Population pyramids highlight distinctions between Southeast Michigan communities

November 24, 2014

In this post we examine the age distributions of the 2012 population by displaying the data in population pyramids for the following cities: Ann Arbor (Washtenaw County), Brighton (Livingston County), Detroit (Wayne County), Livonia (Wayne County), Monroe (Monroe County), Port Huron (St. Clair County), Sterling Heights (Macomb County),and Troy (Oakland County). For each city the percent of the population in the age groups listed on the y-axis are displayed for both males and females. The age groups with the wider arm in the pyramid represent age groups that make up a larger percent of the city’s overall population. These cities were chosen because they are the largest cities in each of the seven counties of Southeast Michigan; Livonia was included in addition to Detroit to highlight what differences may exist between the county’s two largest cities. All population data was taken from the American Community Survey, 2012-5 year estimates. They are listed in alphabetical order. Note that the scale for the City of Ann Arbor pyramid is different in order to accommodate local patterns, so readers should attend closely to the scales.

In addition to a population pyramid showing age distribution of the population, it also sheds light on the birth rate, death rate and life expectancy of the population. There are general shapes to a population pyramid: a pyramid, a box or barrel, and an inverted pyramid. These type of pyramids represent the following:

  • Pyramid: a developing nation, or in this case city, with a slow growth rate, high birth rate, and often a short life expectancy.
  • Barrel: a nation or city that is already well established with a low infant mortality rate, slow population growth, and high life expectancy.
  • Inverted pyramid: a nation or city with negative growth, which is associated with a low birth rate, a shrinking population and low life expectancy.

In this post, one sees substantially diverse pyramids across the cities. One visual pattern, consistent with all other data, is the far higher share of women living to greater ages than men.

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Note: Ann Arbor’s scales are substantially different than the other charts to accommodate the large college age population.

In 2012, the majority of the population in Ann Arbor, which is home to the University of Michigan, was ages 15 -19 and 20 -24: for females 31.5 percent of the population was represented in these two age groups and for males and 38.5 percent of the population was represented. Of all the age groups, the 20-24 one was the most represented for males and females: for females, 19.3 percent of the population was aged 20-24 and for males 20.7 percent of the population was aged 20-24 in 2012. Aside from the population bulges for the college-age students, population growth was fairly stable, as can be seen by the similar age-group representations throughout the pyramid. However, population among children is much lower than some other cities in this post.

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In 2012 in Brighton, 51.6 percent of the male population was between the ages 25 and 59 in 2012 and 70.7 percent of the female population was in that age range. The age group of 40-44 had the highest percentage of females in 2012, with 10.6 percent of the female residents being in that age range. For males, the most common age group was between the ages of 30 and 34; 9.8 percent of the male population was in that age range. In Brighton, the 20-24 age group was the least numerous, with 2 percent of males in Brighton being in that age group and 2.2 percent of females. Brighton is the only city in this post where there were more older men than women. This can be seen by the fact that the percent of males aged 85 and above was 5.2 percent while only 4.5 percent of females were aged 85 and above.

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The city of Detroit compared to the other cities in this post, with the exceptions of Port Huron and Monroe (for females) had a relatively high birth rate, as can be seen by the fact 32.7 percent of the males in the city were aged 19 or below and 28.5 percent of the females in Detroit were below the age of 19 in 2012. According to the Michigan Department of Community Healthy, the city’s birth rate in 2012 was 14 per 1,000 residents; the state’s was 11.4. Detroit’s population bulge occurred in the 15-19 age group for both males and females. Also, in 2012, according the Michigan Department of Community Health the infant mortality rate in Detroit was 15 while the state of Michigan’s was 6.9.

As the population ages, the chart shows a more traditional male-to-female ratio in the older years, unlike in Brighton. Starting with the 60 to 64 age grouping, there began to be a larger difference between the percent of males represented versus the percent of females represented in the population. In total, 14.3 percent of the males in Detroit were aged 60 and above in 2012 compared to 18.8 percent of females who were aged 60 and above.

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For the city of Livonia, the population bulge in 2012 was between the ages of 45 and 59 for both males and females (25.2% of both males and females where in this age range), highlighting the baby boomers, who would have been between the ages of 47 and 66 in 2012. Overall, the population pyramid for Livonia’s population in 2012 shows that the population was middle aged. For males, the age group with the highest representation was the 50-54 percent age group with 8.9 percent. For females, the 50-54 age group had the highest representation at 9.2 percent.

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The population pyramid shows Monroe’s population was fairly stable, with a fewer percentage of both males and females in the 25-34 age range. Also, aside from those five-year ranges aged 70 and above, males between the age of 10 and 24 years of age were the smallest group at 3.9 percent, indicating an aging population.

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In 2012, Port Huron’s population pyramid showed that the population was slightly growing, because of the high dependent population, which is those age 9 and under, and overall pyramid shape to the population distribution, with a wide base and narrow top, closely resembling a pyramid. At that time, 26.9 percent of females in Port Huron were 19 or under and 30.3 percent of males were 19 or under. In Port Huron in 2012 the birth rate was 14 per 1,000 residents, compared to the state’s rate of 11.9.

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The population pyramid above, which represents Sterling Heights, is more stable, seeing as how a majority of the age groups represented in the chart made up similar percentages of the population in 2012. For males, the 45-49 age group was the most represented at 7.9 percent and for females the 50-54 age group had the highest representation at 7.8 percent. Sterling Heights, like Livonia, shows a bulge in the population just beyond child-bearing years, but still of working age.

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For the city of Troy, those between the ages of 35-69 and 5-19 for both males and females were part of the population bulges. For males, the age groups of 45-49 and 50-54 each had the highest representation of the population at 8.9 percent. For females, the 50-54 age group had the highest representation at 8.4 percent. In addition to the middle-age population bulge, this chart shows that in recent years birth rates started to decline, as can be seen from the transition from the under 5 years of age group up through the 15-19 years of age group. For example, in 2012 the birth rate per 1,000 in the city of Troy, according to the Michigan Department of Community Health, was 9.8 per thousand residents (this is less than the state’s and far less than Detroit’s 14). Those under 5 years of age for males made up 5.5 percent of the male population, and females under the age of 5 made up 5.3 percent of the female population.

Wayne County has highest rate of reported domestic violence incidents in Southeastern Michigan

November 17, 2014

According to the Michigan State Police, in every county in the region in 2013 the percentage of reported female victims was higher than the percentage of reported male victims. One reason for this is because men and boys are less likely to report domestic violence. Wayne County had the highest percentage of female victims in the region at 75.7%, along with the highest rate of domestic violence incidents.

In Southeastern Michigan, the most common relationship a domestic violence victim had with their abuser was being their was their boyfriend or girlfriend; in some cases the relationship also involved living together. Although this was the most common relationship, it does not discount the victims who experienced abuse from their spouse, child, sibling, parent, grandparent or grandchild. Domestic violence victims tend to have long-term relationships with their abusers.

The information described above and throughout this post is from the annual report the Michigan State Police (MSP) releases, detailing the number of domestic violence incidents by county. According to the MSP, domestic violence is “the occurrence of any of the following acts by a person that is not an act of self-defense: causing or attempting to cause physical or mental harm to a family or household member; placing a family or household member in fear of physical or mental harm; causing or attempting to cause a family or household member to engage in involuntary sexual activity by force, threat of force, or duress; and/or engaging in activity toward a family or household member that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, harassed, or molested.”

According to the Michigan State Police, “the term domestic violence is a pattern of learned behavior in which one person uses physical, sexual, and emotional abuse to control another person. Domestic violence can occur within relationships between spouses or former spouses, dating or formerly dating couples, individuals with a child in common, or residents or former residents of a common household.”

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In 2013, Wayne County had the highest rate of domestic violence incidents in the seven county region at 1,349.5 per 100,000 residents. The other two counties in the region where the rate of domestic violence incidents was above 1,000 per 100,000 residents were Monroe (1,117) and St. Clair (1,026.7). Livingston County had the lowest rate of domestic violence incidents in 2013 at 324.9 per 100,000 residents.

The rates were calculated using the number of reported domestic violence incidents, according to the Michigan State Police, multiplying that number by 100,000 and then dividing it by the 2013 county population estimates from the American Community Survey.

In addition to having the highest rate of domestic violence incidents, Wayne County also had the highest number of reported domestic violence incidents in the region in 2013: 26,521. Monroe County had the second highest number of reported incidents with 1,698. Livingston County had the lowest number of reported domestic violence incidents at 588.

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When examining the reported domestic violence incidents by the gender of reported victims, in 2013, Wayne County had the highest percentage of female victims at 75.7 percent, while Monroe County had the highest percentage of male victims at 32.2 percent. Subsequently, this means Wayne County had the lowest percentage of male victims at 24.2 percent and Monroe County had the highest at 32.2 percent. Livingston County had the second highest percentage of male victims at 31.8 percent. Monroe and Livingston counties were the only two in the region where the total percentage of reported female victims was under 90 percent.

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The MSP break down victim-to-offender relationships into 20 categories. Above are the top five most occurring categories of victim-to-offender relationships in 2013 in the region, according to the MSP. For the boyfriend/girlfriend category and ex-boyfriend/girlfriend category this includes couples who currently or did live together and homosexual couples.

Of all the types of victim-to-offender relationships that existed in reported domestic violence incidents in 2013, the most common in all seven counties was a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. In Wayne County, the boyfriend/girlfriend category represented 8,498 of the total 27,297 reported relationships, or 31.1 percent, and the ex category accounted for 4,570 of the total reported relationships, or 16.7 percent. Washtenaw County had the second highest percentage of boyfriend/girlfriend victim-to-offender relationships with 805 of the 2,740, 29.4 percent, representing this category. Monroe County had the lowest percentage of boyfriend/girlfriend victim-to-victim relationships at 21.4 percent; this percentage is reflective of the 374 of the 1,745 reported boyfriend/girlfriend relationships.

When not comparing percentages, Livingston County had the overall lowest number of boyfriend/girlfriend victim-to-offender relationships at 138. There were 603 total reported relationship making the boyfriend/girlfriend victim-to-offender relationships equal 22.9 percent of the total reported relationships.

Other relationships the MSP categorized, aside from the ones represented in the chart above, include: grandparents, grandchildren, parents, step-parents, children and siblings, ex-spouses, and common-law spouses.

Note that the number of victim-offender relationships in the chart above is not equal to the number of victims shown in a prior map ,because there were incidents where there were several offenses, but only one offender, according to the Michigan State Police.

How many structures in Detroit are blighted and ready for demolition?

November 10, 2014

Detroit has embarked on one of the largest scattered site demolition projects in the world. This task is reflective of the city’s vacancy rate, which is considered one the highest in the nation (Kolko, 2013). Property values are still on the decline in Detroit, as can be seen by a more than 10 percent decrease in the city’s state equalized value (SEV) in the past year (Liu, 2014). Property values are very sensitive to such vacancies, impacting the potential for revenue generation in a city just emerging from bankruptcy. Thus, the blight demolition projects have taken center stage as the city tries to revitalize itself. Here we take a closer look at the various sources of statistics that show discrepancies in just how many structures are considered blighted and ready for demolition. We consider the policies surrounding this issue.

The first step to determining how many, and which, houses to tear down includes a complete inventory of the residential structures within the city, including an analysis of how many of those are vacant. For those structures that are determined vacant, it must then be determined how many are in such a state of disrepair and decay that they are unlikely to attract interest from someone willing to renovate and move in.

There are stark differences in the extimates of the number of vacant homes. Data Driven Detroit’s Motor City Mapping project (www.motorcitymapping.com), deployed over 100 data collectors throughout the city to survey every city lot and to rate the condition of the remaining structures including vacancy and fire damage. They identified 261,275 total structures in Detroit in 2013, and identified 48,327 as unoccupied, for a vacancy rate of 18.5 percent.[i] In 2012, which is the most recent data, the American Community Survey for the U.S. Census Bureau, estimated in its 5-year estimates that 104,143 of 363,010 housing units (not just structures) were vacant, for a rate of 28.7 percent. The Blight Removal Task Force, which was formed by the Obama administration in 2013 to recommend a course to deal with the massive amount of blight in Detroit, estimated that Detroit had 78,506 vacant structures of 380,000 for a rate of 20.7 percent; this data was collected from December 2013 to January 2014. Additionally, the U.S. Postal Service recognized 87,731 vacant addresses out of 363,045 for a rate of 21.6 percent in December of 2013. Below is a table that summarizes these figures:

Data Driven Detroit

(2013)

Blight Removal Task Force

(2013)

USPS

(2013)

American Community Survey (5 yr estimate 2012) Total Average
Detroit Vacancy Rate 18.5 20.7 21.6 28.7 22.5

The estimates of the number of structures that should be removed is just as variable. The Motor City Mapping platform states that the need for two major repairs results in the structure as being deemed in “poor condition.” For a structure to be deemed for “suggested demolition” by Motor City Mapping it must “not appear to be structurally sound, may pose safety risks, and is generally uninhabitable. The building may be buckling, caved in, or otherwise severely compromised.” With this definition, Motor City Mapping determined 4,431 properties were rated for demolition, a rate of 1.7 percent of structures. In the same study, Motor City Mapping indicated that 6,873 structures, or 2.6 percent, had fire damage in 2013; 5,979 (2.3 percent) had become obvious dumping sites and that 27,640 (10.6 percent) structures needed boarding from intruders and the elements. By contrast, the Blight Removal Task Force recommended 40,777 structures for immediate removal, or 10.7 percent of the housing stock. The task force determines if a structure should be removed if it meets the definition of blight and where the estimated cost of rehabilitation (to code) will exceed market value or create positive economic opportunities for the neighborhood,” (Detroit Blight Removal Task Force Plan, pg.125). The Detroit Blight Task Force considers a property blighted if it is: a public and/or attractive nuisance; fire damaged or otherwise dangerous; has code violations posing a severe or immediate health or safety threat; is open to the elements and trespassing; is already on the city of Detroit’s demolition list; is owned or under the control of the land bank; has had utilities, plumbing, heating or sewage disconnected, destroyed, removed, or is otherwise ineffective; is a tax reverted property; has been vacant for five consecutive years and is not maintained to code (timetoendblight.com).

Data Driven Detroit Blight Removal Task Force
Recommended for demolition in 2014 4,431 40,777
Percent of housing stock 1.7% 10.7%

According to the federal, state and city government, removing these structures is essential for “neighborhood stabilization” (City of Detroit Planning and Development Department 2011, Michigan Foreclosure Task Force 2013, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development 2010). Demolition of of several thousand homes will be completed through the use of $52.3 million in Hardest Hit Funding. These funds, allocated by the U.S. Treasury from the Troubled Assessed Relief Problems (TARP) funds for those states hardest hit by the mortgage foreclosure crisis, must be spent by April 30, 2015 or it will be lost (Detroit Building Authority 2014). An additional investment of approximately $250 million may be awarded toward the same goal in a short period. While each state helps to tailor the local allocation of Hardest Hit Funding, most communities in Michigan and other states have elected programs that help homeowners facing foreclosure to make payments while they look for work (U.S. Department of Treasury, 2013). Other uses of this funding, besides demolitions, include property auctions and loans for renovation. More information about these programs can be found at www.buildingdetroit.com.

While the decision-makers engaged in this process appear unified on the need to use demolition to spur redevelopment, these decisions are being made in an unstable urban environment. In the short run population is still in decline, having not yet reached its nadir. Nearly 120,000 residents have left Detroit since 2008 (U.S. Census Bureau 2014). As Detroit’s population dwindles homes likely will continue to be left vacant, as the number of people moving back to Detroit is unlikely to come close to equaling the number of those who have left.

High-profile urban institutes, including the Brookings Institute, have identified Detroit’s vacant homes as an economic handicap, citing the need for demolition to equalize supply and demand in the housing market and thus stabilize property values; to resolve expensive nuisance issues related to maintaining abandoned properties; and to reduce disincentives to revitalization (Mallach 2012). Other potential benefits of a demolition policy include removal of sites of criminal activity and removal of pests such as rats, roaches and stray animals (Detroit Blight Removal Task Force Plan 2014, Institute of Population Health 2014).

However there are major potential downsides to this massive program of demolition. The large-scale demolition in a small area of Detroit in a short time is likely to exacerbate health problems that may be unconcerning for a single demolition. This is the case according to the Blight Removal Task Force’s own plan as well as the Health Impact Assessment funded by the National Association of County and City Health Officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Health Initiative (Detroit Blight Removal Task Force Plan 2014, Institute of Population Health 2014). Lead and other heavy metals and toxic chemicals from the demolition will create toxic dust and aerosols that may impact neighbors by causing or triggering conditions such as lead poisoning or asthma. Lead can be ingested through dust and can also contaminate soil, especially around older buildings with flaking external paintwork, or near industrial buildings. The most prevalent risk from lead exposure is IQ deficiency in children – even with relatively low lead levels in blood, there are indications it negatively affects children’s IQ. The most vulnerable age group is children under 3 years old because of potential effects on neurological development, and because young children’s bodies more readily take up lead. Other risk groups include pregnant women and fetuses. For asthma, which is a chronic disease characterized by the swelling and narrowing of the airways to the lungs, it can be triggered by, dust, mold and volatile organic compounds (among other things), which have the potential to be emitted into the environment following demolitions. Those who experience symptoms of asthma often wheeze, have shortness of breath, a sensation of a tight chest, and cough.

In addition to the potential health risks related to mass demolitions, there is also no guarantee that if you demolish a structure, a new home will take its place. After the building has been removed, there are limited investment incentives currently in place to encourage investors to redevelop these vacant parcels, leaving the city pocked with large swaths of vacant and open land between homes in some areas. Aside from the Detroit Land Bank, where structures and vacant lands in the city are auctioned off, land will be city-owned, meaning maintenance of these vacant parcels will be the obligation of the city. This has caused problems historically for other cities, especially financially insecure cities like Detroit. After Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans and neighboring communities that lost significant tax bases encountered similar issues of having a substantial number of abandoned properties turned over to the municipality. The problem became how to redistribute this property to other agencies or investors to reduce the maintenance burden on a city incapable of significantly expanding its staff to meet the maintenance needs.

         What would be an improvement is a strategy that reduces demolitions, while tightening the dust suppression by implementing protocols similar to those in Baltimore that call for increased deconstruction and the use of temporary barriers during demolition. This would cost more, but reduce the consequences for this generation of Detroit’s children.

In addition, more housing should be boarded so it could be rehabilitated as the city’s housing market improves. Third, housing rehabilitation should be targeted for neighborhoods that are already starting to improve as directed patrol, CompStat and other public safety interventions reduce crime and increase public safety. Within these targeted neighborhoods, home improvement would targeted around schools where safe routes have been established and educational improvement is underway. Together these measures are likely to produce an improving market as we are beginning to see in Midtown, North End, Corktown and along some stretches of East Jefferson.

[i] This is an on-going endeavor. Right now DDD is deploying data gatherers to update its data in several neighborhoods where change is particularly fast.

[1] This is an on-going endeavor. Right now DDD is deploying data gatherers to update its data in several neighborhoods where change is particularly fast.

Detroit’s unemployment still below July’s high

November 3, 2014
  • From August 2014 to September 2014, the unemployment rate across the state remained stagnant while the City of Detroit’s increased (monthly);
  • The Purchasing Manager’s Index for Southeast Michigan increased from August 2014 to September 2014 (monthly);
  • Commodity Price Index decreased from August 2014 to September 2014 for Southeast Michigan (monthly);
  • Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties all experienced decreases in the number of monthly building permits pulled.

Slide02According to the most recent data provided by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget, from August to September the unemployment rate for the state of Michigan remained steady at 6.7 percent. The city of Detroit a experienced slight unemployment rate increase — from 14.4 percent in August to 14.6 percent in September. The unemployment rate in Detroit has decreased 2 points since September of 2013.

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From August to September the number of people employed in the City of Detroit decreased by about 109, leading to a total of to 285,018 people employed.

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The above chart shows the number of people employed in the auto manufacturing industry in the Detroit Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) (Detroit-Warren-Livonia) from September 2013 to September 2014. During the period under consideration, the highest employment levels in the auto manufacturing and auto parts manufacturing industries occurred in June 2014, when there were 99,100 people employed in the Detroit MSA. That number dropped by 3,700 people to a total of 95,400 people employed in September; however, this is also an increase of 3,800 from the month of July.

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The Purchasing Manger’s Index (PMI) is a composite index derived from five indicators of economic activity: new orders, production, employment, supplier deliveries, and inventories. A PMI above 50 means the economy is expanding.

According to the most recent data released on Southeast Michigan’s Purchasing Manager’s Index, the PMI for September was 59.4, a positive increase of 4.6 points from the prior month and a decrease of .5 points from last year at this time.

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The Commodity Price Index, which is a weighted average of selected commodity prices, was recorded at 55.7 points in September, which was 7.4 points lower than the previous month and 1.5 points higher than a year ago.

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The above charts show the number of residential building permits obtained each month in Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties from January 2013 until September 2014. These numbers are reported by local municipalities to the Southeastern Michigan Council of Governments and include single-family units, two-family units, attached condos, and multi-family units.

Two of the three counties experienced a decrease in the number of building permits pulled from August 2014 to September 2014. Oakland experienced a decrease 51 building permits from August to September while Macomb County experienced a decrease of 48 and Wayne County pulled the same number of building permits in September of this year as it did last year, 54.

Rural counties in Southeastern Michigan have higher access to vehicles

October 27, 2014

With a weak public transportation system in Southeastern Michigan, access to a vehicle is critical for the commuting to and from work, school and other necessary places. In this post we examine the average number of vehicles residents in Southeastern Michigan residents have access to. The maps will show that at the county level the more rural counties have workers with more access to a vehicle, but at the census tract level it is the wealthier areas with a higher access number.

Data for this post was received from the 2012 American Community Survey. All workers age 16 and above in a household were considered when determining the average number of vehicles a worker has access to.

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In 2012, in every county in the region, there was, on average, at least one vehicle or more per worker. When examined at the municipal level, even Detroit, where there was less than one car per worker in many census tracts, the average number of vehicles per worker was 1.54.

Livingston and Monroe counties, which are both rural, averaged access to the highest number of vehicles per worker in the region. Livingston County averaged access to 2.28 vehicles per worker in 2012 and Monroe County averaged access to slightly less, with 2.20. Wayne County had the lowest average access to vehicles per worker in the region. The average in 2012 was 1.89.

A closer look at the municipalities in the region shows that Highland Park had the lowest access average to the number of vehicles per worker in the region. This access number was 1.34 vehicles per worker. York Township in Washtenaw County averaged access to 2.62 vehicles per worker, making it the municipality with the highest average in the region.

When examining this data at the census level, there are clear differences between the counties in the tri-county area in terms of access to vehicles per worker. Overall, a majority of the census tracts in Oakland County, particularly those in the northern, western and eastern sides of the county, averaged access to more than 2.5 vehicles per worker. While the majority of census tracts in Macomb County had workers with access to over 2 vehicles per worker, only one, located in Shelby Township, had workers with access to 2.5 vehicles or more per worker. In Wayne County, there were no census tracts where workers had to access to, on average, more than 2.5 vehicles. However, one tract in Detroit had an average of 0.33 vehicles per worker. Viewing cars as a critical asset and a de facto necessity for getting work in a region where jobs are sprawled throughout the metropolitan area, these data clearly represent another dimension of the mal-distribution of resources across these seven counties.

Overall region experiences slight population loss from 2012 to 2013

October 20, 2014

One important aspect of understanding a region is to understand its population distribution and demographics. To keep our readers updated on this we regularly update our maps to reflect the most current population statistics.

In this post, 2012 population statistics from the American Community Survey are presented.

SEMCOGPop2013 (2)
SEMCOGPOP2012 (1)
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Overall, this post will examine the 2012 population numbers for the municipalities located in Southeastern Michigan; this is because 2013 population statistics are not yet available at the local level. However, above we provide a comparison of the counties’ populations from 2012 to 2013. Wayne County experienced the largest decrease from 2012 to 2013, about 47,196 residents left, about 32,000 of those residents left from within the city of Detroit. According to the American Community Survey, every other county lost residents as well, with the exception of Monroe and St. Clair counties. These losses were minute next to the loss experienced in Wayne County. The county that lost the second highest number of residents from 2012 to 2013 was Oakland County; about 4,700 residents left from 2012 to 2013. Monroe County gained 77 residents and St. Clair County gained 62.

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Although Detroit’s population has been declining since the early 1960s, it still remains the largest city in both the region, and the state. In 2012, the population was reported to be 721,459, about a 1 percent increase from the population of 713,000 in 2010.

In Wayne County, the City of Detroit was the only municipality in which the population exceeds 100,000. In the seven-county region there were only four municipalities with a population exceeding 100,000– Detroit (721,459), Warren (134,550), Sterling Heights (129,887) and Ann Arbor (114,725). Warren and Sterling Heights are located in Macomb County and Ann Arbor is in Washtenaw County.  In Oakland County, where the total population was 1,207,297 in 2012, the municipality with the highest population was the city of Troy (81,307).

The Tri-County Region (Wayne-Oakland-Macomb) contained the largest portion of the population in Southeastern Michigan in 2012, about 84 percent. Livingston, Monroe St. Clair and Washtenaw counties did not have one municipality with a population above 35,000. Washtenaw had just Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti exceeding this figure. In Livingston County, Hamburg Township had the highest population at 21,396. In Monroe County, Bedford Township had the highest population at 31,055. Port Huron had the highest population in St. Clair County at 30,253. As already noted, Ann Arbor had the highest population in Washtenaw County at 114,725.

Since 2010 the overall population in Southeastern Michigan has experienced a population increase, despite decades of population decline, with the city of Detroit falling from the fourth-largest American city in the mid-twentieth century to barely cracking the top 20 today. However, the region is still home to around four million people, and it is second only to Chicago among other Midwestern metropolitan areas.

Highland Park has highest percentage of Supplemental Security Income recipients

October 16, 2014

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is administered on a monthly basis by the federal government to the disabled, blind, or those above the age of 65. It is only provided to such recipients in these categories who have a limited income, with the purpose of aiding in the purchasing of food, clothing and shelter (for more click here—add link). In 2014, the monthly SSI benefit rate increased to $721 for an individual and $1,082 for a couple; these increases were reflective of an increase in the Consumer Price Index, according to the Social Security Administration.   Thus an individual receiving SSI in 2014, would receive an annual income of $8,652.

This post examines the percentage of residents who received SSI in 2012 throughout the seven-county region of southeast Michigan. At that time, an individual’s monthly benefit was $698 and a couple’s was $1,048. In examining the percent of residents throughout the region who collect SSI, it is also helpful to understand the percentage of residents age 65 or older in each community and county. To view this information, please click here for our previous post.

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As noted earlier, SSI recipients must be either legally disabled, blind, or above the age of 65, and have limited incomes. The first map shows that Washtenaw County had the lowest percent of residents who received SSI in 2012. There were only four municipalities’ in that county where more than 4.01 percent of the population received SSI checks, and none of those communities had more than 8.01 percent of the population collecting SSI. It is important to note that Washtenaw County also had the lowest population of residents aged 65 or older in 2012. According to American Community Survey data, 10.3 percent of Washtenaw’s County was 65 years of age or older in 2012.

Macomb and St. Clair counties had the highest population of those 65 years of age and above in 2012 at 14.4 percent and 14.6 percent, respectively. However, both of these counties had fewer municipalities with more than 4.01 percent of the population collecting SSI benefits than Wayne County. Macomb had eight municipalities and St. Clair had 10 municipalities with more than 4.01 percent of the population receiving SSI benefits. Wayne County, where seniors comprised 12.7 percent of the population, had 22 communities with more than 4.01 percent of residents receiving SSI in 2012. In St. Clair County, the city of Memphis had the highest percent of residents collecting SSI benefits at 12.8 percent. In Macomb County, Richmond Township had the highest percentage of residents receiving SSI benefits at 5.1 percent.

The second map above breaks down the percentage of residents in each community who collect SSI benefits by census tract. For example, in St. Clair County, both the city of St. Clair and Casco Township are split in half with the percent of residents who collect SSI benefits. For both of these municipalities, one half has 4 percent or less of the population collecting SSI benefits while the other half has between 4.01 and 8 percent of the residents collecting SSI benefits. One reason for this may be that those census tracts with a higher percent of the population collecting SSI benefits house facilities such as nursing homes.

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In 2012 in Wayne County, there were five different municipalities where more than 10 percent of the population collected SSI benefits. Highland Park had the largest percentage at 19.2 percent. The City of Detroit was also one of the top five municipalities; 11.9 percent of that population collected SSI benefits in 2012. During that same year, 12.5 percent of Wayne County’s population, 14.3 percent of Highland Park’s population and 11.5 percent of Detroit’s population were 65 years of age or above.

The final map shows the percent of residents receiving SSI in each census tract in Detroit and the surrounding areas. There were five tracts where 32.1 percent or more of residents collected SSI benefits.

Females make up majority of Southeastern Michigan’s population

October 6, 2014

In this post, we use American Community Survey data from 2012 to examine the male/female, or sex, ratios across Southeastern Michigan. A population’s male/female ratio is reported as the number of males per 100 females. In each of the seven counties in the region, and in a majority of the region’s municipalities, there were more females than males. There were, however, about three dozen rural municipalities where males outnumbered females.

SEMCOGGender (2)

In 2012, Wayne County had the highest percentage of females in the seven county region. The county’s population was comprised of 52 percent females and 48 percent males. This is the same as a male/female ratio of of 92.44, where there were 92.44 males for every 100 females. The city of Detroit, located in Wayne County, had an even lower male/female ratio; there were 89.2 males for every 100 females.

In the region, Livingston County was the closest to having the population equally divided between males and females. The 2012 male/female ratio was 99.83 males per 100 females. For this county that meant the population was almost exactly 50 percent male and 50 percent female.

Gender - SEMCOG City SUBs (only calledout)

There were several municipalities throughout the region with a male/female ratio that was either much higher or lower than that county’s average. For example, the small rural community of York Township in Washtenaw County had the highest male percentage in the region. York’s population was 59.2 percent male and 40.8 percent female. Lyndon Township, also located in Washtenaw County, had the second highest male population at 56.8 percent; 43.2 percent of the population was female. A majority of the municipalities with more males than females are located in the rural areas. One might speculate that these communities have many farmers who may be either widowers or single males.

Royal Oak Charter Township in Oakland County was the municipality with the lowest percentage of males in the region. The township’s population was 59.9 percent female and 40.1 percent male. Overall, Oakland County was 51.5 percent female and 48.5 percent male.

Genderdetroitcensus (only3callouts)

In the city of Detroit in 2012, there were 89.2 males for every 100 females. In the same year, there were also census tracts with disproportionate ratios of either males or females. For example, census tract 9851, which borders the city of Hamtramck, had 233.3 males per 100 females. This meant that 70 percent of the population was male and 30 percent was female. In tract 5064, north of Hamtramck, the ratio was even higher; there were 363.8 males for every 100 females. This meant that 78.4 percent of the population was male and 21.6 was female. The lowest ratio was in census tract 5337, where there 44.5 males per every 100 females; this also meant 69.2 percent of the population was female.

Wayne and Macomb counties have highest percentage of students eligible for free and reduced lunch

September 30, 2014

Just as individuals in Michigan are eligible for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Nutritional Assessment Program (SNAP) program, children in economically disadvantaged families are eligible for nutritional assistance while attending school. Based on the annual income of a child’s family, he or she is eligible for such nutritional assistance through the free and reduced lunch program. In this post, we examine the percentage of students who are eligible for this program in each district and the percentage of students who actually receive the benefit.

First though, we outline what those eligibility standards were in the state of Michigan for the 2013-14 school year:

Scale for Free Meals or Free Milk Scale for Reduced Price Meals
Total Family Size Annual Monthly Annual Monthly
1 $14,937 $1,245 $21,257 $1,772
2 $20,163 $1,681 $28,694 $2,392
3 $25,389 $2,116 $36,131 $3,011
4 $30,615 $2,552 $43,568 $3,631
5 $35,841 $2,987 $51,005 $4,251
6 $41,067 $3,423 $58,442 $4,871
7 $46,293 $3,858 $65,879 $5,490
8 $51,519 $4,294 $73,316 $6,110
For each additional family member add:
$5,226 $436 $7,437 $620

In Southeast Michigan there are 112 public school districts. Here, we examine the percent of students who were eligible and who received these benefits at the school district level and at the overall county level.

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According to the Michigan Department of Education, economically disadvantaged students are those who are eligible, according to the chart shown above, to receive free and reduced lunch benefits through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In the region, Wayne County had the highest percentage of students eligible for free and reduced lunch at 55.6 percent.

Within Wayne County, the School District of the City of Hamtramck had the highest percent of eligible students at 92.9 percent.

Overall, 19 of the 34 public school districts in Wayne County had 55.6 percent or more of their student populations eligible for free and reduced lunch during the 2013-14 school year. Of those 19, eight of the school districts had 80 percent or more of the students eligible for free and reduced lunch benefits and of those eight, two districts had 90 percent or more of the students eligible.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Northville Public Schools had the lowest percent of students eligible at 6 percent, followed by Grosse Ile Township Schools at 9 percent. There were only four school districts in Wayne County where 20 percent of less of the student population was deemed economically disadvantaged.

In Macomb County, which had the second highest percentage of free and reduced lunch eligible students in the region at 51.6 percent, there was not one district where 20 percent or less of the student population was eligible for free and reduced lunch. Ten of the 21 school districts were above 51.6 percent county average though, with Mount Clemens Community Schools having the highest percentage at 88.5 percent.

Livingston County had the lowest county average of eligible students at 22. 6 percent. With only five public school districts, Howell Public Schools had the highest percentage of eligible students at 29.6 percent and Brighton Area Schools had the lowest at 12.2 percent.

Overall, Wayne County had the most number of school districts in the top 10 with the highest percent of students eligible for free and reduced lunch while Wayne, Oakland and Washtenaw counties each had three districts in the top 10 with the lowest percent of eligible students.

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Although a student may be eligible for free and reduced lunch benefits, it does not mean they receive them. The two maps above show the percentage of eligible students who collected these benefits.

For this, Washtenaw County had the highest percentage of students who collected these benefits. In Washtenaw County, 33.6 percent of the student population was considered economically disadvantaged and of that, 72.5 percent of the students collected the benefits they were eligible for. Students in Ypsilanti Public Schools had the highest percentage of eligibility in the county at 68.9 percent and the second highest collection rate at 78.9 percent. In Willow Run Community Schools 100 percent of the eligible students (68.3 percent of the student population) received free and reduced lunch.

In Macomb County, although it had the second highest percentage of students eligible for free and reduced lunch benefits, it had the lowest percentage of students who received the benefit (66 percent). Armada Area Schools, which had the lowest percentage of students eligible for such benefits in the county (21.4 percent) also had the lowest percentage of students who received them (54.9 percent). East Detroit Public Schools had the highest percent of students who collected free and reduced lunch benefits at 73.3 percent although 84 percent of the student population was eligible for such benefits.

The School District of the City of Hamtramck, which had the highest percentage of eligible students in the region at 92.9 percent, had 100 percent of those students receive benefits. In Wayne County, the only other district where 100 percent of the eligible students collected free and reduced lunch benefits was Westwood Community School District; 69.9 percent of these students were eligible.

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The above map shows the percentage difference between the percent of students who are eligible for free and reduced lunch and the percent who actually receive it. The map above shows the excesses (windfall ) between free and reduced lunch and economically disadvantaged students. Those with more lunch receivers than disadvantaged students are green and yellow, while those with the reverse situation (shortfalls) are in orange or red.

As shown in the map, the more urban communities have a higher percentage of students actually receiving free and reduced lunch than the outer, more rural communities.

For example, in Howell the economically disadvantaged rate is 29.8 percent; the district receives benefits for free or reduced lunch for 63.5 percent of its students. This allows the district to have a surplus of resources for lunch, and therefore it does not need to move additional resources to feeding students. This provides an opportunity to use some of the resources it allocates toward feeding students into its primary mission of educating students. Examples of this would be building a garden or developing a curriculum around nutrition.

On the other end, there are the more urban districts like Detroit or Hamtramck where 100 percent of the eligible students receive free and reduced lunch because their economically disadvantaged rate is very high. However, consider a district like River Rouge though where 91.6 percent of students are listed as economically disadvantaged and 72.5 percent receive free and reduced lunch. This is the opposite scenario as Howell, without a surplus, the school district must then take other resources and determine if it is best spent on feeding students or on the primary mission of educating them. If they choose to feed students, they will have to allocate resources away from other recipients, such as music and art programs, extra-curricular activities or upgrading equipment, maintaining buildings or paying qualified teachers. This situation repeated over years can lead to underperformance, furthering the reduction of resources to the district. However, if they choose not to feed students, they will have weary students who will underperform.

Wayne and Macomb counties have highest percentage of students eligible for free and reduced lunch

September 29, 2014

Just as individuals in Michigan are eligible for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Nutritional Assessment Program (SNAP) program, children in economically disadvantaged families are eligible for nutritional assistance while attending school. Based on the annual income of a child’s family, he or she is eligible for such nutritional assistance through the free and reduced lunch program. In this post, we examine the percentage of students who are eligible for this program in each district and the percentage of students who actually receive the benefit.

First though, we outline what those eligibility standards were in the state of Michigan for the 2013-14 school year. According to the Michigan Department of Education, economically disadvantaged students are those who are eligible, according to the chart shown below, to receive free and reduced lunch benefits through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Scale for Free Meals or Free Milk Scale for Reduced Price Meals
Total Family Size Annual Monthly Annual Monthly
1 $14,937 $1,245 $21,257 $1,772
2 $20,163 $1,681 $28,694 $2,392
3 $25,389 $2,116 $36,131 $3,011
4 $30,615 $2,552 $43,568 $3,631
5 $35,841 $2,987 $51,005 $4,251
6 $41,067 $3,423 $58,442 $4,871
7 $46,293 $3,858 $65,879 $5,490
8 $51,519 $4,294 $73,316 $6,110
For each additional family member add:
$5,226 $436 $7,437 $620

Slide03 Slide04 Slide05 Slide06

In the region, Wayne County had the highest percentage of students eligible for free and reduced lunch at 55.6 percent.

Within Wayne County, the School District of the City of Hamtramck had the highest percent of eligible students at 92.9 percent.

Overall, 19 of the 34 public school districts in Wayne County had 55.6 percent or more of their student populations eligible for free and reduced lunch during the 2013-14 school year. Of those 19, eight of the school districts had 80 percent or more of the students eligible for free and reduced lunch benefits and of those eight, two districts had 90 percent or more of the students eligible.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Northville Public Schools had the lowest percent of students eligible at 6 percent, followed by Grosse Ile Township Schools at 9 percent. There were only four school districts in Wayne County where 20 percent of less of the student population was deemed economically disadvantaged.

In Macomb County, which had the second highest percentage of free and reduced lunch eligible students in the region at 51.6 percent, there was not one district where 20 percent or less of the student population was eligible for free and reduced lunch. Ten of the 21 school districts were above 51.6 percent county average though, with Mount Clemens Community Schools having the highest percentage at 88.5 percent.

Livingston County had the lowest county average of eligible students at 22. 6 percent. With only five public school districts, Howell Public Schools had the highest percentage of eligible students at 29.6 percent and Brighton Area Schools had the lowest at 12.2 percent.

Overall, Wayne County had the most number of school districts in the top 10 with the highest percent of students eligible for free and reduced lunch while Wayne, Oakland and Washtenaw counties each had three districts in the top 10 with the lowest percent of eligible students. It is notable that among those districts with lowest percentages of eligible students, a substantially lower percent of those eligible actually received benefits.

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Although a student may be eligible for free and reduced lunch benefits, it does not mean they receive them. The two maps above show the percentage of eligible students who collected these benefits.

For this, Washtenaw County had the highest percentage of students who collected these benefits. In Washtenaw County, 33.6 percent of the student population was considered economically disadvantaged and of that, 72.5 percent of the students collected the benefits they were eligible for. Students in Ypsilanti Public Schools had the highest percentage of eligibility in the county at 68.9 percent and the second highest collection rate at 78.9 percent. In Willow Run Community Schools 100 percent of the eligible students (68.3 percent of the student population) received free and reduced lunch.

In Macomb County, although it had the second highest percentage of students eligible for free and reduced lunch benefits, it had the lowest percentage of students who received the benefit (66 percent). Armada Area Schools, which had the lowest percentage of students eligible for such benefits in the county (21.4 percent) also had the lowest percentage of students who received them (54.9 percent). East Detroit Public Schools had the highest percent of students who collected free and reduced lunch benefits at 73.3 percent although 84 percent of the student population was eligible for such benefits.

The School District of the City of Hamtramck, which had the highest percentage of eligible students in the region at 92.9 percent, had 100 percent of those students receive benefits. In Wayne County, the only other district where 100 percent of the eligible students collected free and reduced lunch benefits was Westwood Community School District; 69.9 percent of these students were eligible.


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