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Fun Facts about Detroit


The Detroit region consists of 6,657 square miles and includes more than 275 cities, villages and townships. The 2010 Population of the Detroit region was 5,318,744.




The Top Ten Largest Employers in the Detroit Region are:
1. Ford Motor Co.
2. University of Michigan
3. General Motors Co.
4. Henry Ford Health Systems
5. Chrysler Group LLC
6. U.S. Government
7. William Beaumont Hospitals
8. Detroit Public Schools
9. St. John Providence Health
10. Trinity Health



Fortune 500 Companies

Company Rank
Ford Motor Company 8
General Motors 15
Dow Chemical 46
GMAC 122
Whirlpool 136
Kellogg 184
TRW Automotive Holdings 201
Lear 242
Penske Automotive Group 245
DTE Energy 285
Masco 291
Stryker 333
Source: Fortune 500.



  • The Detroit region is a hotbed for technology companies. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation ranked Michigan 19th in the 2008 State New Economy Index: Benchmarking Economic Transportation in the States report. This report measures 26 categories, ranging from IT professionals to venture capital and measures the global, entrepreneurial and knowledged-based economy of each state.
  • Additionally, in the first round of the $2 billion 21st Century Jobs Fund, 61 life science, alternative energy, homeland security and advanced manufacturing companies will share more than $100 million for new development and scientific advancements.
  • More than 287,000 people work in advanced manufacturing for more than 3,000 Michigan companies.
  • There are more than 100 companies in the Detroit region involved in development of alternative energy technology.
  • Michigan’s life sciences industry has seen the fastest growth in the nation. There are now a total of 525 companies employing more than 40,000 with an average salary of $73,390. 


Did you know that Detroit...

  • had the first newspaper Published in the USA, Detroit Free Press, 1837
  • had the first convention and visitor's bureau in the world established in 1879
  • had the first soft drink made in the US, Vernors Ginger Ale. Detroit is also home to Sanders hot fudge, Better Made Potato Chips, Faygo soda pop, and Stroh’s Ice Cream.
  • was the first established city in the Midwest
  • had the first State Fair held in the nation in 1849, the Michigan State Fair
  • was the first city to assign telephone numbers in 1879
  • home to the first mass produced car built by Henry Ford in 1896, sold for $950.00
  • had the first mile of paved road laid in the world was in 1909 on Woodward Avenue, between 6 & 7 Mile Roads just north of the Model T plant
  • had the first radio news program, which was broadcasted on August 31,1920
  • had the first Stop light in the USA, which was installed at Woodward & Michigan Avenues in October 1920
  •  has the first and only vehicular tunnel to a foreign country built in 1930, the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel
  • had the first urban freeway built, the Davison, in 1942
  • held the first ethnic festival held in the U.S., International Riverfront Festival
  • held the first Kiwanis Club in 1915
  • head the first Thanksgiving Day National Football League game in 1934 was played by the Detroit Lions
  • is home to the Motown sound, founded by Berry Gordy Jr. in 1957
  • is home to the first Van Gogh painting in a public collection in the U.S. at the Detroit Institute of Arts, "Self Portrait," Vincent Van Gogh, 1887.
  • is the potato chip capital of the world, based on consumption.
  • has country’s largest island park within a city — Belle Isle Park.
  • is home to the world’s only floating post office, the J.W. Westcott II, can be found on the Detroit River.
  • is actually north of Canada.
  • is second in the nation in fishing rod sales.
  • is home to the second tallest hotel in North America – the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center, at 73 stories.
  • has the most registered bowlers in the United States.

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Fun Facts about Detroit