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Detroit's Population Crashes. Detroit’s white population rises. Detroit’s white population rose by nearly 8,000 residents last year, the first significant increase since 1950, according to a Detroit News analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. The data, made public Wednesday, mark the first time census numbers have validated the perception that whites are returning to a city that is overwhelmingly black and one where the overall population continues to shrink. Many local leaders contend halting Detroit’s population loss is crucial, and the new census data shows that policies to lure people back to the city may be helping stem the city’s decline. “It verifies the energy you see in so many parts of Detroit and it’s great to hear,” said Kevin Boyle, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian who studies the intersection of class, race, and politics in 20th-century America.

“The last thing I want to do is dampen the good news, but the problem is Detroit is still the poorest city in the U.S. “I think it’s a trend. “It’s not creating an even playing field.” Detroit Population Down 25 Percent, Census Finds. Anatomy of Detroit’s Decline - Interactive Feature. Mayor Coleman A. Young of Detroit at an event in 1980. Richard Sheinwald/Associated Press The financial crisis facing Detroit was decades in the making, caused in part by a trail of missteps, suspected corruption and inaction. Here is a sampling of some city leaders who trimmed too little, too late and, rather than tackling problems head on, hoped that deep-rooted structural problems would turn out to be cyclical downturns.

Charles E. Bowles, backed by the Ku Klux Klan, was in office for seven months in 1930 before people demanded his removal. His ascension to the mayor's office was followed by a spike in crime, and he was suspected to be linked to some of Detroit's underworld figures, according to “Detroit: A Biography" by Scott Martelle. Edward Jeffries, who served as mayor from 1940 to 1948, developed the Detroit Plan, which involved razing 100 blighted acres and preparing the land for redevelopment. Coleman A. Kwame M. Related. Detroit: Ruin and Renewal. Root Causes of Detroit’s Decline Should Not Go Ignored. Recently Detroit, under orders from a state-appointed emergency manager, became the largest U.S. city to go bankrupt.

This stirred predictable media speculation about why the city, which at 1.8 million was once America’s 5th-largest, declined in the first place. Much of the coverage simply listed Detroit’s longtime problems rather than explaining their causes. For example a Huffington Post article asserted that it was because of “racial strife,” the loss of “good-paying [sic] assembly line jobs,” and a population who fled “to pursue new dreams in the suburbs.” Paul Krugman, who has increasingly become America’s dean of misguided thinking, downplayed the city’s pension obligations, instead blaming “job sprawl” and “market forces.” But a closer look suggests that Detroit’s problems, which include 16% unemployment, 36% poverty, and 60% population decline, were self-inflicted by a half-century of government excess. The foremost measure would be addressing taxes. Photo by Kate Sumbler. The Downfall Dictionary: Charles E. Bowles: another mayoral Klandidate.

Source: Hampered in large part by the sensational murder trial of David Curtis Stephenson and the widespread exposure of corruption in the Indiana government that followed, the Ku Klux Klan had lost much of its influence by 1929. Charles E. Bowles, a former Klan candidate for mayor of Detroit, won the office that year without any tangible support from the organization. Within seven months of beginning his term, however, Bowles had been kicked out of city hall. Detroit was proving to be a popular destination for eastern and southern European immigrants during the 1920s. Bowles' opponent was a natural Klan enemy. In 1925, Bowles again ran for mayor with Klan support.

It wasn't exactly a good time to be coming into office. Other decisions soon made Bowles an unpopular man. Though he'd come into office promising reform, Bowles' ideas of doing so were not well-received. Most controversial were Bowles appointments to different political offices. The public didn't buy it.