Many of the basic U.S. Census statistics remain frankly discouraging. The poverty rate in Detroit shot up between the 2010 census and the 2015 update, to about 40% in 2015 from less than 35% five years earlier. (It was 26% back in 2000.)
That probably reflects more families of means moving out of the city, leaving the city that much poorer. Median household income in the city declined during that period, to less than $26,000 in 2015 — less than half the national average — from about $29,000 in 2010.
In a key economic indicator, Detroit’s workforce participation rate — the percentage of adults either working or actively looking for a job — remains at about 53%, the lowest of any major U.S. city for which data is available. That rate, which means that nearly half the adults in Detroit are neither working nor looking for a job, stands 10 percentage points below the national average and far below the 75% participation rate in a tech-savvy, youth-oriented city like Seattle.