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Westland, Michigan

From Academic Kids

Westland is a city located in Wayne County, Michigan. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 86,602.

Its city motto is "The Place To Be."

During the 1700’s, the area was inhabited by the people of a Pottawatomi Indian village. Other tribes, particularly three Algonquin tribes, used the area as hunting territory. A flour mill, which was restored by Henry Ford in 1918, was built in this same area. Once restored, the mill was used to make stencils for Ford car parts. Named Nankin Mills, this historic site is now used as a nature interpretive center and other community events.

Before becoming "Westland," the area had several other names. Though white settlers did not begin to settle the area until about 1824, they began to arrive at the beginning of the 19th century. Before 1829, the area was know as Lima and Burklin Townships. At that time, it was named Nankin, after a Chinese Province (similar to Canton, a nearby township). From this original township, Nankin was split four times, spinning off the villages of Livonia in 1853, Wayne in 1869 and Garden City in 1927. By 1960, Nankin’s populace had increased to 70,000, giving the area the distinction of being the world’s largest township. During the early 1960s, the city of Livonia wanted to annex the part of Nankin in which a large shopping mall, Westland Shopping Center, was to be built. (During the 1980s, "Center" became "Mall".) In reaction to this, the people of Nankin voted to incorporate as a city and in 1966, Nankin became the city of Westland, named after the mall, which had opened in 1965.

Side note: Westland Shopping Center was one of several similar malls built during the 1950s/60s in the Detroit suburban area: Northland in Southfield (2nd earliest enclosed mall built in USA); Eastland in Harper Woods (off 8 Mile Road northeast of downtown Detroit); and Southland in Taylor.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 53.0 km² (20.5 mi²). 53.0 km² (20.5 mi²) of it is land and 0.05% is water.

Demographics

As of the census2 of 2000, there are 86,602 people, 36,533 households, and 22,248 families residing in the city. The population density is 1,635.1/km² (4,234.9/mi²). There are 38,077 housing units at an average density of 718.9/km² (1,862.0/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 87.21% White, 6.77% African American, 0.46% Native American, 2.81% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.67% from other races, and 2.04% from two or more races. 2.47% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 36,533 households out of which 28.6% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.4% are married couples living together, 12.1% have a female householder with no husband present, and 39.1% are non-families. 32.6% of all households are made up of individuals and 11.3% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.34 and the average family size is 3.00.

In the city the population is spread out with 23.3% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 33.9% from 25 to 44, 20.6% from 45 to 64, and 13.2% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 35 years. For every 100 females there are 92.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 89.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $46,308, and the median income for a family is $55,323. Males have a median income of $45,111 versus $30,143 for females. The per capita income for the city is $22,615. 6.8% of the population and 4.7% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 7.6% of those under the age of 18 and 6.9% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

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