Highland Park, Michigan

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Highland Park is a city located in Wayne County, Michigan. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 16,746. The city is completely surrounded by Detroit except a small portion which touches the city of Hamtramck which is also surrounded by Detroit. In 1913 the city became famous when Henry Ford opened the first assembly line at the Highland Park Ford Plant. Ford Motor Company closed the Highland Park plant in the late 1920s, and in the late decades of the 20th century the city's population and economy shared the same decline that Detroit experienced.



Location of Highland Park, Michigan

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.7 km² (3.0 mi²). 7.7 km² (3.0 mi²) of it is land and none of it is covered by water.


As of the census2 of 2000, there are 16,746 people, 6,199 households, and 3,521 families residing in the city. The population density is 2,169.7/km² (5,622.9/mi²). There are 7,249 housing units at an average density of 939.2/km² (2,434.1/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 4.11% White, 93.44% African American, 0.27% Native American, 0.24% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.25% from other races, and 1.67% from two or more races. 0.57% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 6,199 households out of which 27.6% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 17.0% are married couples living together, 33.4% have a female householder with no husband present, and 43.2% are non-families. 38.4% of all households are made up of individuals and 15.6% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.56 and the average family size is 3.43.

In the city the population is spread out with 29.1% under the age of 18, 8.6% from 18 to 24, 27.5% from 25 to 44, 20.2% from 45 to 64, and 14.5% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 34 years. For every 100 females there are 85.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 79.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $17,737, and the median income for a family is $26,484. Males have a median income of $31,014 versus $26,186 for females. The per capita income for the city is $12,121. 38.3% of the population and 32.1% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 47.1% of those under the age of 18 and 30.8% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

History and Character

The town was exceptionally green until the 1970s when Dutch elm disease caused many old trees to be cut down.

The city suffered from white flight after the 1967 Detroit 12th Street Riot. The loss of stability in the community and economic development, caused partly by crime, mismanagement, disinvestments and racism, contributed to the city becoming the most crime ridden place in the United States by the mid-1980s.

Devil's Night fires which were a problem in Detroit, also destroyed many homes and buildings in Highland Park.

In 2002 the city went bankrupt and as of 2005 is still in receivership under the State of Michigan.

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