Detroit Ranks Among Lowest U.S. Cities to Recover from Recession


Detroit falls in the bottom 3 percent of the 150 largest U.S. cities when ranked by their progress made since the 2008 Great Recession.

In WalletHub’s Most & Least Recession-Recovered Cities, Detroit placed at No. 146, followed by Modesto, Calif.; Newark, N.J.; Stockton, Calif.; and San Bernardino, Calif. — all municipalities that, like Detroit, have filed for bankruptcy since 2008.

The study was conducted by comparing the featured cities using criteria such as the inflow of college-educated workers, the number of new businesses, and unemployment rates as a way to measure the level of recovery.

For Detroit to improve its chances of recovery, Raz Daraban, a spokesman for WalletHub, a personal finance social network, suggests a thorough review of the local finances of the city and local programs in order to cut unnecessary spending, a method implemented by many of the successful cities such as Laredo and Irving, Texas, which ranked No. 1 and 2, respectively.

“Local incentives for industries that have a high growth potential is another aspect that local authorities should consider, as the mono-industrial economic environment of Detroit cannot insure a healthy recovery,” Daraban says.

Detroit also tied with San Bernardino for the smallest poverty rate decrease, in addition to claiming one of the lowest home price appreciation rates, ranking at No. 117. The city registered the highest home price depreciation with a loss of 65 percent.

The city also experienced the highest population growth rate decline at 16 percent.

Grand Rapids, the only other Michigan city to make the list, showed stronger signs of economic recovery, ranking second for the largest decrease in unemployment rate and placing at No. 69 on the list overall.

Data used to create the rankings came from the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the United States Courts, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Zillow Real Estate Research, Experian, PBS NewsHour, and WalletHub Research.

For more details on the study, click here.