Detroit's roots in the automotive industry run deep and its successes and failures have great affect on the local economy. The popularity and affordability of foreign imports has posed a challenge to the U.S. automotive giants; some have stopped production on certain car models. Other industries, however, also have a presence in Detroit. Manufacturing, retail, and energy companies feature in the list of largest employers. Another prevailing presence is academia. Sixteen colleges and universities are located in the metro area, as well as 10 community colleges. Medical centers also serve the local population while providing employment.
Nevertheless, the recent recession has dramatically affected Detroit's major industry, driven up its unemployment rate, and compelled the city to file for bankruptcy protection in 2013 — the largest city in U.S. history to do so.
Living in Detroit
The cost of living in Detroit is roughly comparable in cost to Atlantic City, New Jersey, Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It is more expensive than Atlanta and Dallas, but less than Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.
Over the past decade, local government and civic organizations have worked hard to bring the city new life through the arts. Sporting events and casinos also draw people to Detroit.
For those that live there, the metro area supports a wide variety of lifestyles. Rural communities exist not far from city limits, providing simplicity and space to those who desire it. Closer suburbs and golf communities offer a livelier pace in convenient locations.
Detroit residents come from diverse backgrounds, and are generally very welcoming and helpful to newcomers and business travelers.