Metro Detroit

Detroit metropolitan area
Cranbrook Art Museum (top left) in Bloomfield Hills and The Henry Ford (top center) in Dearborn are National Historic Landmarks.
A simulated-color satellite image of Metro Detroit, with Windsor across the river, taken on NASA's Landsat 7 satellite.
A simulated-color satellite image of Metro Detroit, with Windsor across the river, taken on NASA's Landsat 7 satellite.
CountryFlag of the United States.svg.png United States
State22x20px Michigan
Largest city22x20px Detroit
 • Urban
1,337.1 sq mi (Script error km2)
 • MSA3,888.4 sq mi (Script error km2)
 • CSA5,814 sq mi (Script error km2)
569–1,280 ft (173–390 m)

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 11th 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 5,318,744 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, but added back in 2013.[2]

With the adjacent city of Windsor, Ontario and its suburbs, the combined Detroit–Windsor area has a population of about 5.7 million.[3] 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.[4] Metro Detroit is at the center of an emerging Great Lakes Megalopolis.

Conan Smith, a businessperson quoted in a 2012 article by The Ann Arbor News, stated the most significant reason Washtenaw County, including Ann Arbor, is not often included in definitions of Metro Detroit is that there is a "lack of affinity that Washtenaw County as a whole has with Wayne County and Detroit or Oakland County and Macomb" and that residents of the county "just don't yet see ourselves as a natural part of that region, so I think it feels a little forced to a lot of people, and they're scared about it."[5]


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.[6] In May 2012, the metro area unemployment rate was 9.9 percent.[7][8] 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.[9][10] Michigan typically ranks second or third in overall Research & development (R&D) expenditures in the United States.[11][12] Metro Detroit is an important source of engineering and high tech job opportunities.[13] 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.[14][15][16] 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.[17]

File:Headquarters of GM in Detroit.jpg

For 2010, the domestic automakers have reported significant profits indicating the beginning of rebound.[18][19][20][21] 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.[22]

File:Southfield Town Center.jpg

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[23] with an extensive toll-free expressway system.[24][25] 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.[26] A source of top talent, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor is one of the world's leading research institutions,[27] and Wayne State University in Detroit has the largest single-campus medical school in the United States.[28]

From the metro area economy, Michigan was second in the U.S. in 2004 for new corporate facilities and expansions.[29] From 1997 to 2004, Michigan was the only state to top the 10,000 mark for the number of major new developments.[29] 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 of 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.[30] 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 the decade leading up to 2006, downtown Detroit gained more than $15 billion in new investment from private and public sectors.[31]


Tourism is an important component of the region's culture and economy, comprising nine percent of the area's two million jobs.[32] About 15.9 million people visit metro Detroit annually, spending about $4.8 billion.[33] 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).[34]

File:Polar tunnel Detroit Zoo.jpg

Metro Detroit is a tourist destination easily accommodating super-sized crowds to events such as the Woodward Dream Cruise, 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.[35]

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.[36][37] 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.[4][38]



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 populations
Census Pop. <tr><td style="text-align:center">1950</td><td style="padding-left:8px">3,016,197</td><td></td><td style="padding-left:8px">
</td></tr><tr><td style="text-align:center">1960</td><td style="padding-left:8px">3,762,360</td><td></td><td style="padding-left:8px">24.7%</td></tr><tr><td style="text-align:center">1970</td><td style="padding-left:8px">4,307,470</td><td></td><td style="padding-left:8px">14.5%</td></tr><tr><td style="text-align:center">1980</td><td style="padding-left:8px">4,353,365</td><td></td><td style="padding-left:8px">1.1%</td></tr><tr><td style="text-align:center">1990</td><td style="padding-left:8px">4,382,299</td><td></td><td style="padding-left:8px">0.7%</td></tr><tr><td style="text-align:center">2000</td><td style="padding-left:8px">4,452,557</td><td></td><td style="padding-left:8px">1.6%</td></tr><tr><td style="text-align:center">2010</td><td style="padding-left:8px">4,296,250</td><td></td><td style="padding-left:8px">−3.5%</td></tr><tr><td style="text-align:center">Est. 2013</td><td style="padding-left:8px">4,294,983</td><td></td><td style="padding-left:8px">−3.5%</td></tr>

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.[39] There was a large migration into the city from the rural South following World War I.[39]

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.[40] 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.[41]

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.[42]

Template:Detroit Metro


File:DTW Edward H. McNamara Terminal.jpg


Transit systemsEdit

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 elevated Detroit People Mover encircles downtown providing service to numerous downtown hotels, offices and attractions. The Woodward Avenue Streetcar is being developed to provide service between downtown and New Center, and the proposed SEMCOG Commuter Rail would extend from Detroit's New Center area to The Henry Ford, Dearborn, Detroit Metropolitan Airport, Ypsilanti, and Ann Arbor[43] The Regional Transit Authority (RTA) was established in December 2012 to coordinate the services of all existing transit providers, and to develop a bus rapid transit service along Woodward Avenue.

Roads and freewaysEdit

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.

Template:Metro Detroit Freeways


File:Lawyers Club.jpg

Area codesEdit

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) 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 referencesEdit


  1. Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau
  2. "Revised Delineations of Metropolitan Statistical Areas, Micropolitan Statistical Areas, and Combined Statistical Areas, and Guidance on Uses ofthe Delineations ofThese Areas". OMB BULLETIN NO. 13-01. Exercutive Office of the Persident, Office of Management and Budget. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
  3. Windsor, Ontario. Retrieved on July 18, 2010.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Cities located close to Detroit.Time and Date world clock distances. Retrieved on September 2, 2007.
  5. Stanton, Ryan J. "Conan Smith: Why Ann Arbor doesn't see itself as part of Metro Detroit - and why it should." The Ann Arbor News. Wednesday May 30, 2012. Retrieved on November 9, 2013.
  6. Regional Profile Detroit Regional Chamber. Retrieved on June 17, 2009.
  7. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Unemployment rates for metropolitan areas. U.S. Department of Labor. Retrieved June 15, 2012.
  8. Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth. Retrieved June 15, 2012.
  9. MEDC (2009).Michigan: High Technology Focus State of Michigan. Retrieved on June 17, 2009.
  10. Metro Detroit, Michigan score high in biotech VC rankings. Metromode 12-17-2009. Retrieved on July 14, 2010.
  11. MEDC,(2009).Michigan Advantage State of Michigan. Retrieved on June 17, 2009.
  12. NSF 01-320 (2001).R&D Spending is Highly Concentrated in a Small Number of States National Science Foundation
  13. Mark Arend (January 2012).Where the high tech jobs are. Site Selection magazine.
  14. "Michigan Cities". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved December 26, 2008. "[Detroit] is the automobile capital of the world"
  15. "SAE World Congress convenes in Detroit". Retrieved December 26, 2008.
  16. 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."
  17. 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
  18. Shoenberger, Robert (May 25, 2010).Rebounding auto industry boosts Shiloh Industries' second-quarter sales, profit. Retrieved on September 18, 2010.
  19. Schroeder, Robert (July 30, 2010).Obama says U.S. auto industry on rebound. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved on September 9, 2010.
  20. GM posts profit, CEO Whitacre to retire.CNN Money. Retrieved on September 18, 2010.
  21. Cwiek, Sarah (November 30, 2010).New study shows strong economic recovery in Metro Detroit. NPR Michigan. Retrieved December 4, 2010.
  22. Eisenstein, Paul A. (April 2012). "Assessment of tax revenue generated by the auto industry". Center for Automotive research. Retrieved December 2, 2012.
  23. 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."
  24. Regional Advantages for International Business. World Trade Center Detroit Windsor. Retrieved on September 3, 2007.
  25. 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."
  26. Detroit Regional Chamber (2006) Detroit/Windsor Border Update: Part I-Detroit River International Crossing Study
  27. "Annual Report on Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity at the University of Michigan FY2006" (PDF). UM Research. January 18, 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-09-25. Retrieved 2007-11-14.
  28. Grad profiles. Wayne State. Retrieved on October 27, 2008.
  29. 29.0 29.1 MEDC (2005) Michigan #2 in the Nation for New Corporate Facilities and Expansions in 2004 PR NEWS WIRE
  30. Colliers International Market report, 2006
  31. The Urban Markets Initiative, Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program The Social Compact, Inc. University of Michigan Graduate Real Estate Program (October 2006).Downtown Detroit In Focus: A Profile of Market Opportunity. Downtown Detroit Partnership. Retrieved on July 14, 2010.
  32. "Detroit: Economy Major Industries and Commercial Activity". Advameg, Inc.. Retrieved 2008-06-12.
  33. Metro Detroit Convention and Visitors Bureau statistics
  34. Mink, Randy, and Karen Mink (July 2001).Detroit Turns 300 - Detroit 300 Festival. Travel America, World Publishing Co., Gale Group.
  35. Fifth Third Bank rocks the Winter Blast.Michigan Chronicle.(March 14, 2006).
  36. America's Story, Explore the States: Michigan (2006). Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village Library of Congress
  37. State of Michigan: MI Kids (2006).Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village
  38. 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,"
  39. 39.0 39.1 Baulch, Vivian M. (September 4, 1999). Michigan's greatest treasure -- Its people. Michigan History, The Detroit News. Retrieved on April 4, 2009.
  40. "2004–05 Community profile Oakland County". Archived from the original on 9 July 2007. Retrieved 11 July 2007. "Oakland County also ranks as the fourth wealthiest county in the nation among counties with populations of more than one million people."
  41. Metro Area Factsheet: Detroit-Ann Arbor-Flint, Michigan CMSA.Federation for Immigration Reform. Retrieved on April 12, 2011.
  42. Towbridge, Gordon. "Racial divide widest in US." The Detroit News. January 14, 2002. Retrieved on March 30, 2009.
  43. Ann Arbor - Detroit Regional Rail Project SEMCOG. Retrieved on February 4, 2010.

External linksEdit

Template:Metro Detroit

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