Story Behind Detroit’s Plummeting Population

March 25, 2011  |  

(Time) — The news this week that Detroit’s population plunged more than 25% to just 714,000 in the last decade shouldn’t be surprising. The city’s collapse is as well-documented as it is astonishing – the population peaked at nearly 2 million in the 1950s, driven in part by a post-World War II auto industry boom now long gone.  Predictably, Detroit officials have vowed to challenge the Census Bureau’s report. “I don’t believe the number is accurate,” the mayor, Dave Bing, said in a hastily scheduled news conference Tuesday. Bing’s response is understandable.

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