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Detroit is the largest and most populous city in the US state of Michigan and the second largest US city outside the United States and Canada, bordering Wayne County. The metropolitan area known as Metro Detroit is home to 4.3 million people, making it the second largest in the Midwest after the Chicago area and the third largest in America.
Detroit had an estimated population of 67,001,731 in 2019, making it the 24th most populous city in the country. Detroit is considered a major cultural center for its contributions to music, art, architecture and design, as well as its historical and automotive heritages.
Detroit is a major port in the Detroit River, one of four main roads connecting the Great Lakes system with the St. Lawrence River. The city is known as the center of the US automotive industry, home to the headquarters of the three major automakers General Motors, Ford and Stellantis North America.
Detroit is the anchor of the Midwest's largest regional economy, behind Chicago, Minneapolis and Saint Paul, and the 13th largest in the United States.
In 2007, the Detroit metropolitan region was the number one export region among 310 defined metropolitan regions in the United States. Detroit and the adjacent Canadian city of Windsor are connected by highway tunnels, railroad tunnels and Ambassador Bridge, which is the second most important international intersection in North America after San Diego-Tijuana. Detroit Metropolitan Airport is an important hub in the USA.
Antoine de la Mothe founded Cadillac Fort Pontchartrain du Detroit in 1701, the future city of Detroit. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the city became an important industrial centre and centre of the Great Lakes region. Due to the expansion of the automobile industry in the early 20th century, the population in 1920 became the fourth largest in the nation after New York City, Chicago and Philadelphia.
Along the Detroit River, industrialization began, and the river became the busiest commercial center in the world. The Detroit River transports 65 million tons of ships and trade through its location in the United States each year, with cargo handling more than three times that of New York and four times that of London.
In the 1940s, the city's population was among the largest in the country. After the peak of 1.85 million in the 1950 census, the population fell by more than 60 percent. With industrial restructuring, job losses in the automotive industry, and rapid suburbanization, Detroit fell into a state of urban decay, losing significant populations from the late twentieth century to the present. In 2013, Detroit became the largest US city to file for bankruptcy, leaving in December 2014 after the city government regained control of its finances.
Detroit's rapid growth during its boom years led to a unique inventory of architectural monuments and historic sites. In the 2000s, conservationists managed to save many architectural pieces and produce several large-scale revitalizations, including restoration of several historical theatres, entertainment venues and high-rise buildings, the renovation of a new sports stadium and projects to revitalize the waterfront.
Detroit is a diverse culture that has influenced music locally and internationally, with the city spawning genres such as Motown and techno and played an important role in the development of jazz, hip-hop, rock and punk.
In 2015, Detroit was named the City of Design by UNESCO, the first US city to receive such a name. Detroit is a popular tourist destination and receives over 19 million visitors each year. The population of Downtown Detroit, Midtown Detroit and various other neighborhoods has increased significantly.