Detroit's population began to expand rapidly based on resource extraction from around the Great Lakes region, especially lumber and mineral resources. It entered the period of largest and most rapid growth in the early 20th century and through World War II, with the development of the auto industry and related heavy industry. Attracting hundreds of thousands of immigrants from Central and Eastern Europe, the Near East, and black and white migrants from the South, the city became a boom town. By 1920 it was the fourth-largest city in the country.
The population of Detroit increased more than 1,000 times between 1820 and 1930. Most of the increase occurred during the early decades of the 20th century. This massive population increase was driven by the expansion of the auto industry during the early twentieth century. By 1920 Detroit had become the fourth-largest city in the country and it held this position for decades. Postwar suburbanization and industrial restructuring caused massive job loss and population changes in the city....LESS