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Facts About Westland
During the 18th century, the area was inhabited by the people of a Potawatomi Native American village. Other tribes, particularly three Algonquian tribes, used the area as hunting territory. Before becoming Westland, the area had several other names. Though white settlers did not begin to settle the area until about 1824, they began passing through at the beginning of the 19th century. Bucklin Township was first organized in 1827 and included what is now the cities of Westland, Livonia, Garden City, Inkster, Wayne, Dearborn, Dearborn Heights and Redford Township. The Norwayne subdivision is one of the oldest areas of the city, having existed for over 65 years. The area was built immediately after World War II to provide temporary housing for returning soldiers who worked in nearby factories. In late 2009 the City of Westland received $2.061 million to radically clean up, restore and rehabilitate this historic district. This is through Stimulus/Recovery funds and was allocated under the NSP – Neighborhood Stabilization Program of 2008. Please see the City of Westland Development for additional details. This project is expected to be completed by 2013 and was highlighted in the 2009 State of the City mayoral address.
By 1960, Nankin’s population 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. The shopping center eventually opened in 1965, joining Northland and Eastland malls in Southfield and Harper Woods, respectively. In reaction to Livonia’s annexation attempts, the people of Nankin voted on May 16, 1966, to change the remainder of the township to the City of Westland. At that time, it was the fourth largest city in Wayne County. Westland and the city of Wayne form the Wayne-Westland Community School District. There are four high schools, John Glenn, Tinkham Center, and William D. Ford Career Tech Center in Westland, and Wayne Memorial in Wayne. There is a historical site, Perrinsville School in Westland on Warren Road. Nearly all students that live in the city of Wayne go to Wayne Memorial High School, along with some residents of Van Buren Township, Inkster, Romulus, Canton and southern Westland. Students in central Westland and portions of northern Westland, as well as isolated areas of neighboring Inkster and Canton, attend John Glenn High School. The northernmost portions of Westland are in the Livonia Public Schools district.
As of the census of 2010, there were 84,094 people, 35,886 households, and 21,289 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,116.2 inhabitants per square mile (1,589.3/km2). There were 39,201 housing units at an average density of 1,918.8 per square mile (740.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 75.8% White, 17.2% African American, 0.5% Native American, 3.0% Asian, 1.1% from other races, and 2.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.8% of the population. There were 35,886 households of which 29.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.5% were married couples living together, 16.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.4% had a male householder with no wife present, and 40.7% were non-families. 34.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.98. The median age in the city was 38.3 years. 22.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 9.5% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 27.7% were from 25 to 44; 26.6% were from 45 to 64; and 14% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.5% male and 52.5% female.