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More About Flint, Michigan
Flint is the largest city and seat of Genesee County, Michigan, United States. Located along the Flint River, 66 miles (106 km) northwest of Detroit, it is a principal city within the region known as Mid Michigan. At the 2020 census, Flint had a population of 81,252, making it the twelfth largest city in Michigan. The Flint metropolitan area is located entirely within Genesee County. It is the fourth largest metropolitan area in Michigan with a population of 406,892 in 2020. The city was incorporated in 1855.
Flint was founded as a village by fur trader Jacob Smith in 1819 and became a major lumbering area on the historic Saginaw Trail during the 19th century. From the late 19th century to the mid 20th century, the city was a leading manufacturer of carriages and later automobiles, earning it the nickname “Vehicle City”. General Motors (GM) was founded in Flint in 1908, and the city grew into an automobile manufacturing powerhouse for GM’s Buick and Chevrolet divisions, especially after World War II up until the early 1980s recession. Flint was also the home of a sit-down strike in 1936–37 that played a vital role in the formation of the United Auto Workers.
Since the late 1960s, Flint has faced several crises. The city experienced an economic downturn after GM significantly downsized its workforce in the area from a high of 80,000 in 1978 to under 8,000 by 2010. From 1960 to 2010, the population of the city nearly halved, from 196,940 to 102,434. In the mid-2000s, Flint became known for its comparatively high crime rates and has repeatedly been ranked among the most dangerous cities in the United States according to crime statistics. The city was under a state of financial emergency from 2002 to 2004 and again from 2011 to 2015.
From 2014 to 2019, Flint faced a public health emergency due to lead contamination in parts of the local water supply as well as an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease. The acute lead crisis has been addressed as the city has secured a new source of clean water, installed modern copper pipes to nearly every home, and distributed filters to all residents who want them. However, a legacy of distrust in public authorities remains.