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Detroit: Just how bad is it?

The skyline of Detroit's downtown.

And this final note, as we reported on today's show, the city of Detroit has filed for bankruptcy -- the biggest municipal default in U.S. history.

Just to give you an idea of things:

  • 700,000 people live in Detroit today -- less than half the city's population in 1950.
  • The unemployment rate is now above 18 percent.
  • Less than half of Detroit residents over the age of 16 are working.
  • Per capita income is just over $15,000 per year.
  • And though it's still called the Motor City, there is only one auto plant currently operating in the city.

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.


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