But this time it’s the dead people:
Detroit has lost half its population since its heyday of the 1950s,
and every year the city hemorrhages an estimated 5,000 people more.
First it was white flight to the suburbs; then with the city’s
continued spiral into poverty and violence, blacks began to flee to
those same suburbs. And while census figures show that whites are
returning to some of the nation’s largest cities, Detroit is
experiencing a flight of a different kind. As the Imbrunones’ second
funeral demonstrates, Detroit is experiencing the flight of the dead.
through 2007, the remains of about 1,000 people have been disinterred
and moved out of the city, according to permits stored in metal filing
cabinets in the city’s department of health. Looked at in another way,
for about every 30 living human beings who leave Detroit, one dead
human being follows. Moreover, anecdotal evidence compiled by a Detroit
professor suggests the figure may be twice as high, meaning city
records may be incomplete and that thousands upon thousands of deceased
people have been relocated from the city over the past 20 years.
Here is the story, interesting throughout. In one example the relocation cost about $5,000. I thank Hugo Lindgren for the pointer.