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There was never a huge bubble in Detroit or a lot of other cities in the Midwest. It's just a long slow decline. I'm not even sure that Northern England captures it either. In 1970 Detroit had 1.5 million people, now it only has 714,000. The city's population declined by over half.
That sort of absolute collapse hasn't really happened in Northern England. The closest case is Liverpool, and even that's more like a 15-20% decline in population in the same period.
And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg
But that's why even people who don't live in the US reference Detroit when talking about urban collapse. Most big cities have areas that look Detroit-ish. Even wealthy ones like New York and London. But Detroit is other-worldly in the scale of it.
Even the 1.5m figure understates it a bit. Didn't Detroit peak in 1950 at about 2m?
Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
The first time I was in Detroit, aside from transiting through the airport, I drove in from pleasant little Windsor, Ontario. Coming off the bridge, I felt like I got smacked in the face. There was the abandoned Michigan Central railway station, once the tallest train station in the world, now vacant and gaping, largely devoid of all windows, standing like a head stone over the city that never was and never will be. I was in awe.
So prices are lower than the UK average, but there was no crash to rock bottom, and the population outflow was more of a trickle than a panicked or forced exodus.
It was still socially devastating at the time, though.
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