Although it’s easy to look at Woodward Avenue and see development, compared to the rest of the nation, the city of Detroit’s actual economic growth ranks near the bottom.

According to Wallethub, over the last seven years Detroit is the sixth-slowest growing city economically in the country.

That ranks us 59th out of 64 large cities. The absolute bottom of the pack? Cleveland, Ohio.

Topping out the large city list is Austin, Texas; followed by Charlotte, North Carolina; Denver, Colorado and Seattle, Washington.

There’s also a listing of 515 cities across the country of varying population sizes based on two key dimensions, “Sociodemographics” and “Jobs and Economy.”

Across all 515 cities in the study, here’s how Detroit ranks in various areas:

  • 513th – Population Growth
  • 402nd – Median Household Income Growth
  • 354th – Job Growth
  • 230th – Poverty Rate Decrease
  • 68th – Regional GDP Growth
  • 389th – Growth in Number of Businesses
  • 508th – Working-Age Population Growth
  • 114th – Foreclosure Rate Decrease
  • 503rd – Median House Price Growth

In Michigan, only three cities are in the top 50 percent for economic growth. Among the 515 cities list:

  • Grand Rapids, 49th
  • Wyoming, 87th
  • Rochester, 186th
  • Warren, 275th
  • Sterling Heights, 278th
  • Ann Arbor, 296th
  • Troy, 312nd
  • Westland, 350th
  • Farmington, 353th
  • Southfield, 354th
  • Lansing, 373rd
  • Kalamazoo, 411th
  • Livonia, 422nd
  • Dearborn, 424th
  • Detroit, 443rd
  • Flint, 475th

Two Cents Reality Check: If you’ve traveled at all you know that although there is progress compared to where the city of Detroit was a few years ago, there’s nowhere near the development and building activity that occurs across the nation.

Try visiting Charlotte or Seattle sometime. It’s a completely different situation on the ground even though both of those cities have populations in the same range as ours, above half a million but under one million people.

We don’t just need more people in the city, we also need the people we have to get access to more money. Getting there isn’t so simple — it’s going to take a lot of investment from businesses, and in education, transit and cooperation in other areas at a scale we’re just not used to seeing around here if we want to see reasonable economic growth. And in that challenge is a lot of opportunity.

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