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Non-Profit examines the simultaneous economic growth and lower population of Detroit in the 2010's

Detroit Renaissance Center by James Marvin Phelps is licensed with CC BY-NC 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

For the past decade the City of Detroit has seen economic growth while enduring further declines in population.

Detroit Future City, a non-profit dedicated to improving the quality of life of Detroiters, examined where that growth is happening.

Anika Goss, CEO of the organization, says the true growth isn’t happening in the neighborhoods it’s happening in places like Midtown and Downtown.

"The only households that are really truly growing in Detroit in areas that are thriving are white middle class households," Goss said.

Detroit has a middle class that’s nearly unobtainable for many African-American and Latinx people, while economic growth continues for Whites. According to the organization, over the past decade the number of middle-class neighborhoods in Detroit has dropped from 22 to 11. Goss says for many black families, once they make it to the middle-class, they move to the suburbs outside of the city.

Even when considering black middle class families, Goss notes thatrace plays a big part in keeping many from homeownership and the middle class.

“The value of your home is based on your ethnicity," Goss said. "There are significant gaps for that. There's actually a $45,000 gap in between black homeowners and white homeowners even in Detroit.”

Goss says the 800-million dollars in federal stimulus money coming to the city is an opportunity to try new things, such as expanding Black entrepreneurship. homeownership. and middle-class jobs.

“We should have opportunities for people to be able to live here in the city and be able to find a middle-class home, a middle class neighborhood where they can grow their families or live as an individual and be really successful and have a really high quality of life," Goss said.

Goss says improving the quality of jobs in the city will help Detroiters. She says some growth can be spurred by an influx in cash for workers and Black-owned businesses.