New report highlights the economic inequities of past decade in Detroit

A new report released from Detroit Future City backs up the notion that Detroit’s “resurgence” over the past ten years has been largely limited to the greater downtown area and neighborhoods like Corktown, Indian Village, and Rosedale Park.

It also highlights the growing disparity between the city’s Black and white residents. And while areas like downtown have become increasingly whiter and wealthier, Detroit’s Black and middle-class population continues to decline.

As Louis Aguilar of Bridge Detroit writes:
In 2010, white people made up 10 percent of Detroit’s population. The latest estimate is that they now make up at least 15 percent of the city — the first significant increase in the white population since 1950. That helped create new middle-class enclaves downtown and Corktown on the Southwest side; Indian Village on the Eastside and Rosedale Park in Northwest, the report finds. 

Simultaneously, there’s been an exodus of Black middle-class Detroiters. It’s resulted in a sharp overall decline of middle-class neighborhoods citywide. Only 5 percent of residents now live in a neighborhood where more than half of households have a median income ranging from $52,500 to $197,000.

The city had 11 neighborhoods that could be defined as middle class in 2019, the report finds. That’s half the number of middle-class neighborhoods the city had in 2010.

[Read his full article HERE.]

According to the report, median income for white residents increased by 60 percent over the past ten years while increasing just 8 percent for Black Detroiters. Overall, the median income of Detroit is half that of the region.

Anika Goss, CEO for Detroit Future City, writes that the purpose of the report isn’t to anger people but to engender change.

“We understand that the systemic racism of the policies of the 1930s, ’40s, ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s, continue in economic development policy even today. We point that out, painfully. We also understand that many reading this report want to see change, whether you are a resident, business owner, elected official, president of a block club or president of a major corporation,” Goss says in the foreword.

“We make recommendations for that change that, I hope, will lead to systemic change for economic equity.”

The full report, The State of Economic Equity in Detroit, is available from Detroit Future City online.

Read more articles by MJ Galbraith.

MJ Galbraith is Model D's development news editor. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.
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