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Ecorse, Michigan
City of Ecorse
Intersection of Outer Drive and Jefferson Avenue
Intersection of Outer Drive and Jefferson Avenue
Location within Wayne County
Location within Wayne County
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Country United States
State Michigan
County Wayne
Incorporated 1903 (village)
1942 (city)
 • Type Mayor–council
 • City 3.71 sq mi (9.62 km2)
 • Land 2.84 sq mi (7.35 km2)
 • Water 0.88 sq mi (2.27 km2)
581 ft (177 m)
 • City 9,512
 • Estimate 
 • Density 3,373.28/sq mi (1,302.42/km2)
 • Metro
4,285,832 (Metro Detroit)
Time zone UTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code(s)
48218 (River Rouge)
Area code(s) 313
FIPS code 26-24740
GNIS feature ID 0625337
Ecorse, MI Civic Center
Albert B. Buday Civic Center
Ecorse, Michigan W Jefferson Ave
Looking north along W. Jefferson Avenue

Ecorse ( EE-korrss) is a city in Wayne County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 9,512 at the 2010 census.

Ecorse is part of the Downriver community within Metro Detroit. The city shares a northwestern border with the city of Detroit and also borders the cities of Lincoln Park to the west, River Rouge to the north, and Wyandotte to the south. The city shares its name with the Ecorse River, which forms its southern border with Wyandotte. The Detroit River forms the city's eastern border as part of the Canada–United States border with LaSalle, Ontario.


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 1902. 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 1941.

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.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 1,063
1920 4,394 313.4%
1930 12,716 189.4%
1940 13,209 3.9%
1950 17,948 35.9%
1960 17,328 −3.5%
1970 17,515 1.1%
1980 14,447 −17.5%
1990 12,180 −15.7%
2000 11,229 −7.8%
2010 9,512 −15.3%
2019 (est.) 9,570 0.6%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

At the 2010 census there were 9,512 people in 3,646 households, including 2,285 families, 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 3,646 households 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 households were one person and 11.8% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.26.

The median age 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 or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.3% male and 52.7% female.

Parks and recreation

Ecorse has a Senior Center and a rowing club. The John D. Dingell Park is located along the Detroit River.


Primary and secondary schools

Ecorse Public Schools operates the public schools in the city. These 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.

Public libraries

Ecorse Public Library is located in the city. 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 for local use at Loveland's Pharmacy. During the following year, the owner of the pharmacy moved his business to gain a larger space and dedicated a section of the new location to the library. Due to a lack of space for a new book collection, library services were stopped in 1925. Services resumed on March 22, 1926, when the library re-opened in the DeWallot building with 600 volumes of books; for the first time the library had its own quarters. By 1929 the Ecorse library had four staff members. Two operated other library branches in Ecorse: one in the Ecorse Municipal Building and one located on Visger Road.

The current Ecorse Public Library opened on December 12, 1948, with a dedication by Mayor William Vosine. 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.

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