Based on last week’s bankruptcy filing, Detroit is in dire straits. And according to comments from Governor Rick Snyder, the problem is not tough to see.
Consider some of the brutal facts about Detroit compiled by the Economic Collapse Blog:
- Unemployment in the city is almost triple what it was in 2000, and currently sits at 16.3% – more than double the national average of 7.6%.
- If you call a cop almost anywhere in America, the wait is an average of 11 minutes. In the Motor City, you’ll wait almost an hour (58 min average response time).
- Almost 80,000 homes sit abandoned — many have been vandalized or are being used by a host various drug addicts.
- In the first three months of 2013, it was estimated that as many as 40% of the city’s street lights were not working.
Once the 4th largest city in America, Detroit is now down 63%. Since 1950, more people have left Detroit than currently live there. To be specific, at one point Detroit had 1.8 million people — today, the estimate is around 700,000. To wrap your head around that fact, consider that more than 1.1 million people left Detroit. In other words, the entire population of Dallas would have to get up and move away, leaving a ghost town.
Why did the people leave? Jobs. In 1950, Detroit was a manufacturing machine and employed nearly 300,000 people. Today, that number is closer to 25,000.
As a consequence of losing both huge numbers of manufacturing jobs and people, Detroit has spent the past six decades heading towards the fiscal issues that forced the city to file for bankruptcy protection.
And think about this: Murder rates are higher than normal in the city and Detroit regularly finds itself atop or near the top of the list of “America’s most dangerous cities.”
There’s more, lots more in the file of disturbing facts about Detroit. Review these nuggets:
- Of the remaining population, one report says almost of Detroiters are “functionally illiterate.”
- The city owes money to more than 100,000 creditors.
- One estimate says the city’s unfunded liabilities now approach $20 billion or 25,000 per remaining resident.
- The city has an unsustainable ratio of workers to retirees (who are owed some very generous benefits for decades) – approximately 10,000 workers and 20,000 retirees.
- The murder rate is 11 times higher than in NYC, and violent crime happens in the city at a level more than five times the national average.
Why didn’t we see this coming?
Well, some people did. In 2011, financial analyst Meredith Whitney predicted much of the meltdown – and was criticized for it.
And in 2009, Steven Crowder showed what life was like on the streets of the once-proud city.
To see more of the 25 facts about Detroit, visit the Economic Collapse Blog.
Follow Mike Opelka on Twitter – @stuntbrain