Oakland County, Michigan

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Oakland County is a county in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of 2009, the population was estimated at 1,205,508.[2] The county seat is Pontiac.[3] Oakland County is part of the Detroit metropolitan area, though the actual city of Detroit is located in neighboring Wayne County, south of Eight Mile Road. Oakland County is home to 62 cities, villages and townships. These communities range from blue-collar, inner-ring suburbs like Ferndale and Hazel Park, to wealthy cities such as Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, West Bloomfield Township, and Franklin. The white-collar cities of Troy, Southfield, Farmington Hills, and Auburn Hills host a diverse mix of Fortune 500 companies. The cities of Royal Oak, home of the Detroit Zoological Park, and Ferndale attract many young people to their mature, bohemian downtowns, which have many restaurants, shops and night clubs. Oakland County is also home to Oakland University, a large public institution that straddles the Auburn Hills and Rochester border.

Metro Detroit's suburbs are among the most affluent in the nation. Oakland County is the 4th wealthiest county in the United States among counties with more than one million people. The county's knowledge-based economic initiative, coined "Automation Alley", is one of the largest employment centers for engineering and related occupations in the United States. Oakland County has shared in the recent economic hardships brought on by troubles at General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler, although it has fared better than Detroit and Flint, as its economy is more diverse and less reliant on manufacturing jobs. All three automotive companies are major employers within southeast Michigan and have a significant presence within Oakland County.

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