Detroit (, locally also , French: Détroit, lit. 'strait') is the largest and most-populous city in the U.S. state of Michigan, the largest U.S. city on the United States–Canada border, and the seat of Wayne County. The municipality of Detroit had a 2019 estimated population of 670,031, making it the 24th-most populous city in the United States. The metropolitan area, known as Metro Detroit, is home to 4.3 million people, making it the second-largest in the Midwest after the Chicago metropolitan area, and 14th-largest in the United States. Regarded as a major cultural center, Detroit is known for its contributions to music and as a repository for art, architecture and design, along with its historical automotive background.
Detroit is a major port on the Detroit River, one of the four major straits that connect the Great Lakes system to the Saint Lawrence Seaway. The City of Detroit anchors the second-largest regional economy in the Midwest, behind Chicago and ahead of Minneapolis–Saint Paul, and the 13th-largest in the United States. Detroit is best known as the center of the U.S. automobile industry, and the "Big Three" auto manufacturers General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis North America are all headquartered in Metro Detroit. As of 2007, the Detroit metropolitan area is the number one exporting region among 310 defined metropolitan areas in the United States.The Detroit Metropolitan Airport is among the most important hubs in the United States. Detroit and its neighboring Canadian city Windsor are connected through a highway tunnel, railway tunnel, and the Ambassador Bridge, which is the second busiest international crossing in North America, after San Diego–Tijuana.
In 1701, Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac founded Fort Pontchartrain du Détroit, the future city of Detroit. During the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, it became an important industrial hub at the center of the Great Lakes region. The city's population became the 4th-largest in the nation in 1920, after only New York City, Chicago and Philadelphia, with expansion of the auto industry in the early 20th century.