17 Reasons Not to Move to Detroit, Michigan (Voted by the Locals)

I grew up around the Detriot area for the majority of my life, so I know a lot about it. While it can be a great place for some, there are some pretty good reasons to NOT live here.

Don’t just take my word for it though. I asked the people I know you have lived here and still do why they wouldn’t move here. And, well there are 17 compelling reasons to not.

17. Low Median Income

Starting off with a pretty big reason to avoid living in Detriot is it the low median income.

The median income in Detroit, Michigan is $30,894. This is significantly below the national average of $62,843. As a result, the revenue that the city can collect from taxpayers will likewise be. much lower, leading to underfunded programs.

While there may be some who make way more, this stat shows that the available jobs in the area don’t really pay well.

16. Bad City Government

The city of Detroit has been run ineffectively for the last several decades. In fact, in the year 2015, the city of Detroit filed for the largest bankruptcy in US history, with debt levels around twenty billion dollars.

This was a result of the government borrowing large amounts of money without the financial means to repay it. The government’s inability to function competently has caused businesses to leave, further perpetuating the high city debt.

I don’t know about you, but a city that can’t really run itself doesn’t seem like a good one. Things don’t seem to be improving either.

15. High Crime Levels

You probably have heard something about this, but Detroit is known for its incredibly high levels of organized crime.

To demonstrate quite how bad the crime issue is in Detroit, here are a couple of statistics. In 2016, Detroit had more murders than nearly any other city in the United States, including more than the city of Los Angeles, despite it having four times the overall population.

The issue of crime isn’t going away any time soon either. In fact, there was a 15% increase in violent crimes from 2015-2016.

If you want a safe place to live, this should be last on your list.

14. High Rate of Poverty

In terms of poverty levels, Detroit is a force to be reckoned with. Detroit has one of the highest levels in the country, with 35% of its residents living beneath the poverty line. That’s over one in three people in the city living in poverty, an incredibly high rate.

Because there are so many people living in poverty, it’s hard for the government to help. Many of the regions don’t collect enough tax money to help revitialize the community.

Again, there isn’t much that is being done to help the situation.

13. Religion

Detroit is not a particularly open or religiously diverse place.

Sixty-seven percent of the city is Christian, and the other twenty-four percent of the city claims no religion. The remaining eight percent of the city is broken up among all the other religions.

In other words, unless you are a Christian or non-religious, you will not have a legitimate religious community here.

12. Traffic

As you would expect, Detroit’s low quality infrastructure does not help with the traffic situation. The traffic situation only gets worse during the winter time, when the heavy snow combines with the the low number of Highways available.

Because there is a high population, the streets always seem crowded and driving through town during rush hour seems everlasting and impossible to get through.

Unless you have a lot of patience when it comes to sharing the road with a million other people, you probably won’t like it here. But, every major city seems to have this problem as well.

11. Bad Place to Raise a Family

Detroit possesses no qualities that would make it a desirable place to live for those who have children.

According to the area ranking website Niche, which used US Census Data, the majority of Detroit received a C Minus ranking for raising a family.

This is a result of the high crime, the low-quality public schools, and the high number of drug usage in the city. This is not a place that would have a beneficial impact on your children.

10. Bad Economy

The Economy of Detroit is crumbling, to say the very least. Not only is the city in debt, and the infrastructure low quality, but job opportunities are also scarce.

In the last twentieth century, the majority of Detroit’s economy was dependent upon a thriving market composed of car manufacturers. That’s why it’s also known as “The Motor City”.

As these companies begin losing market share to foreign companies, many of the companies left Detroit for what they regarded as greener pastures. The economy is never been able to return since.

The economy now is primarily based on the public sector, along with small businesses.

9. Notoriously Bad Sports Teams

Not even the sports teams can help Detroit’s cause. Detroit has a sports team in each major American sports league, including the NFL, NBA, and MLB.

Because Detroit is an undesirable place to live, it has unsurprisingly become a tough market to sell. As a result, the sports teams here are truly awful.

If, on the off-chance, you want to go to a game, the team is almost bound to lose. Don’t believe me?

Let’s start out with the Detroit Lions. This last season, the Detroit Lions were one of the worst teams in the NFL, finishing the season with a record of five wins and eleven losses.

Their NBA Team, the Detroit Pistons, fared similarly awful, finishing their season with a 30 percent win percentage, among the worst in the NBA.

Lastly, the Detroit Tigers, the cities MLB team, finished with a thirty-nine percent win record. If you live here, rest assured, every sports team will be awful.

8. Bad Housing

The housing situation in Detroit is truly a crisis. Here are some statistics to demonstrate the current situation. The median household income in Detroit is $27,838 per year, only half of the statewide median income, with the poverty rate being twice as high as the state average: a significant margin.

Despite the low wages of the city, the average rent in Detroit increased by 26% from 2005 to 2016. This makes a decent living situation hard to come to buy, as the cost of living cannot keep up with the rise in housing costs.

This makes the basic human right to shelter a decent difficult to find. A lot of the government sponsored living situations have waitlists and aren’t taken care of the way that they should be.

In fact, the average cost of housing expenses is equal to nearly half of the median income in the city. Living situations are less than ideal in Detroit, especially for the average citizen.

7. Bad Taxation

Detroit’s bad financial situation is one that is largely self-perpetuated. The government desires to fix its problems by collecting tax revenue and investing in the city to fix its ever declining situation.

The issue with this, it because of the weak economy, the tax revenues are low. As a result, despite its low-income community, Detroit has the highest income tax in the state of Michigan.

As a result, the cycle of poverty remains ever perpetrated by the high taxes and the inability of the cities residents to afford to pay them.

There needs to be a better solution for more residents to want to move here and there hasn’t been one thought of yet.

6. Bad Social Environment

The social atmosphere in Detroit is far less than ideal. Not only is there rampant racism, but the city is full of rampant economic and social inequality. The city is divided politically, with negative relations between the citizens and the local government, especially the police.

This conflict makes it hard to meet new people, let alone friendly ones, as there is always a problem stirring.

If you want to live in a place where you have people smiling and waving at you, I would say look somewhere else.

5. Bad Weather

The living circumstances of Detroit are not helped in the slightest by the weather. Detroit is known for its normal summers, but absolutely brutal winters.

It is not uncommon for the temperature to reach below zero degrees during the winter, making it absolutely brutal for everyone.

There’s nothing that can be done with this either. You have to learn to love the cold.

4. Lack of Activities

There’s simply not a lot to do in Detroit. Because of the exodus that has been occurring over the last several decades, real estate developers have little desire to take the risk of investing in Detroit.

If you are looking for something to do, creativity is your best bet.

There are no amusement parks within the city limits, and the sports teams are laughable. The most convenient amenities are historical buildings, which will not last long as an appealing amenity.

There is a pretty big music scene inside of the city but if you are not much into discovering new artists, you are pretty much out of luck.

3. Bad Schools

The Schools in Detroit are low quality, no matter where you go. According to School reviewer Niche, the best High school in the area received a B+ rating, with the majority receiving C grades.

These grades mean that the average educational institution here in Detroit is still low quality relative to the rest of the country. The residency was found to be illegal and unenforceable. People that earned their money in the city decided they didn’t want to live in fear and headed for the suburbs.

At first, it was a slow trickle. After a while, you couldn’t stop it. People started getting laid-off. And finally, all maintenance, janitorial, engineering, and trades were all let go.

Things got so bad that anyone who even thought they could get out of the city did so. Those that are left are the lowest dregs in the city. They are renters and pay no tax.

The schools get no money from property taxes. I am so glad I am retired now as I truly would go to work always with major concerns about what the “students” would damage or destroy. Removing residency is the main reason Detroit Public Schools are so bad.

2. Bad Economy

The story behind Detroit’s awful economy is a sad and unfortunate one.

Several decades ago, Detroit had a thriving economy that was dependent upon car manufacturing. As a result of the economic prosperity that resulted from this, worker unions began demanding higher wages from their companies.

Initially, this was fine, as the companies had little competition.

This changed, however, as foreign companies began to compete, taking away their once-dominant market share. Soon enough, consumers realized that buying from these car companies was no longer an attractive option, as they were buying much more for a similar product, and instead began to favor foreign carmakers.

Not long after, the market began to tank, and these companies chose to move outside of Detroit in search of economically greener pastures. The once strong and vibrant economy had now lost its engine, and began to struggle and incur debt.

The current economic situation today is a product of these events, and the bad political and social environment prevents legitimate business growth.

1. Loss of Population

One of the clearest ways to see that Detroit is an undesirable place to live is simply to watch the population change over time.

In 1950, the city of Detroit had a population of 1.85 million people living in it. Nearly seventy years later, the population has dwindled to a mere 674,841 people.

In other words, unlike almost every other city that has grown over this period, the population of Detroit has decreased by over sixty percent over the last seventy years.

From simply watching the population it is pretty clear that not many truly desire to live here. While there is hope for the city, it’s definitely in a “fixer-up” mode right now and is not right for many people.

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Tanson Allen

Hey! I'm Tanson! I am a writer and editor on suggested by locals. I studied business in college and hope to start my own business one day. My favorite hobby is eating ice cream.

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