClinton TownshipDearbornFarmington HillsLivoniaSterling HeightsTroyWarrenWestland
Bloomfield Township • Dearborn Heights • Grosse Pointe  • Macomb Township • Novi • Pontiac • Redford Township • Rochester Hills • Royal Oak • Saint Clair Shores • Shelby Township • Southfield • Taylor • Waterford Township • West Bloomfield Township
Cultural enclaves Auburn Hills • Birmingham • Bloomfield Hills • Dearborn • Downtown Detroit • Grosse Pointe • Midtown Detroit • New Center • Northville • Rochester • Royal Oak • Southfield • Troy • Plymouth
Satellite cities Adrian • Ann Arbor • Brighton • Flint • Howell • Jackson • Lapeer • Monroe  • Port HuronToledoWindsor
Counties in MSA Lapeer • Livingston  • Macomb • Oakland • St. Clair • Wayne
Counties in CSA GeneseeMonroeWashtenaw
Regions Southeast MichiganGreat Lakes
Outlying regions Central Michigan • Flint/Tri-Cities • Northwest OhioSouthwestern Ontario
Topics Architecture · Culture · Detroit River · Economy · Freeways · History · Historic places · International Riverfront · Lake St. Clair · Media · Music · Parks and beaches · People · Skyscrapers · Sports · Theatre · Tourism · Transportation
† - Wayne County Seat.



Transit systems

Bus service for the metropolitan area is provided jointly by the Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT) and Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) which operate under a cooperative service and fare agreement. The Detroit People Mover monorail encircles downtown and a proposed SEMCOG Commuter Rail could extend from Detroit's New Center area to The Henry Ford, Dearborn, Detroit Metropolitan Airport, Ypsilanti, and Ann Arbor[51]

Roads and freeways

The Metro Detroit area is linked by an advanced network of major roads and freeways which include Interstate highways. Traditionally, Detroiters refer to some of their freeways by name rather than route number. The Davison, Lodge, and Southfield freeways are almost always referred to by name rather than route number. Detroiters commonly precede freeway names with the word 'the' as in the Lodge, the Southfield, and the Davison. Those without names are referred to by number.

Surface street navigation in Metro Detroit is commonly anchored by "mile roads", major east-west surface streets that are spaced at one-mile (1.6 km) intervals and increment as one travels north and away from the city center. Mile roads sometimes have two names, the numeric name (ex. 15 Mile Road) used in Macomb County and a local name (ex. Maple Road) used in Oakland County mostly.


Area codes

Metro Detroit is served by eight telephone area codes (six not including Windsor). The 313 area code, which used to encompass all of Southeast Michigan, has been narrowed to the city of Detroit and a few close suburbs.

  • The 248 area code along with the newer 947 area code overlay mostly serve Oakland County.
  • Macomb County is largely served by 586.
  • Genesee, St. Clair, and Lapeer counties, eastern Livingston County, and part of northern Oakland County are covered by 810.
  • Washtenaw, Monroe, and western Wayne are in the 734 area.
  • The Windsor area (and most of southwestern Ontario) is served by 519 and 226.


Professional sports has a major fan following in Metro Detroit. The area is home to many sports teams, including six professional teams in four major sports. The area's several universities field teams in a variety of sports. Michigan Stadium, home of the Michigan Wolverines, is the largest American football stadium in the world. Metro Detroit hosts many annual sporting events including auto and hydroplane racing. The area has hosted many major sporting events, including the 1994 FIFA World Cup, Super Bowl XVI, Super Bowl XL, the 2005 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, many Stanley Cup Championship rounds, the first two games of the 2006 World Series, and the last two games of the 2012 World Series.

Club Sport League Venue Location
Detroit Lions Football NFL (National Football Conference) Ford Field Detroit
Detroit Red Wings Ice hockey NHL (Eastern Conference) Joe Louis Arena Detroit
Detroit Pistons Basketball NBA (Eastern Conference) The Palace of Auburn Hills Auburn Hills
Detroit Tigers Baseball MLB (American League) Comerica Park Detroit
Eastern Michigan University various NCAA (Mid-American Conference) various including Rynearson Stadium and The EMU Convocation Center Ypsilanti
Oakland University Golden Grizzlies various NCAA (Horizon League) various Rochester
University of Detroit Mercy Titans various NCAA (Horizon League) various, including Calihan Hall Detroit
University of Michigan Wolverines various NCAA (Big Ten Conference, Central Collegiate Hockey Association) various, including Michigan Stadium Ann Arbor
Wayne State University Warriors various NCAA (Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, College Hockey America) various Detroit
various Auto racing NASCAR, IRL, ARCA Michigan International Speedway Brooklyn
Detroit APBA Gold Cup Hydroplane racing APBA Detroit River Detroit
Detroit Ignition Indoor soccer Xtreme Soccer League Compuware Arena Plymouth Township
Plymouth Whalers Hockey Ontario Hockey League Compuware Arena Plymouth Township
Detroit Waza indoor soccer PASL Compuware Arena Plymouth Township

Notes and references


  • Howell, Sally. "Competing for Muslims: New Strategies for Urban Renewal in Detroit". Located in: Shryock, Andrew (editor). Islamophobia/Islamophilia: Beyond the Politics of Enemy and Friend. Indiana University Press, June 30, 2010. ISBN 0253004543, 9780253004543.


External links

  • Metro Detroit Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Southeast Michigan Council of Governments
  • Michigan's Official Economic Development and Travel Site.
  • Map of Michigan Lighthouse in PDF Format.

Coordinates: 42°21′29″N 83°12′54″W / 42.358°N 83.215°W / 42.358; -83.215

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