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Ecorse is a city in Wayne County in the U.S. state of Michigan, named for the Ecorse River. The population was 9,512 at the 2010 census.
The area that would become Ecorse was originally used as a burial ground for the Native American tribes of the area. When settled by the French in the last two decades of the 18th century, it was named "Rivière Aux Échorches", which means "The River of the Barks" in English.
In the 1836 after the community became part of the United States and settled by more English speakers, it was named Grand Port, but remained unincorporated within Ecorse Township. The settlement was incorporated as the village of Ecorse in 1903. Ecorse became a significant economic force in the region when its first steel mill, Michigan Steel Mill, began operation in 1923. The village incorporated as a city in 1942.
Since the later 20th century, the city, like most other industrial inner-ring suburbs, has fallen into economic decline. In December 1986, the Wayne County Circuit Court issued a court order appointing a receiver for the bankrupt city. The receivership would last until August 1990, but the city's finances were monitored by the state for another ten years.
By the fall of 2009, facing a $9 million deficit and a federal corruption probe, Governor Jennifer Granholm declared a financial emergency for the city, paving the way for the appointment of an emergency financial manager. On September 25, 2009, Ecorse Mayor Herbert Worthy and city Controller Erwin Hollenquest were arrested on charges of conspiracy, bribery, and fraud. On May 1, 2013, the City of Ecorse was moved from under an emergency manager to a transition advisory board, which includes the previous emergency manager.
Ecorse is a southwest suburb of Detroit. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.69 square miles (9.56 km2), of which 2.80 square miles (7.25 km2) is land and 0.89 square miles (2.31 km2) is water.
Ecorse Public Schools operates public schools in Ecorse. Public schools include Ralph J. Bunche School (PreK-3), Grandport Elementary School (4-7), and Ecorse Community High School (8-12). Project Excel is a 3-8 magnet school in Ecorse.
Ecorse Public Library is located in Ecorse. Two Dearborn architects, Bennett and Straight, designed the current library complex, which was built to be fireproof.
The first library services appeared in Ecorse in 1922, when a group of books from the Wayne County Library Service were placed at Loveland's Pharmacy. During the following year, the owner of the pharmacy moved his business to receive a larger space and dedicated a section of the new location to the library. Library services stopped in 1925 due to a lack of space for a new book collection. Services resumed on March 22, 1926, when the library re-opened in the DeWallot building with 600 volumes of books; the library had separate quarters for the first time. By 1929 the Ecorse library had four staff members. Two of the staff members operated two other library locations in Ecorse, with one in the Ecorse Municipal Building and one located on Visger Road.
The current Ecorse Public Library opened on Sunday, December 12, 1948; that day Mayor William Vosine dedicated it. The library's cost was $150,000. The American Library Association selected the library as one of the best small libraries in the United States.
Ecorse has a Senior Center and a rowing club. The John D. Dingell Park is located along the Detroit River.
As of the census of 2010, there were 9,512 people, 3,646 households, and 2,285 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,397.1 inhabitants per square mile (1,311.6/km2). There were 4,544 housing units at an average density of 1,622.9 per square mile (626.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 44.0% White (36.5% non-Hispanic white), 46.4% African American, 0.8% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 4.0% from other races, and 4.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 13.4% of the population.
There were 3,646 households of which 34.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 24.7% were married couples living together, 29.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 8.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 37.3% were non-families. 31.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.26.
The median age in the city was 35.4 years. 27.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 10.1% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 24.7% were from 25 to 44; 25.3% were from 45 to 64; and 12.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.3% male and 52.7% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 11,229 people, 4,339 households, and 2,733 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,175.1 per square mile (1,611.7/km²). There were 4,861 housing units at an average density of 1,807.4 per square mile (697.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 52.18% White, 40.56% African American, 0.65% Native American, 0.19% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 3.36% from other races, and 3.05% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.94% of the population, and 5.8% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000. 92.7% spoke English only, while 6.3% spoke Spanish.
There were 4,339 households out of which 30.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 31.0% were married couples living together, 25.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.0% were non-families. 31.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.23.
In the city, the population was spread out with 27.8% under the age of 18, 9.8% from 18 to 24, 29.3% from 25 to 44, 20.7% from 45 to 64, and 12.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.3 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $27,142, and the median income for a family was $32,374. Males had a median income of $33,915 versus $22,500 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,468. About 17.3% of families and 22.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 34.2% of those under age 18 and 12.2% of those age 65 or over.
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