Archive for March, 2013

Detroit residential vacancies stabilize in late 2012

March 25, 2013

How are the neighborhoods doing?

The Center for Urban Studies (Center) has created a database and mapping tool that describes address vacancy using information from the United States Postal Service (USPS).  The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently entered into an agreement with the USPS to aggregate and publicly release USPS data on vacant addresses on a quarterly basis.  The data covers all addresses in the United States and provides comprehensive coverage of vacancies at various geographic levels, including states, counties and census tracts. This inclusion of vacancy data at the census tract level is one of the biggest advantages of the new USPS data set.

Using the 27 HUD /USPS extracts since December 2005, the Center has created a time-series database consisting of over 1.5 million records that describe the address vacancy conditions in every census tract in the United States.  This provides a powerful tool for tracking neighborhood change over time.

There are a number of basic measures for this data set including:

•Total number of residential addresses
•Total number of residential, business and other addresses that are vacant
•Total number of addresses that are “no-stat” (i.e., temporary vacancies)

Vacant , as defined by the USPS, means the occupants of the unit have not collected their mail for 90 days or longer.

The “no-stat” category is separate from vacant, which includes: a) addresses under construction but not yet occupied; b) rural addresses  vacant for 90 days or longer; c) urban addresses identified by a carrier as not likely to be active for some time (e.g., if a building is being  demolished to be replaced by another building, the address is preserved and considered “no-stat”).

The following  figures and maps are based on the USPS/HUD data.

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The availability of quarterly vacancy data begins in December 2005.  In March 2008, the USPS began to differentiate residential addresses from businesses and other types of addresses. According to the data, the total percent of vacancies and the percent of residential vacancies remained the same in the third and fourth quarters of 2012. However, this is not a direct reflection on the vacancy rate in the city; this is further explained below.

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The overall address vacancy rate in the City of Detroit rose .08 percent from Sep 2012 to Dec 2012.  During the fourth quarter of 2012,  51 addresses became vacant and 1,307 addresses were removed from the USPS master address list.

The overall address vacancy rate was 22.2 percent in December 2012.

In recent years, the USPS has made changes to its counting procedures to improve the accuracy of the vacant indicator.  These new methods should improve data quality over time, but caution should be used in measuring change over time.  For more information, see the following http://www.huduser.org/portal/datasets/usps.html.

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The map above illustrates the geography of address vacancy rates for December 2012.

Neighborhoods shaded purple have vacancy rates exceeding 25 percent.  Areas with the lowest address vacancy include: Midtown, Palmer Park and Woods, Grandmont-Rosedale, Rosedale Park, Pembroke, Sherwood Forest, and Rouge Park, among others.

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The map above illustrates spatial patterns in address vacancy rates for March 2012.  The are clusters of neighborhoods (shaded purple) having vacancy rates exceeding 30 percent, including the Brightmoor area on Detroit’s west side, the State Fair-Nolan area, the Tireman area, and numerous neighborhoods on Detroit’s east side, a few with vacancy rates exceeding 50 percent.

This map and the previous map do not directly correspond since the purple in this map reflects vacancy rates exceeding 30 percent versus 25 percent. However,  by further looking at the data, there is evidence the vacancy rate in Detroit is slightly higher than it was in March 2012.

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Red indicates an increase in address vacancy from Dec 2011 to Dec 2012.  Green areas are those with declining address vacancy rates (improvements) for this same period.  Gray shaded areas showed little change during the period Dec. 2011 to Dec. 2012 (i.e., +/- 1 percent).  The majority of neighborhoods on Detroit’s Eastside showed increases in address vacancy.  Several Detroit neighborhoods near the city’s Westside border showed declines in address vacancy, as did the Boston-Edison, New Center and Medical Center neighborhoods.  Highland Park neighborhoods showed declines in address vacancy, but primarily as a result of a decline in the number of addresses (likely from demolitions of abandoned buildings). In Southwest Detroit, changes in address vacancy were mixed – areas along Michigan Avenue showed declines while areas south of W. Vernor showed increases in vacancy from Dec 2011 to Dec 2012.

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Red areas indicate increases in address vacancy from March 2011 to March 2012.  Green areas showed declining vacancy rates (improvements) for this same period.  Gray shaded areas showed very little change in the past year (i.e., +/- 1 percent).  Several neighborhood pockets on Detroit’s west side showed signs of improvement.  Other notable improvements included a big decline in address vacancy in Midtown and some modest improvements in areas along East Jefferson Avenue, on Detroit lower east side.

When comparing this map with the one above, it shows that there was a higher increase in address vacancy from December 2011 to December 2012  than from March 2011 to 2012. This  higher increase can particularly be seen on the east side of Detroit and in western parts of the city.

The most recent information in the maps above, which show that over the last year there have been large pockets of neighborhoods with an increasing number of vacant properties, corresponds with a recent article released by the Detroit Free Press. On March 3 the Free Press released a database that shows how the assessed values of residential properties has changed over the last year. While an average of two out of three communities in the Metro-Detroit area have seen an increase in property values in the last year, Detroit saw a decrease of 11.3 percent, according to the database.

 

 

 

A comparison of MEAP data for Detroit and the Metro-Detroit area: Part II

March 17, 2013

This week’s post is a continuation on Drawing Detroit’s examination of the MEAP scores. Last week we took a look at the proficiency levels of students in third through sixth grade for the Detroit City School District, Wayne RESA, Macomb ISD, Oakland Schools and the State of Michigan. This week we will again look at those districts, but for grades seven through nine.

MEAP1

For the Detroit City School District, the percent of proficient seventh-graders on the math portion of the MEAP increased from 9.5 percent in 2011 to 13.2 percent in 2012. In the six years of data presented for this section of the test, 13.2 percent was the highest percent of students deemed proficient for the Detroit district.

While 13.2 was the highest percent of proficient students for the Detroit City School District, the highest percent of proficient students for Oakland Schools came in 2009 with 53.8 percent. In 2012, 53 percent of Oakland Schools’ seventh graders were proficient.

MEAP2

In all four geographical areas, along with the state average, there was only a slight increase in the percent of seventh graders deemed proficient on the reading portion of the MEAP test for 2012, compared to the previous year. As demonstrated throughout this post, the Detroit City School District had the lowest percent of students recognized as being proficient (33 percent in 2012) while the Oakland Schools had the highest (70 percent in 2012).

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There were only data available from 2010-2012 for the writing portion of the test because it was modified prior to the 2010-2011 school year, making scores from previous years incomparable.

From 2011 to 2012, the percent of seventh-graders who were proficient on the writing portion of the MEAP increased at the city, tri-county, and state levels. However, all experienced a slight decrease in the percent of proficient students from 2010 to 2011.

In 2012, 28 percent of the seventh graders from the Detroit City School District were proficient on the reading portion of the MEAP. For the same year, 46 percent of the seventh-graders were proficient from the Wayne RESA, 53 percent of the Macomb ISD were proficient and 61 percent of Oakland School students were proficient. The state average of proficient seventh-graders on the writing portion of the MEAP was  51.7 percent.  Detroit students showed the greatest increases.

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The percent of eighth grade Detroit students deemed proficient on the math portion of the MEAP test increased from 7.2 in 2011 to 10.8 percent in 2012. There was also about a 3 percent increase from 2011 to 2012 for the State of Michigan, the Oakland Schools and the Wayne County RESA. The Macomb ISD saw a 1 percent increase.

Once again, Detroit was lowest while Oakland schools was at the top. For 2012, 10.8 percent of the Detroit eighth grade students were proficient, and 46 percent of the Oakland Schools eighth-graders were proficient.

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When comparing Detroit City School District students to the tri-county and state averages, the largest gap in the percent of proficient students occurs on the eighth grade reading portion of the MEAP. In 2012, 9 percent of the Detroit eighth-graders were deemed proficient in reading whereas the state average was 66 percent. For the Wayne County RESA, 59 percent of the students were proficient.

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The Detroit City School District saw about a 1.4 percent increase in the number of eighth-graders who were proficient in science from 2011 to 2012. The Wayne County RESA also saw an increase in the percent of eight grade students proficient in science from 2011 to 2012; it was 4 percent increase. The Oakland Schools, the Macomb ISD, and the state as whole all saw a decrease though.

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The percent of proficient ninth-graders on the social studies portion of the MEAP increased for the Detroit City School District and the Wayne County RESA from 2011 to 2012. However, the 2012 numbers are lower than the 2008 numbers for these two districts as well as the Macomb ISD, the Oakland Schools, and the state.

Detroit in the news

March 14, 2013

According to new census data, Detroit experienced a small growth spurt in terms of population, but continued to decline among the nation’s most populated areas. To learn more read this Detroit Free Press article. In coming weeks Drawing Detroit will also have a graph showing the population change in its monthly Economic Indicators post.

A comparison of MEAP data for Detroit and the Metro-Detroit area: Part I

March 11, 2013

In the following post you will see a comparison on the percent of students who were deemed proficient on the Michigan Education Assessment Program (MEAP) test from 2007 to 2012. The MEAP test is a standardized test given each fall to students in grades three through nine on various subjects. Beginning in 2011, the Michigan Department of Education (MDOE) adopted more rigorous cut scores for the MEAP tests. These scores represented career and college ready standards, according to the MDOE. With the new cut scores, students need to have about 65 percent of the answers correct, while in the past that cutoff was about 39 percent. Percentage of students deemed proficient in the years prior to 2011 were not adjusted in accordance with the new cut scores.

In this post, data for the Detroit City School District (commonly known as the Detroit Public Schools), the three tri-county intermediate school districts (i.e., Wayne, Macomb, and Oakland), and the State of Michigan is presented. Since the Michigan Department of Education does not provide county averages, averages of the percent of proficient students from the intermediate school districts were used.

The Wayne Regional Educational Service Agency (Wayne RESA) includes 34 school districts in Wayne County; Detroit Public Schools is one of these districts. The Macomb Intermediate School District (Macomb ISD) represents 21 school districts in Macomb County, and Oakland Schools represents 28 school districts.

When reviewing the numbers, note that the percent of proficient students is the percent of students who were deemed either “advanced” or “proficient” on that portion of the test.

Throughout this post you will see:

•Oakland Schools consistently rank above state averages and averages from the Wayne RESA, the Macomb ISD, and the Detroit City School District;
•The percent of proficient students in the Macomb ISD are most consistent with the state average;
•The Detroit City School District has the lowest percent of students deemed proficient;
•The percent of students deemed proficient in the Wayne RESA is always below the Oakland Schools and Macomb ISD averages and state averages.
MEAP1The above chart shows that the percent of third-graders in the Detroit City School District this year who were deemed proficient on the math section of the MEAP test is the highest it has been in the last five years. For 2012, 15.7 percent of the Detroit third-graders were deemed proficient, compared to the 9.7 percent who were deemed proficient for 2011. While there was an increase, the number of students in the Detroit City School District who were deemed proficient on this portion of the MEAP was about 17 percent below the average for all schools in the Wayne County RESA district and 25 percent below the state average in 2012.

The average percent of third-graders deemed proficient in math in the Oakland Schools district has been consistently higher than the Detroit, Wayne, Macomb, and state percentages since 2007.

MEAP2

For the Detroit City School District, the percent of third-graders deemed proficient on the reading portion of the MEAP test for this academic year increased from last year, 33 percent to 43 percent. The 43 percent was only   .6 percent below the Detroit district’s highest percent of third-graders deemed proficient on this portion of the MEAP; in 2009 43.6 percent of third-graders met or exceeded the standards. Despite the increase, Detroit was still below averages for the state and tri-county area. Oakland Schools students had the highest averages across all years. In 2012, Oakland Schools reached its highest average on this portion of the test in the six years listed with 75 percent of third-graders being proficient.

MEAP3

The percent of fourth grade students in the Detroit City School District who were deemed proficient on the math portion of the MEAP test increased from 11.4 percent last year to 17.8 percent this year. This increasing trend was also seen at with the Wayne RESA, the Macomb ISD and at the state level. While the Detroit City School District saw the largest increase in the percent of proficient students from 2011 to 2012 (a 6.4 percent increase), the Wayne RESA and the state both saw a 5 percent increase. The Macomb ISD saw a 4 percent increase.

From 2010 to 2012 Oakland Schools scores remained fairly consistent. In 2010 53.5 percent of the fourth-grader were proficient, in 2011 54 percent were proficient and in 2012 53 were proficient.

MEAP4

Again, the percent of students in the Detroit City School District who were deemed proficient on the reading portion of the fourth grade MEAP test increased in recent years. In 2010, 35.7 percent of fourth graders were proficient; that increased to 38 percent in 2011 and 41 percent in 2012.

From 2011 to 2012 both the Wayne RESA and Macomb ISD decreased by 1 percent while Oakland Schools increased by 1 percent.

MEAP5

Fourth and seventh grade students are tested on their writing skills on the MEAP. While the other sections of the test have data from 2007-2012, there were only data available from 2010-2012 for the writing portion of the test. The writing portion of the MEAP exam was modified prior to the 2010-2011 school year, making scores from previous years incomparable.

For all three years presented, the percent of students deemed proficient in the Detroit City School District has remained at or near 20 percent; this is below the state and tri-county school district averages. The tri-county area school district and the averages never reached 60 percent for proficiency. Oakland Schools came the closest to this in 2010 and 2012 though; both years the average percent of proficient students was 58 percent. The highest the state average reached was 47.2 percent in 2010. The year 2010 was also the highest percent of proficiency for fourth-graders on this test for the Wayne RESA and Macomb ISD. The Wayne RESA had 38.5 percent of students show proficiency, and the Macomb ISD had 50 percent.

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For all the districts examined, there was an increase in the percent of fifth grade students who were deemed proficient on their math portion of the MEAP from 2011 to 2012. The Detroit City School District saw about a 5.5 percent increase, to 17 percent of students deemed proficient at the fifth grade level in 2012. The Macomb ISD and the Wayne RESA each saw a 7 percent increase from the previous year; while Oakland Schools increased about 5 percent.

MEAP7

For all districts considered, there was an increase in fifth-graders deemed proficient in reading on the MEAP tests from 2007 to 2012. Detroit City School District had the largest increase, from 29.1 percent in 2007 to 45 percent in 2012. Despite this increase, Detroit still remains behind the other tri-county district and the state in the percentage of students deemed proficient.

MEAP8

The percent of students deemed proficient on the science portion of the fifth grade MEAP test decreased in Detroit, at the tri-county level, and at the state level from 2010 to 2012. While Oakland Schools still had a higher percent of students deemed proficient than the state average, there was an overall 4 percent decrease from 2011 to 2012. For the Detroit City School District there was a 1 percent decrease from 2011 to 2012; in 2011, 3 percent of the students were proficient on this section of the test and in 2012, 2 percent were proficient.

The year 2008 had the highest percent of proficient students for all districts considered in this post, except the Detroit City School District. In 2008, the Wayne RESA had 11.8 percent of the students deemed proficient, the Macomb ISD had 17.4 percent, Oakland Schools had 26.4 percent and the state had 18.8 percent of the fifth-graders deemed proficient.

MEAP9

Since the 2008-09 school year, the Detroit schools have remained fairly consistent in the percent of sixth grade students who earned a proficient level on the math portion of the test. The percent of proficient students has ranged from 11.5 to 13.6, gradually increasing from year to year. The 13.6 percent in the 2012-2013 school year is a 5.5 percent increase from the number of students who earned a proficiency level in 2007.

While the Detroit schools have remained fairly consistent in the percent of proficient students on this portion of the test, the district still remains far below the other averages in the tri-county area and the state average. In 2012, the Wayne RESA was the closest to Detroit’s average; the Detroit City School District had an average of 13.6 percent of proficient students while the Wayne RESA had 31 percent. For this same year Oakland Schools had 54 percent proficient students, the Macomb ISD had 41 percent and the state had 40.2 percent.

MEAP10

While there was a significant increase in the percent of sixth grade students deemed proficient on the reading portion of the MEAP test in 2009 for the Detroit City School District, that number decreased in 2010. From 2011 to 2012, the average percent of proficient students remained consistent for the state, the Macomb ISD and Oakland Schools. The Wayne RESA and the Detroit City School District experienced an increase in the average percent of proficient students during this same time period.

In 2011 the Detroit City School District had a 37.6 percent proficiency level, and in 2012 that rose to 45 percent. The Wayne RESA saw a smaller increase in the same time period; from 2011 to 2012 the percent of proficient students rose from 55 to 59 percent.

MEAP11

The percent of proficient sixth-graders on the social studies portion of the MEAP increased from 2011 to 2012 for Oakland Schools and the state, and remained consistent for the Detroit City School District, the Wayne RESA and the Macomb ISD; for each domain, the percentages in 2012 are not high as they were in 2007. The only exception is the Detroit City School District. In 2007, 8.2 percent of the sixth-graders were proficient on the social studies portion of the exam, and in 2012, 8.8 percent were proficient.

 

In next week’s post we will continue to examine and compare MEAP results for the Detroit City School District, the Wayne RESA, the Macomb ISD, Oakland Schools and the state. The upcoming charts will focus on the results from the seventh through ninth grade students in these districts. 

 

 

Changes in Detroit and tri-county State Representative characteristics after the 2012 Election

March 3, 2013

One of our recent posts examined several characteristics of the State Representatives who represented Detroit and the tri-county region (Oakland, Macomb, and Wayne) during the 2011-12 term.  In this week’s post, we compare the characteristics for legislators in the 2011-12 term to those who are currently serving.  This will illustrate some effects of the November election and the new apportionment plan for the state House. The other unique aspect of Michigan’s 2012 election was the transition to the state’s new apportionment plan.  As a result of this election, many new representatives now sit in the state House, 42 of whom represent districts in Detroit and the tri-county area. Here we will examine some characteristics of these 42 officials.

The tri-county area lost three districts as a result of the new apportionment plan (a district is considered to be in Detroit or the tri county area if the majority of the district is geographically within Detroit or one of the tri-county’s boundaries, respectively).  Detroit did not gain or lose any districts, although under the new apportionment plan, several Detroit districts no longer represent Detroit exclusively, and now contain portions of surrounding areas. According to the new plan there are now five districts that represent Detroit exclusively; last term there were nine.

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The chart above compares all 42 of the current representatives in the tri-county area to their 45 predecessors on the basis of four criteria: party affiliation, gender, membership in the legislative Black Caucus, and committee leadership (a legislator is considered a committee leader if he or she is the chair, vice chair, and minority vice chair on one or more state House committees.  This definition allows members of the minority party to be included).  Overall, the percentage of Democratic tri-county representatives has remained roughly the same, declining only somewhat after the 2012 election.  This slight decline occurred despite President Barack Obama’s electoral strength in the tri-counties.   A smaller percentage of women now represent the region compared to the previous term.  Furthermore, a smaller percentage of tri-county representatives are members of the legislative Black Caucus.  In contrast to these declines, however, a greater percentage of this region’s representatives serve as committee leaders during the 2013-14 term. Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties, along with Detroit, all saw an increase in the number of representatives who entered their third term after the 2012 election; in turn there were fewer freshman entering. This means we can expect substantial turnover in the next term.

•A considerable majority (64%) of representatives are Democrats;
•Women constitute 24% of tri-county representatives;
•Only 21% are members of the legislative Black Caucus (membership in the legislative Black Caucus does not necessarily reflect racial identification;)
•The majority (57%) of tri-county representatives hold committee leadership posts during the 2013-14 term;
•Just over one third of Detroit’s representatives are now serving their third terms and exactly half are in their second terms.  The proportions are very similar for representatives in outlying tri-county districts, except that a greater percentage of freshman representatives (21%) are serving the region outside of Detroit.

In this chart, and the remainder of the charts in this post, the percentage of representatives that represent the specific criteria being examined correspond with the height of the bar. When looking at the number above each bar, that represents that number of representatives that make up each percentage.

Reps2

The increase in committee leadership is driven by the higher percentage of state representatives from Detroit who are now committee leaders. The chart above reveals the magnitude of this increase.  The chart also reveals that, as with the tri-county region as a whole, a smaller percentage of Detroit’s state representatives are women and members of the legislative Black Caucus.  As with the previous term, all state representatives of Detroit are Democrats.

Last term, Detroit had 12 representatives, three of whom served districts that were only partially in Detroit.  Of those three districts, one was not “majority-Detroit,” so there were 11 “Detroit districts” last term. This term, Detroit has 10 representatives, five of whom serve districts that are only partially in Detroit.  Of those five districts, two are not “majority Detroit,” so there are eight “Detroit districts” this term.

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When we examine each of the counties individually, we observe additional changes.  The charts above show some exceptions to the broader shifts noted above.  They illustrate, for example, that Wayne County districts outside of Detroit lost committee leaders after the 2012 election.  They also show Oakland County is the only county to have lost Democratic representatives, and Macomb County remains the only area in the tri-county region not represented by a member of the legislative Black Caucus.

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Another characteristic of state representatives is their length of service.  Michigan state representatives are constitutionally limited to three terms; therefore all representatives are in one of three stages of their state House careers.  After the 2012 elections, the percentage of first-term representatives from Detroit districts dropped substantially from 55 percent to 13 percent, while the percentage serving their third terms increased from 9 percent to 38 percent.  Half of the city’s state representatives are now in the second terms.

This situation is parallel to the one depicted for those tri-county representatives whose districts are outside of Detroit.  Here again, the percentage of freshmen dropped 20 percentage points, while the proportion of third-termers increased by 23 percentage points.

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The charts above demonstrate that term of service proportions have moved in the same direction for Detroit and each of the counties in Metro-Detroit.   The percentages move in the same direction even when broken down by county.  The main exception is Macomb County, which saw an increase in second-term representatives after the 2012 election.  Taken together, the tri-county region will see a higher rate of retirement in 2014 than it saw in 2012 due to the higher proportion of third-term representatives.

A different view: Economic indicators

March 3, 2013

DrawingDetroitInfographic copy

 

This infographic was provided to use by one of our viewers, Andinda Veltrop. This post correlates with our most recent Economic Indicators post and provides a viewer a different way to visualize the data we present.