Statistically Speaking...

Pre-1701 - present

Land Area
Population
Citizenship
Ethnic Groups

Population

Date/Year Note Population
July 23, 1701 0
July 24, 1701 Does not include native americans 100

Source: The Detroit Alamnac by Detroit Free Press

1773 Detroit Settlement (not including members of the garrison) 1,367
1778 Detroit Settlement 2,144
1779 Detroit Settlement (including 500 prisoners and 332 members of the garrison) 2,653
1780 Detroit Settlement (not including those employed in the service of the King of England) 2,207
1782 Detroit Settlement (entire settlement) 2,191

Source: When Detroit Was Young by Clarence M. Burton

1783 2,291
1796 500

Source: The Detroit Alamnac by Detroit Free Press

1810 City of Detroit 1,650
1819 1,110
1820 1,442
1830 2,222
1834 4,973
1836 6,927
1840 9,124
1844 10,948
1850 21,019
1854 41,375
1860 45,619
1864 53,180
1870 79,603
1874 101,255
1880 116,340
1884 132,956
1890 205,876
1894 237,798
1900 285,704
1904 317,591
1910 465,766

Source: When Detroit Was Young by Clarence M. Burton

1920 993,678
1930 1,568,662
1950 1,849,568
1960 1,670,144
1970 1,511,482
1980 1,203,339
1990 1,027,974
2000 951,270

Source: The Detroit Alamnac by Detroit Free Press

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Land Area

Year Total Area in Square Miles Total Area Annexed in Square Miles
1806 0.33  
1815 1.36 1.03
1827 2.56 1.20
1832 4.17 1.61
1836 5.26 1.09
1849 5.85 0.59
1857 12.75 6.90
1875 15.0 2.25
1879 16.09 1.09 (Belle Isle)
1885 22.19 6.10
1891 28.14 5.95
1894 28.35 0.21 (Palmer Park)
1905 28.75 0.40
1906 35.65 6.90
1907 39.3 4.28

Source: When Detroit Was Young by Clarence M. Burton

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Citizenship

Year Foreign-Born People in Detroit Percentage of Total Population
1850 10,019 47.7%
1880 51,709 44.4%
1900 96,166 33.7%
1910 156,000 33.5%
1920 289,000 29.1%
1930 407,736 26%
1950 276,470 14.9%
1960 201,713 12.1%
1970 119,347 7.9%
1980 68,303 5.7%
1990 34,490 3.4%

Source: The Detroit Alamnac by The Detroit Free Press

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Populations of Various Ethnic Groups

Year Race/Ethnicity Population Percentage of Total Population
1820 African-American/Black 67 [sic]4.6%
1830 African-American/Black 126 [sic]5.6%
1840 African-American/Black 193 2.1%
1850 African-American/Black 587 2.8%
Irish-American 3,289 15.6%
1860 African-American/Black 1,402 [sic]3.1%
1870 African-American/Black 2,235 2.8%
1880 African-American/Black 2,821 2.4%
Canadian 10,754 9.2%
German 23,769 20.4%
Irish 6,775 5.8%
1890 African-American/Black 3,431 1.7%
1900 African-American/Black 4,111 1.4%
Canadian 28,900 10.1%
German 32,000 11.2%
Irish 6,400 2.2%
Polish 14,000 4.9%
1910 African-American/Black 5,741 1.2%
Canadian 8.8%
German 9.4%
Russian 3.9%
1920 African-American/Black 40,838 4.1%
British 17,100 1.7%
Canadian 58,500 5.9%
German 30,000 3%
Hungarian 13,500 1.4%
Italian 16,000 1.6%
Polish 56,600 5.7%
Russian 27,200 2.7%
1930 African-American/Black 149,119 9.1%
1950 African-American/Black 300,506 16.1%
1960 African-American/Black 482,229 28.9%
1970 African-American/Black 660,428 44.5%
1980 African-American/Black 758,939 63%
1990 African-American/Black 777,916 76%
2000 African-American/Black 81.6%
Asian 1.0%
Hispanic 5.0%
White 12.3%

Source: The Detroit Alamnac by The Detroit Free Press

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Glossary:
Algonquin

General term used to describe Native Americans of the following tribes (and others): Delaware, Fox, Huron, Miami, Ojibwa (Chippewa), Ottawa, Potawatomi, Sac, Shawnee and Winnebago.
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Glossary:
arquebus

A 39 pound (approximate) musket that two men would prop on a tri-pod and fire with a small torch. The arquebus was used by Champlain's men against the Iroquois to defend the Hurons. This may be the cause of decades of Iroquois abuse of the Hurons.
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Glossary:
clay and wattle

Building technique used in the construction of chimneys in the early days of Fort Ponchartrain. The technique involved piling sticks and packing them - inside and out - with clay and mud.
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Glossary:
Colbertism

Name for early French mercantilism in America, which Jean-Baptiste Colbert was influential in developing.
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Glossary:
conges

Trade permits issued by the Canadian government/court of France in the late 1600s to early 1700s.
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Glossary:
coureurs de bois

Very early French inhabitants of the current US and Canada who gave up their farmsteads for lives in the fur trade. They often lived with Native Americans.
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Glossary:
District of Hesse

Land district provisioned by the Canadian Council on July 24, 1788. The area was on the east side of the Detroit River.
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Glossary:
Fox

"Properly ""Mesh-kwa-ki-hug"". Native American tribe living in the area between Saginaw Bay and Thunder Bay at the time Detroit was founded. The French called the tribe Renyard. An allied tribe of the Sacs and Mascoutin."
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Glossary:
Huron

A Native American tribe that built a village near Fort Ponchartrain.
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Glossary:
Iroquoian

General term sometimes used to describe Native Americans of the following tribes: Cayuga, Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, and Seneca.
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Glossary:
Iroquois

"A Native American tribe known for antagonizing and brutalizing the Hurons (see also arquebus)"
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Glossary:
Mascouten

Native American tribe living in the Grand Traverse Bay area at the time Detroit was founded. An allied tribe of the Foxes and Sacs. Also spelled Mascoutin.
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Glossary:
Miami

A Native American tribe that built a village near Fort Ponchartrain.
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Glossary:
Muskhogean

General term used to describe Native Americans of the following tribes: Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, and Creek.
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Glossary:
New York Currency

First standard currency used in Detroit (first used in 1765).
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Glossary:
Ottawa

A Native American tribe that built a village near Fort Ponchartrain.
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Glossary:
Outagamies

Native American tribe living in the Grand Traverse Bay area at the time Detroit was founded. An allied tribe of the Foxes (and Sacs?).
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Glossary:
Plains Indians

General term used to describe Native Americans of the following tribes: Apache, Arapaho, Cheyenne, Comanche, Kiowa, and Pawnee (Pani).
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Glossary:
Potawatomi

A Native American tribe that built a village near Fort Ponchartrain.
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Glossary:
Quebec Act

Act of June 22, 1774, in which British Parliament decides to exercise English law in criminal cases and old French provincial law in civil cases in western settlements. The idea was to discourage people from settling in the west.
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Glossary:
Renyard

See Fox
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Glossary:
ribbon farms

Original land grants given by Cadillac. The lots were typically around 200 feet wide at the river front, with lengths up to 3 miles.
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Glossary:
Sac

See Sauk
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Glossary:
Sakis

See Sauk
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Glossary:
Sauk

Native American tribe living in the area between Saginaw Bay and Thunder Bay at the time Detroit was founded. The French called the tribe Sakis; English and Americans generally call them Sacs. An allied tribe of the Foxes/Renyards and Mascouten.
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Glossary:
Shoshonean

General term used to describe Native Americans of the following tribes: Bannock and Shoshone.
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Glossary:
Treaty of Montreal

Treaty ending the war between the Iroquois and France and England. Negotiations began in July of 1698 and the treaty was signed in August of 1701.
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Glossary:
Treaty of Ryswick

September 20, 1697 treaty ending war between France and England.
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Glossary:
voyageurs

Early French explorers who traveled mainly by water.