" Detroit has became the largest city in US history to file for bankruptcy protection, succumbing to debt of $US18.5 billion ($20.2b).
Detroit by the numbers
- 411 homicides in 2012
- 58 minutes for police to respond to calls, compared to 11 mins nationwide
- Only one third of the city's ambulances work
- 40 per cent of the city's streetlights don't work
- 78,000 abandoned buildings
- Population down from 1.8 million in 1950 to 685,000 today
- Debt of $US18.5 billion
Once the fourth largest US city, Detroit has seen its population shrink by more than half, from 1.8 million in 1950 to 685,000 today, as crime, flight to the suburbs, and the hollowing out of the auto industry have all eaten away at its foundations.
Thousands of residents left Detroit when the financial crisis hit and without them and their taxes, the city has gone broke. The city has an annual deficit of around $US400 million.
"The citizens of Detroit need and deserve a clear road out of the cycle of ever-decreasing services," Michigan governor Rick Snyder said in a letter accompanying the court filing.
Detroit stopped making payments on some of its $US18.5 billion of debt and obligations last month.
Mr Snyder appointed an emergency manager with a background in bankruptcy earlier this year to restructure Detroit's finances.
He said he had "very much hoped" the move would help the city avoid bankruptcy, but that now it is time to "face the fact that the city cannot and is not paying its debts as they become due, and is insolvent." "
US automotive manufacturers are down on their knees, and they look like taking down a great American city, Detroit, with them.
Foreign Correspondent: The decline of Detroit
At the 14:50 minute mark of this video is the company that laid me and a bunch of full-time workers off last year.
|There are 78,000 abandoned buildings scattered across the city.|