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The Detroit metropolitan area, often referred to as Metro Detroit, is the metropolitan area located in Southeast Michiganmarker centered on the city of Detroitmarker. 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.marker economy.


At its core, Metro Detroit comprises the counties of Waynemarker, Oakland, and Macomb. These counties are sometimes referred to informally as the Detroit Tri-County Area.

The Detroit Urban Area, which serves as the core of the Metropolitan Statistical Area, ranks as the 9th most populous of the United States, with a population of 3,903,377 as of the 2000 census, and area of .

The United States Office of Management and Budget defines the Detroit–Warren–Livonia Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) as the six counties of Lapeermarker, Livingstonmarker, Macombmarker, Oaklandmarker, St. Clairmarker, and Waynemarker. As of the 2000 census, the MSA had a population of 4,441,551. The Census Bureau's 2008 estimate placed the population at 4,425,110, which ranks it as the eleventh-largest MSA. The MSA covers an area of .

The nine-county area designated by the United States Census Bureau as the Detroit–Ann Arbor–Flint Combined Statistical Area (CSA) includes the three additional counties of Geneseemarker, Monroemarker, and Washtenawmarker, the metropolitan areas of Flintmarker, Ann Arbormarker, and Monroemarker, plus the Detroit-Warren-Livonia MSA. It had a population of 5,357,538 as of the 2000 census. The Census Bureau's 2008 estimate placed the population at 5,354,225. This CSA covers an area of . Lenawee Countymarker was removed from Detroit's CSA in 2000.

With the adjacent city of Windsor, Ontariomarker and its suburbs, the combined Windsor-Detroit area has a population of about 5.9 million.

When the nearby Toledo Metropolitan Area and its commuters are taken into account, the region constitutes a much larger population center with an estimated 46 million people living within a radius of Detroit proper.


The region's nine county area with its population of 5.4 million has a workforce of about 2.6 million with about 240,000 businesses. Metro Detroit has made Michigan's economy a leader in information technology, life sciences, and advanced manufacturing; Michiganmarker ranks fourth nationally in high tech employment with 568,000 high tech workers, including 70,000 in the automotive industry. Michigan typically ranks third or fourth in overall Research & development (R&D) expenditures in the United Statesmarker. Metro Detroit is an important source of engineering job opportunities. The domestic auto industry accounts, directly and indirectly, for one of ten jobs in the United States.

In April 2008, metropolitan Detroit's unemployment rate was 6.9 percent; by April 2009, it rose to 13.6 percent during the recession. Metro Detroit shared in the economic difficulties brought on by the severe stock market decline following the September 11, 2001 attacks which had caused a pension and benefit fund crisis for American companies including General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler. During the Economic crisis of 2008, President George W. Bush extended loans from the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) funds in order to help the Big three automakers bridge the recession. The President extended the loans to aid the auto industry's restructuring plans which include a goal to convert long term debt into equity and to make costs competitive. In spite of these efforts, the severity of the recession required Detroit's automakers to take additional steps to restructure, including idling many plants. With the U.S. Treasury extending the necessary debtor in possession financing, Chrysler and GM filled separate 'pre-packaged' Chapter 11 restructurings in May and June 2009 respectively.

Metro Detroit serves as the headquarters for the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command, known as TACOM, with Selfridge Air National Guard Basemarker. Detroit Metropolitan Airportmarker (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 has major port status and an extensive toll-free expressway system. 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. A source of top talent, the University of Michiganmarker in Ann Arbormarker is one of the world's leading research institutions, and Wayne State Universitymarker in Detroit has the largest single-campus medical school in the United States.

In 2004, led by Metro Detroit, Michigan ranked second nationally in new corporate facilities and expansions. From 1997 to 2004, Michigan was the only state to top the 10,000 mark for the number of major new developments. Metro Detroit is a leading corporate location with major office complexes such as the Renaissance Centermarker, the Southfield Town Centermarker, and Cadillac Placemarker with the Fisher Buildingmarker in the historic New Center area. Both BorgWarner and TRW Automotive Holdings chose Metro Detroit for their new headquarters. Quicken Loans, National City Bank, Ernst & Young, GMAC, 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. Electronic Data Systems (EDS) makes Metro Detroit its regional headquarters, and one of its largest global employment locations. The area is home to Rofin-Sinar, a leading maker of lasers. The metropolitan Detroit area has one of the nation's largest office markets with 147,082,003 square feet. 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. Downtown Detroit reported $1.3 billion in restorations and new developments for 2006.


Tourism is an important component of the region's culture and economy, comprising nine percent of the area's two million jobs. About 15.9 million people visit metro Detroit annually, spending about $4.8 billion. Detroit is the largest city or metro area in the U.S. to offer casino resorts (MGM Grand Detroitmarker, MotorCity Casinomarker, Greektown Casino, and nearby Caesars Windsormarker). Metro Detroit is tourist destination easily accommodating super-sized crowds to events such as the North American International Auto Show, the Windsor-Detroit International Freedom Festival, Tastefest, 2009 NCAA Final Four, and Super Bowl XL. The Detroit International Riverfrontmarker links the Renaissance Centermarker 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 Parkmarker area downtown. 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 Refugemarker 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 of the Detroit River and Western Lake Erie shoreline.

Metro Detroit contains a number of shopping malls, including the upscale Somerset Collectionmarker in Troy and the Great Lakes Crossingmarker outlet mall in Auburn Hills, both major draws for tourists.

The region's leading attraction is The Henry Fordmarker, located in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn, which is America's largest indoor-outdoor museum complex. The recent renovation of the Renaissance Centermarker, 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 districtmarker. 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.


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 Stadiummarker, 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, and the first two games of the 2006 World Series.

Club Sport League Venue Location
Detroit Lions Football NFL (National Football Conference) Ford Fieldmarker Detroitmarker
Detroit Red Wings Ice hockey NHL (Western Conference) Joe Louis Arenamarker Detroitmarker
Detroit Pistons Basketball NBA (Eastern Conference) Palace of Auburn Hillsmarker Auburn Hillsmarker
Detroit Tigers Baseball MLB (American League) Comerica Parkmarker Detroitmarker
Eastern Michigan Universitymarker various NCAA (Mid-American Conference) various including Rynearson Stadiummarker and The EMU Convocation Centermarker Ypsilantimarker
Oakland University Golden Grizzlies various NCAA (The Summit League) various Rochestermarker
University of Detroit Mercy Titansmarker various NCAA (Horizon League) various, including Calihan Hallmarker Detroitmarker
University of Michigan Wolverines various NCAA (Big Ten Conference, Central Collegiate Hockey Association) various, including Michigan Stadiummarker Ann Arbormarker
Wayne State University Warriorsmarker various NCAA (Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, College Hockey America) various Detroitmarker
various Auto racing NASCAR, IRL, ARCA Michigan International Speedwaymarker Brooklynmarker
Detroit APBA Gold Cup Hydroplane racing APBA Detroit River Detroitmarker
Detroit Ignition Indoor soccer Xtreme Soccer League Compuware Arenamarker Plymouth Townshipmarker
Plymouth Whalers Hockey Ontario Hockey League Compuware Arenamarker Plymouth Townshipmarker
Detroit Waza indoor soccer PASL Compuware Arenamarker Plymouth Townshipmarker


The first Europeans to colonize the Detroit area were French, and their legacy can be observed today in the names of many area cities (ex. Detroitmarker, Grosse Pointe, Grosse Ile) and streets (ex. Gratiot, Beaubien, St. Antoine, Cadieux). Later, there was an influx of persons of British and German descent, followed later by Polish, Irish, Italian, Lebanese, Greek, Jewish, and Belgian immigrants who made their way to the city during the early 20 century and during World War II.In Detroit lives also a large community of Assyrian/Chaldean people with over 100,000 members. There was a large migration into the city of from the rural South following World War I.

Today, the Detroit suburbs in Oakland Countymarker, Macomb Countymarker, and northeastern and northwestern Wayne County are predominantly white. Oakland County is among the most affluent counties in the United States. In Wayne Countymarker, the city of Dearborn has a large concentration of Arab Americans, mainly Lebanesemarker. Recently, the area has witnessed some growth in Albanian American, Asian American 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.

In the 2000s, 70% of the total Black population in Metro Detroit lived in the City of Detroit. Of the 185 cities and townships in Metro Detroit, 115 were over 95% White. Of the more than 240,000 suburban blacks in Metro Detroit, 44% lived in Inkster, Oak Parkmarker, Pontiac, and Southfield; 9/10ths of the African-American population in the area consisted of residents of Detroitmarker, Highland Parkmarker, Inkstermarker, Pontiacmarker, and Southfieldmarker.

Area codes

Metro Detroit is served by eight telephone area codes (ten if Windsor is included). 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.

  • Macomb County is largely served by 586.

  • Genesee, St. Clair, and Lapeer counties, as well as eastern Livingston 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.


Major airports

Major highways

The Metro Detroit area is criss-crossed by several major Interstate highways and freeways.Traditionally, Detroiters refer to their freeways by name rather than route number. Today, 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.

Other major roads

  • 8 Mile Road, known by many due to the film 8 Mile, forms the dividing line between Detroit on the south and the suburbs of Macomb and Oakland counties on the north. It is also known as Baseline Road outside of Detroit, because it coincides with the baseline used in surveying Michigan; that baseline is also the boundary for a number of Michigan counties as well as the boundary for Illinoismarker and Wisconsinmarker. Designated as M-102 for much of its length in Wayne County.
  • Gratiot Avenue is a major road that runs from Port Huron to downtown Detroit.
  • Jefferson Avenue is a scenic highway that runs parallel to the shore of the Detroit River and Lake St. Clair. It is also the principal thoroughfare for the Grosse Pointes, where it is called Lake Shore Drive. Another important dividing line between Detroit and the city of Grosse Pointe Parkmarker is Alter Roadmarker, where portions of some intersecting streets have been reconfigured or walled-off in order to thwart vehicular and pedestrian movement from Detroit into Grosse Pointe Park.
  • Michigan Avenue/US 12 runs from downtown Detroit through the western suburbs toward Ypsilanti, passes south of Ann Arbor, and eventually reaches Chicago, Illinoismarker.
  • Woodward Avenue is considered the Detroit area's main thoroughfare. It is the dividing line between the East Side and the West Side. Woodward stretches from downtown Pontiac to the Detroit River near Hart Plaza. In Downtown Detroit, the Fox Theatremarker and Detroit Institute of Arts are located on Woodward as well as the Detroit Zoo just outside of the city. The Woodward Dream Cruise, a classic car cruise from Pontiac to Ferndalemarker is held in August and is the largest single day classic car cruise in America.
  • Telegraph Road (US 24) is a major north-south road extending from Toledo, Ohiomarker through Monroe, Wayne, and Oakland Counties to Pontiacmarker. It has gained notoriety in a song (Telegraph Road) by the group Dire Straits.
  • Dixie Highway or (Dix-Toledo) is one of America's historic highways. Its eastern division extended from Miami, FL to Sault Ste. Marie, MI. The remnants of this highway exist northbound and southbound through the Detroit metropolitan area.
  • Fort Street is the only Michigan highway in Downriver.It extends from Flat Rock to Detroit.
  • Grand River Avenue connects the suburbs of Brighton, Novi, and Farmington to downtown Detroit. It is one of the 5 roads planned by Judge August Woodward to radiate out from Detroit and connect the city to other parts of the state.

Mile roads

Surface street navigation in Metro Detroit is commonly anchored by "mile roads", major east-west surface streets that are spaced at one-mile 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.

Mass transit

Please see articles: Detroit People Mover, Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT), and Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART).


Notes and references

  1. Lawrence, Peter (2009). Interview with Michigan's Governor, Corporate Design Foundation. Retrieved on May 2, 2009. "Michigan is known as the world's automotive center."
  2. Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau
  3. Windsor, Ontario. Retrieved on September 2, 2007.
  4. Cities located close to Detroit.Time and Date world clock distances. Retrieved on September 2, 2007.
  5. Regional Profile Detroit Regional Chamber. Retrieved on June 17, 2009.
  6. MEDC (2009). Michigan: High Technology Focus State of Michigan. Retrieved on June 17, 2009.
  7. MEDC,(2009). Michigan Advantage State of Michigan. Retrieved on June 17, 2009.
  8. NSF 01-320 (2001). R&D Spending is Highly Concentrated in a Small Number of States National Science Foundation
  9. Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (2006). From the 2003 Study "Contributions of the Automotive Industry to the U.S. Economy" University of Michigan and the Center for Automotive Research
  10. Bureau of Labor Statistics (April 2009). Unemployment rates for metropolitan areas. U.S. Department of Labor. Retrieved on June 17, 2009.
  11. Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth. Retrieved on June 17, 2009.
  12. Sloan, Allan (April 10, 2007). GM's High-Performance Pension Machine Washington Post, D02.
  13. Neuman, Scott (December 20, 2008). Bush Sets $17.4 Billion In Loans For Automakers. Retrieved on December 26, 2008.
  14. Garrett, Major (March 31, 2009). White House Plots GM Bankruptcy, Unsure When Taxpayers Will Recoup $50 Billion Investment.Fox News. Retrieved on June 17, 2009.
  16. Why MITA will be a success.Michigan International Trade Association. Retrieved on September 3, 2007. "Detroit is the most active commercial port of entry in the USA." "Greater Detroit is the number one exporting region among 310 defined metropolitan areas (CMSA) in the U.S."
  17. Regional Advantages for International Business. World Trade Center Detroit Windsor. Retrieved on September 3, 2007.
  18. Why doesn't Michigan have toll roads?.Michigan Department of Transportation. Retrieved on September 5, 2007. "A system of toll free highways has been viewed as important to commerce, industry, tourism, and general economic development."
  19. Detroit Regional Chamber (2006) Detroit/Windsor Border Update: Part I-Detroit River International Crossing Study
  20. Grad profiles. Wayne State. Retrieved on October 27, 2008.
  21. MEDC (2005) Michigan #2 in the Nation for New Corporate Facilities and Expansions in 2004 PR NEWS WIRE
  22. Colliers International Market report, 2006
  23. See the Change (2006) City of Detroit Partnership
  24. Metro Detroit Convention and Visitors Bureau statistics
  25. Mink, Randy, and Karen Mink (July 2001).Detroit Turns 300 - Detroit 300 Festival. Travel America, World Publishing Co., Gale Group.
  26. Fifth Third Bank rocks the Winter Blast.Michigan Chronicle.(March 14, 2006).
  27. America's Story, Explore the States: Michigan (2006). Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village Library of Congress
  28. State of Michigan: MI Kids (2006). Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village
  29. Audi, Tamara (September 26, 2007). What Happens In Detroit. The Wall Street Journal, B6. "But the market at issue, as MGM Mirage sees it, includes a 300-mile radius of potential overnight clients across the region,"
  30. Baulch, Vivian M. (September 4, 1999). Michigan's greatest treasure -- Its people. Michigan History, The Detroit News. Retrieved on April 4, 2009.
  31. Metro Area Factsheet: Detroit-Ann Arbor-Flint, Michigan CMSA.Federation for Immigration Reform. Retrieved on May 5, 2009.
  32. Towbridge, Gordon. " Racial divide widest in US." The Detroit News. January 14, 2002. Retrieved on March 30, 2009.
  33. " January 14, 2002 archive." The Detroit News at Brown University. January 14, 2002. Retrieved on March 30, 2009.

See also

External links

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