Pontiac is a city in the
U.S. state of Michigan named after
the Ottawa Chief Pontiac.
As of the 2000 census
, the city had a total
population of 66,337. It is the county
seat of Oakland County . Considered a satellite city of Detroit, it is
surrounded by affluent Metro Detroit
The city is best-known for its General Motors
plants (GM's primary truck plant was formerly in Pontiac) and the
GM automobile brand, Pontiac
, which was
first produced in and named after the city. Also of note is the
Silverdome, the stadium that hosted the Detroit Lions from 1975 until 2002 when they
moved back to Downtown Detroit.
According to the United
States Census Bureau
, the city has a total area of 20.2 square
miles (52.3 km²), of which, 20.0 square miles (51.8 km²)
of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.6 km²) of it (1.09%) is
is bounded by the City of Auburn Hills to the east and north, the City of Lake
Angelus to the north, Waterford
Township to the west, and Bloomfield Township to the south.
The defunct civil township
, which was
known as Pontiac
, initially included what are now the cities of
Pontiac, Lake Angelus, and Auburn Hills. The township incorporated
as the City of Auburn Hills in 1983. Although the township no
longer exists as a civil entity, it is still used as a survey township
for land use purposes.
As of recent 2008 estimates, there were 66,218 people, 24,234
households, and 15,267 families residing in the city. The population density
was 3,318.2 per square
mile (1,281.3/km²). There were 26,336 housing units at an average
density of 1,317.3/sq mi (508.7/km²). The racial makeup of the
city was 21.1% White
0.53% Native American
, 0.04% Pacific Islander
, 6.47% from
, and 3.50%
from two or more races. Hispanic
of any race were 13.37% of the
There were 24,234 households out of which 33.9% had children under
the age of 18 living with them, 31.5% were married couples
living together, 25.2% had a female
householder with no husband present, and 37.0% were non-families.
29.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.0% had
someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average
household size was 2.68 and the average family size was 3.32.
In the city the population was spread out with 30.6% under the age
of 18, 10.3% from 18 to 24, 32.3% from 25 to 44, 18.3% from 45 to
64, and 8.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was
30 years. For every 100 females there were 94.8 males. For every
100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.3 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $31,207, and the
median income for a family was $36,391. Males had a median income
of $31,961 versus $24,765 for females. The per capita income
for the city was
$15,842. About 18.0% of families and 22.1% of the population were
below the poverty line
, including 29.3%
of those under age 18 and 15.7% of those age 65 or over.
Residents are zoned to the School District of the
City of Pontiac
. The district runs one main high school,
Pontiac High School
. The other
main high school, Pontiac
Central High School
closed in 2009. In recent years, many
residents of southern Pontiac have begun sending their kids to
Hills Schools and Waterford Schools causing a notable
swell in the number of children attending those high
The district currently serves to about 6200 students.
There are four charter schools in Pontiac which offer a school
choice to residents of Pontiac and the surrounding cities. The four
charter schools are: Pontiac Academy for Excellence (K-12), Arts
and Technology Academy, Walton Charter, and Great Lakes
Regionally, the city is known for the Arts, Beats and Eats
, a widely attended summer festival featuring an art
show, musical concert venues (including The
), and a sampling of food from numerous regional
The city is at the north end of the famous Woodward Avenue
, known in the 1950s and
1960s as being popular with young people who would "cruise" and
drag-race their hot-rods
in the area.
Pontiac participates in the annual Woodward Dream Cruise
, an event
celebrating Woodward's hot-rod history, stretching from Pontiac to
The city is also host to 2 of the nation's renowned Haunted Houses:
The Realm of Darkness and Erebus. The Realm of Darkness has in
previous years been chosen as America's Best Haunted House. Erebus
currently holds the world record for "Largest Haunted House" at 4
one of the cities in Michigan being used to film the 2010 remake of
the film Red Dawn,
Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, operates
its Wolverine from Pontiac to
Chicago via Detroit and Battle Creek, Michigan.
Service is three times daily, both arriving and departing.
Commuter rail service was once provided by
Grand Trunk Western
Railroad (GTW) and later Southeastern Michigan Transportation
Authority (SEMTA) from Pontiac to downtown Detroit.
This service ended on October 17
subsidies were discontinued. Efforts continue to this day to
restore such commuter service.
Class one freight rail service is provided by Canadian National Railway
which also operates a large classification yard
in Pontiac serving
the local auto industry.
Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation
local and regional bus transit.
The major thoroughfares in the city are: Woodward Avenue
Huron Street (M-59
Telegraph Road (US 24
). Portions of
Woodward Avenue were once known as "Saginaw Street" and "Wide Track
Drive" (the portion of Saginaw Street that runs through the
downtown business district remains under that name).
||I-75 provides a
quick connection northwest to nearby Flint.
Detroit is to the south.
Business Loop routes through Pontiac.
||US-24 ends north of Pontiac at
I-75. Southbound, US 24 serves suburban Detroit
and Monroe before crossing into Ohio.
24 serves local business traffic through the city.
||M-1 (Woodward Ave.)
northbound ends in Pontiac. Southbound, the highway routes to
directly to downtown Detroit.
||M-24 (Lapeer Road)
southbound ends in Pontiac at I-75. Northbound, the highway routes to
Lapeer. Note: M-24 does not intersect with US
routes west to Howell and east to Utica and several
other Detroit suburbs.