August 16, 2014 10:00 AM

The evolution of Detroit’s shrinking population

Detroit has long endured abandonment. Even before Big Auto fled, before oil crises and globalization turned factories into rust, white families were already packing up for the suburbs. The population peaked some time in the 1950s, when there were 1.85 million residents, four-fifths of them white. Detroit these days is less than half that size, and four-fifths black.

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