Eerie abandoned streets and crumbling, derelict homes: Bleak images capture Detroit’s decline
Motor City's was there for all to see, long before it became the largest city in US history to file for bankruptcy
Detroit’s decline was no well-guarded secret.
Once the eighth largest city in America, with close to 1.9 million residents, Detroit’s current population of 700,000 means it is now smaller than the likes of Columbus, Ohio and Forth Worth, Texas.
The signs of mass departure can be seen everywhere; 70,000 homes in the city stand empty, cracked crumbling ruins that once housed happy families during Motor City’s heyday.
The streets are seemingly abandoned – this is, of course, a city built to house close to three times its current population.
The neglect isn’t sporadic either. Great swathes of the city stand completely derelict as those that remain move closer together for convenience and safety.
Security in the neighbourhoods they leave behind is a major issue. Although in the downtown area crime in below the US average, Detroit still has the highest per capita rate of violent crime among the largest 25 cities in America.
Detroit has been named ‘America’s Most Dangerous City’ by the FBI seven years in a row, citing a devastatingly high rate of murders, violent assaults, rapes, robberies and manslaughter.
To rub yet more salt into Detroiters wounds, the symbols of the city’s once prosperous past can be seen all over.
The city was, of course, the former automotive capital of America, given the nickname Motor City thanks to its thriving vehicle manufacturing industry.
There were once 300,000 manufacturing jobs in the city. The boom began in the years immediately after World War II, and continued until the 1960s – a decade dominated by the Detroit-based Motown Records.
The decline began shortly after however, as car factories began leaving the city en-masse, causing the population collapse and a resulting massive drop in income from a decreasing tax base. A long history of financial mismanagement by the city’s authorities only added to its economic decline.
Little was done to stem the decay over the subsequent decades, meaning that now, several decades down the line, the city is in worse shape than ever.
As Michigan Governor, Rick Snyder said last night as the city filed for bankruptcy: “The fiscal realities confronting Detroit have been ignored for too long… [This is] a problem that has been six decades in the making.”
While the exact figure of how much Detroit owes its creditors is disputed - estimates have varied from $18.5bn to as much as $20bn - one thing is for certain: the city is entering uncharted territory.
Until last night, the title of America’s largest municipal bankruptcy belonged to Jefferson County in Alabama. Its debts when it filed for bankruptcy were around $4bn.
- 1 Caitlyn Jenner car crash: Driver who died in collision sued by surviving passengers for $18.5m
- 3 Watch the Supermoon live: How to see the brightest Moon of the year tonight
- 4 Hulk Hogan wants to be Donald Trump's running mate in the US Presidential election
Caitlyn Jenner car crash: Driver who died in collision sued by surviving passengers for $18.5m
Celebrity Big Brother 2015: Tila Tequila kicked off show after 'describing Hitler as a good man'
Watch the Supermoon live: How to see the brightest Moon of the year tonight
Hulk Hogan wants to be Donald Trump's running mate in the US Presidential election
Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Stock up on canned food for stock market crash, warns former Gordon Brown adviser
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...
£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...
£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...