|Nickname(s): The Dining Capital of Downriver|
Location in Wayne County and the state of Michigan
|• Mayor||Joseph G. Kuspa|
|• Total||6.86 sq mi (17.77 km2)|
|• Land||6.85 sq mi (17.74 km2)|
|• Water||0.01 sq mi (0.03 km2)|
|Elevation||591 ft (180 m)|
|• Estimate (2012)||29,585|
|• Density||4,386.4/sq mi (1,693.6/km2)|
|Time zone||EST (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0638446|
Southgate was the last city to incorporate from the former Ecorse Township, gaining city status in October 1958. The city is bounded by Goddard Road and Brest to the north, M-85/Fort Street and Quarry Road to the east, Pennsylvania Road to the south, and Allen Road to the west. Fordline Street also serves as a border between Southgate and Lincoln Park between Brest and Goddard.
Southgate currently houses the headquarters of The News-Herald, a local Downriver newspaper which covers over twenty surrounding communities. During the late 1950s and 1960s, The Southgate Sentinel, a Mellus newspaper, was published.
The city of Southgate is the location of the Splash Park/Downriver YMCA (also called Southgate Fun & Fitness Centre) at Interstate 75 and Northline Road, as well as the Michigan headquarters for the Sonic Drive-In fast food restaurant chain. Retailers in Southgate include Kmart, Meijer and Walmart hypermarkets, a Kroger supermarket and a Sam's Club warehouse store.
Long a rural area of Ecorse Township, areas within present-day Southgate were originally platted with street grids beginning in the 1920's, though most developments did not start until just after World War II-among the oldest residential areas in the city is the Old Homestead neighborhood on the east side.
There are two accounts of the city's name: Southgate is described in local guides as being the "South Gate" or entrance to the Metro Detroit area. "A metropolitan daily picture story" in late 1956 also gave this explanation.
Southgate's first mayor, Thomas J. Anderson, also stated in 1956 that the name originated from the newly built Southgate Shopping Center in the middle of the city. "We were trying to get a separate post office for our community, and were advised that it would help our cause if the township board passed a resolution creating an unincorporated village," Anderson explained. "The name Southgate was chosen because of the shopping center then under consideration, and the board agreed that it was an appropriate name. The resolution was adopted at a regular meeting in the early summer of 1953."
Thomas Anderson became the city's first mayor in 1958 after having been Ecorse Township's supervisor for the previous five years. Anderson also has the high school named after him.
Previous mayors include (alphabetically): Thomas Anderson, Walter Berklich, William Brainard, Dennis David, Suzanne Hall, James Kandrevas, Robert Reaume, and Norma Wurmlinger. As of November 17, 2009, the current mayor of Southgate is Joseph Kuspa. Other elected city officials are the seven city councilpersons, a treasurer and a clerk.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.86 square miles (17.77 km2), of which 6.85 square miles (17.74 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water. Southgate borders the cities of Riverview (south), Wyandotte (east), Allen Park (northwest), Taylor (west), and Lincoln Park (north), as well as Brownstown Township (southwest).
As of the census of 2010, there were 30,047 people, 13,062 households, and 7,833 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,386.4 inhabitants per square mile (1,693.6 /km2). There were 13,933 housing units at an average density of 2,034.0 per square mile (785.3 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 88.7% White, 5.5% African American, 0.5% Native American, 1.6% Asian, 1.7% from other races, and 2.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.5% of the population.
There were 13,062 households of which 27.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.6% were married couples living together, 12.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 40.0% were non-families. 33.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 2.95.
The median age in the city was 40.8 years. 20.3% of residents were under the age of 18; 9.1% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 26.2% were from 25 to 44; 28.2% were from 45 to 64; and 16.3% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.8% male and 52.2% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 30,136 people, 12,836 households, and 8,048 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,395.8 per square mile (1,696.1/km²). There were 13,361 housing units at an average density of 1,948.9 per square mile (752.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 93.66% White, 2.11% African American, 0.50% Native American, 1.67% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.85% from other races, and 1.18% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.98% of the population.
There were 12,836 households out of which 26.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.2% were married couples living together, 9.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.3% were non-families. 32.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.98.
In the city the population was spread out with 21.5% under the age of 18, 8.3% from 18 to 24, 30.6% from 25 to 44, 23.3% from 45 to 64, and 16.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 93.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $46,927, and the median income for a family was $56,710. Males had a median income of $45,829 versus $28,549 for females. The per capita income for the city was $23,219. About 2.6% of families and 4.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.4% of those under age 18 and 8.5% of those age 65 or over.
Dining Capital of Downriver
In a 2007 News-Herald article, the mayor of Southgate stated that the city is the "Dining Capital of Downriver." It is home to several chain restaurants, including three McDonald's outlets, two KFC outlets, two Taco Bell outlets and two Arby's outlets. You can also find an array of small, family-owned restaurants (including a few Coney Islands) with cuisines specializing in Italian, Mediterranean, Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, Hungarian, Arabic, and American. The first Sonic Drive-In location in the state of Michigan is located within Southgate on Fort Street in front of the city's Meijer store.
Mallie's Sports Grill & Bar holds the Guinness Record for the world's largest commercially available hamburger, weighing 185.8 pounds.
Primary and secondary schools
Southgate Community School District operates public schools.
- Grogan Elementary
- Chormann Elementary (Closed)
- North Pointe Elementary (Closed)
- Fordline Elementary
- Shelters Elementary
- Allen Elementary
- Gerisch Middle School (Closed)
- Davidson Middle School (6th Grade - 8th Grade)
- Southgate Anderson High School (9th Grade - 12th Grade)
- George G Schafer High School
(aka Schafer HS) 9-12
- St. Pius X (Preschool - 8th Grade)
- Christ the King Lutheran (Preschool - 8th Grade)
- Montessori Center of Downriver (Preschool - Kindergarten)
- Creative Montessori Academy (Preschool - 8th Grade)
- Nanny's Nursery School and Day-Care Center (Pre-School - Kindergarten)
- Kindercare Learning Center (Pre-School - Kindergarten)
Colleges and universities
- Dorsey Business School (Business College)
- Madonna University (Downriver Campus)
- Northwood University (Southgate Campus)
- "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-25.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-25.
- "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-06-03.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Race, Hispanic or Latino, Age, and Housing Occupancy: 2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File (QT-PL), Southgate city, Michigan". U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder 2. Retrieved September 7, 2011.
- "'Schaferson' Suggested for Township City." Wyandotte Tribune, December 6, 1956.
- "'Southgate' Name Favored in Poll." Wyandotte News-Herald, November 29, 1953.
- "Southgate Becomes New City." The Detroit News, October 1, 1958.
- "Tale of four cities". The News-Herald. 2007-06-29. Retrieved 2008-05-04.[dead link]