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ProfitWise News and Views, No. 1, 2015
Detroit Tackles the Issue of Blight

Detroit’s population has been in decline for decades and this trend is expected to continue. The Southeast Michigan Council of Government’s (SEMCOG) forecasts for the city predict that the population will fall from the 2010 Census figure of 714,000 to 610,000 by 2030—far from the city’s peak population of over 1.8 million in the early 1950s.

Detroit has experienced what may be considered the life cycle of a rust belt city. As jobs left, people left; unemployment rose; tax revenue decreased; city debt increased; and cuts to city services like police, fire, and public schools inevitably followed. As vacant homes turned into blighted neighborhoods, many residents still holding jobs left the city to find homes in more stable areas, taking with them more of the tax revenue needed to service communities plagued by decreased population and increased vacancies. 

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