Michigan Produces More Nuclear Energy than other Sources

Over the next four weeks we will be looking at the energy production and consumption of various states throughout the U.S. to highlight how energy is produced and our reliance on it for consumption. For this series we featured 15 different states, including Michigan. These state are:

  • Michigan
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Indiana
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • South Dakota
  • Wisconsin
  • New York
  • Georgia
  • Oregon
  • California

(If one of the above states is not colored in a map it means it produced zero energy for that source. The other 35 states are not highlighted though because they were not chosen for comparison; this does not mean they didn’t produce a source of energy).

These states were chosen either because of their proximity to Michigan, their similarity in size or because they represent a benchmark state with higher production and consumption of renewable energy sources.

In this series we show how Michigan compared to the featured states for energy production and consumption in 2013 (the most recent data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration) and, later, how each of these state’s consumption has changed between 2003 and 2013.

In this post we show how each state’s energy production, in trillion BTUs, differs by source. The production sources shown are: coal, natural gas, biofuels and other renewables (which include solar and wind power). Just because a state produces a certain energy source does not mean all of that energy created in the state is consumed there. For example, you will see in this post that Michigan, along with Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, New York, Georgia, Oregon and California, do not produce coal as a form of energy, but each consume it (as will be seen next week).

US Energy Production

Of the 15 states highlighted in this series Michigan was not the top energy producer for any of the sources. On a national basis Michigan ranked 26th for energy production, producing .8 percent of the country’s energy. Of the 14 other states featured in this post, seven states produced more energy than Michigan did in 2013. North Dakota produced the highest amount of energy at 2,632.3 trillion BTUs, with crude oil being its primary production source. Missouri produced the least amount at 191.8 trillion BTUs.

(On a national basis, Texas produced 19.8 percent of the nation’s energy, giving it the highest level of energy production.)

Nuclear Energy Production

At 302.2 trillion BTUs in 2013, Michigan produced more nuclear energy than any other source of energy. Michigan has three operating nuclear power plants.

The only other featured states that produced a higher amount of nuclear energy in 2013 were Illinois (1014.9), New York (467.7), and Georgia (343.8). States that did not produce nuclear energy were Indiana, North Dakota and Oregon.

Coal Energy Production

More trillion BTUs of coal powered energy were produced by the states featured in this post, and on an overall national basis, than any other source of energy. Interestingly enough though, 10 out of the 15 states featured didn’t produce coal-based energy. Of the five states that did produce coal powered energy though, Illinois produced the highest amount in 2013 at 1149.6 trillion BTUs; Indiana followed at 883.3 trillion BTUs.

Natural Gas Production

Natural gas was a key source for energy produced in Michigan, and in 2013 it produced 129.9 trillion BTUs of it; North Dakota (317.9), California (287.3) and Ohio (196.3) were the only three states featured that produced more units of natural gas than Michigan did. States that did not produce any natural gas as an energy source were Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Wisconsin and Georgia. While not noted on the map, Oregon did produce a small of energy from natural gas in 2013, .8 trillion BTUs.

Crude Oil Energy Production

For crude oil production Michigan produced 44.7 trillion BTUs in 2013; North Dakota produced the most at 1,820.9. The only featured states to produce no energy from crude oil in 2013 were Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Georgia and Oregon.

Biofuel Production

Alternative Energy Production

Biofuels and other renewable forms of energy were the sources of energy production that each state featured produced in 2013. For biofuels, Michigan was more on the low end, producing 37.2 trillion BTUs; New York, Georgia and Oregon were the only other three states featured that produced less. Of the states featured, Iowa produced the highest amount of biofuel energy at 498.3 trillion BTUs.

For other renewable energy production, Michigan ranked somewhere in the middle of the featured states. In 2013 it produced 141.9 trillion BTUs of other renewable forms of energy, which include solar and wind energy (currently Michigan has 21 wind farms). California produced the most at 739.6 trillion BTUs, followed by Oregon at 452.4. Of the energy produced by Oregon, other renewables made up for 99 percent of its energy production.

 

Next week we will view how much energy each featured state consumes and by what source.

Employment in Detroit Growing, While Unemployment also Increased

  • From December 2015 to March 2016, the unemployment rate across the state remained stable while the city of Detroit’s experienced a slight increase (monthly);
  • Employment in the city of Detroit increased by 8,407 from March 2015 to March 2016 (monthly);
  • The Purchasing Manager’s Index for Southeastern Michigan increased from February 2016 to March 2016 (monthly);
  • Commodity Price Index increased from February 2016 to March 2016 for Southeastern Michigan (monthly)
  • Standard and Poor’s Case-Shiller Home Price Index for the Detroit Metropolitan Statistical Area shows home prices are about $6,900 higher than in January of 2015.

Detroit Unemployment

According to the most recent data provided by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget, the unemployment rate for the State of Michigan increased to 5.1 percent between December of 2015 and March of 2016. During this same period, unemployment in the City of Detroit marginally increased from 10.9 percent in December to 11 percent in March.

Detroit Employed

Since March of 2015 the number of employed Detroit residents in the labor force increased by 8,407, to a total of 217,137 in March of 2016. While the month of March in 2015 had the lowest number of Detroit residents employed in the labor force in the last year, March in 2016 has had the highest number of people employed for 2016.

The conundrum of increasing employment and increasing unemployment likely is a result of more people entering the labor market in the city, creating a situation in which more are employed, but more are also looking for work.

Detroit Manufacturing

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 March 2015 to March 2016. In that time frame the number of people employed in this industry has increased by 300, from 93,100 to 93,400.

PMI

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 indicates the economy is expanding.

According to the most recent data released on Southeast Michigan’s Manager’s Index, the PMI for March 2016 was 59.1, an increase of 7.1 point from the prior month. This increase is largely representative of the region’s employment, new order and production indexes increasing.

The March PMI was also a decrease of 5.4 from March of 2015.

Commodity Price

The Commodity Price Index, which is a weighted average of selected commodity prices, was recorded at 50 points in March 2016, which was 1.6 points higher than the previous month and exactly the same as what it was in March of 2015.

Detroit Home Price

The above charts show the Standard and Poor’s Case-Shiller Home Price Index for the Detroit Metropolitan Statistical Area. The index includes the price for homes that have sold but does not include the price of new home construction, condos, or homes that have been remodeled.

According to the index, the average price of single-family dwellings sold in Metro Detroit was $103,590 in January 2016. This was an increase of $6,890 from January of 2015 and increase of $9,670 from January of 2014.

Southeastern Michigan Anticipating Water Rate Increases

With the proposed wholesale water rate changes for the newly formed Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA)-which now provides water and sewer services to 127 former Detroit Water and Sewer Department (DWSD) customers-only one of the 89 tri-county customers is expected to experience a rate decrease above 10 percent. That community is the city of Novi and the anticipated decrease between 2016 and 2017 is 23.7 percent. The only other government entities expected to experience a decrease are Bruce Township, the city of Warren and the Southern Oakland County Water Authority (which is made up of Royal Oak, Berkley, Clawson, Huntington Woods, Pleasant Ridge, Southfield, Beverly Hills, Lathrup Village, and Bingham Farms). The reason for Novi’s expected wholesale water rate decrease is because of a water reservoir that went online in the city in July of 2015. This reservoir allows the city to hold up to 1.5 million gallons of water; it is filled nightly when demand and costs are lower and discharged at peak hours during the day, according to the Hometown Life article.

While wholesale rate decreases are expected to occur for a select few communities, wholesale rate increases are anticipated to be the norm for the region. The overall average wholesale rate increase for the region is expected to be about 6.1 percent, but Royal Oak Township’s expected increase is estimated to be about 20 percent. New Haven and Romeo were the only other two government entities in the GLWA that are expected to experience a wholesale water rate increase above 10 percent. New Haven is expected to experience an increase of about 14 percent, and Romeo is expected to have an increase of about 12 percent.

Charges for water service are a combination of a monthly fixed cost (which are associated with infrastructure costs) and metered usage. According to an interview the Detroit News held with the GLWA, monthly fixed costs make up about 60 percent of what the GLWA charges a community, and the remainder is metered usage. At the time of this post it is unclear why fixed costs vary so vastly from one government entity to another. However, this is a question Drawing Detroit will be further investigating.

GLWA

GLWA Rate Change

While both Novi and Bruce Township are expected to have wholesale rate decreases, they are two of 22 communities in the GLWA that had 2016 commodity costs above $10 per million cubic feet (mcf). Bruce Township had the highest commodity price per mcf of all the GLWA customers at $22.82 per mcf. Additionally, the township’s fixed wholesale monthly cost was $2,200 in 2016. In 2017 that fixed monthly cost is expected to increase to $2,300, and the commodity price is expected to be $21.44 per mcf. This represents a 6 percent wholesale rate decrease. For Novi, the 2016 cost per mcf is $16.99 with a fixed monthly cost of $560,000; for 2017 those numbers are expected to decrease to $12.96 per mcf and $475,000, respectively.

Royal Oak Township, which is expecting a 20 percent rate increase, has a current commodity cost per mcf of $6.85 and a fixed monthly cost of $10,300. Those numbers are expected to be $8.23 per mcf and $12,400, respectively.

As noted throughout this post, the 2017 rates and costs discussed here are expected; the GLWA has yet to vote on the regional rates and costs. The vote is expected to come in the coming weeks though so the wholesale rates and fixed costs can become effective on July 1, 2016. The proposed figures used for this post were made public by the GLWA in March of 2016.

Additionally, while wholesale rates were discussed in this post, each individual community has the opportunity to set water rates above the wholesale rates set by the GLWA. These rates are known as the retail rates and are ultimately what the customers pay.

GLWA Commodity Costs

GLWA Fixed Costs

The city of Detroit was not included in this post because when the GLWA was formed the city of Detroit was able to maintain operations of its water and sewer infrastructure. DWSD still legally owns the water and sewer infrastructure it used to service the now GLWA members with, but the creation of this regional authority allows the GLWA to lease water and sewer infrastructure from the city of Detroit for 40 years at a cost of $50 million a year.

Northville Public Schools have top ACT scores in region

For several years Michigan has required juniors in high school to take the ACT as part of their preparation for college. The overall results recently became available. For the 2014-15 academic year, Washtenaw County had the overall highest average ACT composite scores at 22.5, but it was the Northville Public School District in Wayne County that had the highest composite score for the 110 districts in Southeastern Michigan. At 24.6 (out of 36 points), Northville Public Schools had the highest ACT composite score and it was the Pontiac City School District in Oakland County that had the lowest score in the region at 14.3. The Pontiac City School District was one of nine districts in the region with ACT scores below 16. Another one of the nine school districts with an ACT score below 16 was the Detroit Public School District with an ACT composite score of 14.9. Wayne County had six of those nine districts with ACT composite scores below 16.

With a state average ACT composite score of 19.9 for the 2014-15 academic year there were 52 districts in the region that outranked the overall state score. Livingston County had the highest percentage of districts with ACT composite scores above the state average of 19.9 at 100 percent and Macomb County had the lowest percentage of districts at 24 percent.

The ACT test has been given across the United States as one way to measure a high school student’s readiness for college. It is a standardized college entrance exam where students are tested on math, English, social studies and natural sciences. In 2007 when the state started using the ACT test as the state-wide accepted exam. The 2014-15 academic year was the last year Michigan students were given the ACT though as a standardized test, and instead they will be taking a revamped SAT test, one that the state has concluded is more in line with college readiness standards, is lot less expensive, but some say is also more difficult.

Michigan also uses a standardized test for assessment of students’ academic progress. The current test is the M-STEP (Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress), which replaced the MEAP (Michigan Educational Assessment Program). This week is when M-STEP testing begins in Michigan schools.

SEMI_ACTScores

MISchools_ACTScores

Wayne County’s population loss remains the largest in the region—2010 to 2014

Between 2010 and 2014 Oakland and Washtenaw counties were the only two counties in the seven-county region that experienced a population change increase. According to U.S. Census Data, Oakland County’s population increased from 1.2 million in 2010 to 1.24 million in 2014 and Washtenaw County’s population increased from about 345,000 to 357,000. In Oakland County, three communities-Clarkston, Orchard Lake and South Lyon-experienced more than a 10 percent population increase. In Washtenaw County, there were also three communities-Bridgewater, Sharon and Lima townships-that experienced a population increase above 10 percent between 2010 and 2014.

In the same time frame, Wayne County experienced a 3 percent population decrease. In 2010 Wayne County’s population was about 1.82 million and in 2014 it was about 1.79 million. Of the communities that make up Wayne County, Highland Park had the largest population decrease at 13.5 percent; in 2010 the city’s population was 11,776 and in 2014 it was 10,375. Detroit’s population change was a decrease of 8.4 percent between 2010 and 2014. In 2010 Detroit’s population was 713,777, and in 2014 it was 680,250 . At the Census Tract level we see that most of the population loss above 10 percent occurred in neighborhoods along the eastside of the City of Detroit. Compared to the 43 Census Tracts in Detroit that lost more than 10 percent of its populations between 2010 and 2014 there were 24 Census Tracts that experienced a 50 percent or more population increase. Overall, at the Census Tract level, more areas in the City of Detroit experienced population increases than decreases, however, the number of people lost in certain Census Tracts is what caused the overall population decrease.

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Between 2000 and 2010 there were larger decreases (as might be expected given the longer time period) and smaller increases in population across the seven county region. Again, Wayne County had the largest population decrease of the seven counties. In 2010 Wayne County’s population was recorded at about 2 million and in 2010 it was about 1.82 million. The more rural counties-Livingston, Washtenaw and Macomb-experienced population increases above 4 percent between 2000 and 2010. At the more local level, only four communities-Independence Township, Sylvan Township, Detroit and Highland Park-experienced population decreases above 20 percent. Most of the population loss throughout the region was concentrated around Detroit and its inner-ring suburbs. When discussing the communities that experienced population increases above 20 percent, Livingston County, which had the highest population increase between 2000 and 2010 of the seven counties, had the largest number of communities with such high population increases. In Wayne County, which experienced an overall population decrease, only three communities-Northville, Woodhaven and Brownstown-experienced population increases above 20 percent. Two of those communities-Woodhaven and Brownstown-are located in the southern portion of Wayne County, and Northville is located in the northwestern portion of the county.

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Number of children with elevated blood lead levels decreasing in Michigan, Detroit

The total number of children with lead poisoning in the state of Michigan and in the city of Detroit under the age of 6 has experience an overall decrease since 1998, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. In 2014, according to the data, there were 2,050 children under the age of 6 with blood lead levels between 5-9 ug/dL, a significant drop from the previous year’s number of 4,793 . Of the number children under the age of 6 with blood lead levels between 5-9 ug/dL in the state of Michigan in 2014, 71 percent (1,462 children) were from the city of Detroit, according to the data (2015 data for the state of Michigan is not yet available). Some preliminary data from State for Detroit is shown in the charts below, but it is preliminary and not discussed above.

Also in 2014 there were 672 children in the state of Michigan with blood lead levels above 10 ug/dL; this was an increase of 19 from the previous year. Of the 672 children, 54 percent (323 children) of those children under the age of 6 with blood lead levels above 10 ug/dL were from the city of Detroit. Of the data provided, in 1998 the state had the highest number of children with blood lead levels between 5-9 ug/dL at 24,563; this also holds true for children under the age of 6 with blood lead levels above 10 ug/dL. In 1998 there were 7,144 children under the age of 6 with lead levels above 10 ug/dL. At the Detroit level, 1998 also had the highest number of children with blood lead levels between 5-9 ug/dL and above 10 ug/dL. There were 12,305 children under the age of 6 with blood lead levels between 5-9 ug/dL in the city of Detroit in 1998; this was 50 percent of the children state wide. Also in 1998, there were 5,002 children from Detroit under the age of 6 with blood lead levels above 10 ug/dL; the number of Detroit children who tested at the level made up 70 percent of the state total for children under the age of 6 with blood lead levels above 10 ug/dL.

While the number of children under the age of 6 with blood lead levels between 5-9 ug/dL decreased between 1998 and 2014 for the state and the city of Detroit, the percentage of the children from Detroit who made up the state total has increased (50% to 71%). The number of children under the age of 6 with blood lead levels above 10 ug/dL also decreased between 1998 and 2014 in the state and the city of Detroit, as did the percentage of Detroit children who made up the state total.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 5 ug/dL is used a reference level by experts “to identify children with blood lead levels that are much higher than most children’s levels.” The CDC has recommended that public health actions be initiated in children under age 6 with blood lead levels above 5 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL).1 Babies and young children can be more highly exposed to lead because they often put their hands and other objects that can have lead from dust or soil on them into their mouths.

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The total number of children with lead poisoning in the state of Michigan and in the city of Detroit under the age of 6 has experience an overall decrease since 1998, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. In 2014, according to the data, there were 2,050 children under the age of 6 with blood lead levels between 5-9 ug/dL, a significant drop from the previous year’s number of 4,793 . Of the number children under the age of 6 with blood lead levels between 5-9 ug/dL in the state of Michigan in 2014, 71 percent (1,462 children) were from the city of Detroit, according to the data (2015 data for the state of Michigan is not yet available). Some preliminary data from State for Detroit is shown in the charts below, but it is preliminary and not discussed above.

Also in 2014 there were 672 children in the state of Michigan with blood lead levels above 10 ug/dL; this was an increase of 19 from the previous year. Of the 672 children, 54 percent (323 children) of those children under the age of 6 with blood lead levels above 10 ug/dL were from the city of Detroit. Of the data provided, in 1998 the state had the highest number of children with blood lead levels between 5-9 ug/dL at 24,563; this also holds true for children under the age of 6 with blood lead levels above 10 ug/dL. In 1998 there were 7,144 children under the age of 6 with lead levels above 10 ug/dL. At the Detroit level, 1998 also had the highest number of children with blood lead levels between 5-9 ug/dL and above 10 ug/dL. There were 12,305 children under the age of 6 with blood lead levels between 5-9 ug/dL in the city of Detroit in 1998; this was 50 percent of the children state wide. Also in 1998, there were 5,002 children from Detroit under the age of 6 with blood lead levels above 10 ug/dL; the number of Detroit children who tested at the level made up 70 percent of the state total for children under the age of 6 with blood lead levels above 10 ug/dL.

While the number of children under the age of 6 with blood lead levels between 5-9 ug/dL decreased between 1998 and 2014 for the state and the city of Detroit, the percentage of the children from Detroit who made up the state total has increased (50% to 71%). The number of children under the age of 6 with blood lead levels above 10 ug/dL also decreased between 1998 and 2014 in the state and the city of Detroit, as did the percentage of Detroit children who made up the state total.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 5 ug/dL is used a reference level by experts “to identify children with blood lead levels that are much higher than most children’s levels.” The CDC has recommended that public health actions be initiated in children under age 6 with blood lead levels above 5 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL).1 Babies and young children can be more highly exposed to lead because they often put their hands and other objects that can have lead from dust or soil on them into their mouths.

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Four Detroit zip codes have more than 16% of tested children with elevated blood lead levels

According to 2014 data from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the Detroit zip codes of 48204 (where Grand River Ave. and Joy Road both cross Livernois), 48206 (just west of New Center), 48211 (just east of Hamtramck) and 48214 (West Village/Indian Village area) had the highest estimated percentages (between 16.4% and 21.1%) of children with an elevated blood lead level >/=5 ug/dL . According to the Centers for Disease Control, 5 ug/dL is used a reference level by experts “to identify children with blood lead levels that are much higher than most children’s levels.” The CDC has recommended that public health actions be initiated in children under age 6 with blood lead levels above 5 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL).1 Babies and young children can be more highly exposed to lead because they often put their hands and other objects that can have lead from dust or soil on them into their mouths.2

Of the 30 zip codes in the city of Detroit, seven had 4.5 percent or less of children test with an elevated blood lead level of >/=5 ug/dL. Of these zip codes, and all the Detroit zip codes, 48201 (which is the Midtown/Cass Corridor section of Detroit) had the highest percentage of children tested for lead poisoning in 2014. In Midtown/Cass Corridor area, 58.4 percent of the children were tested for lead poisoning.

Lead is a heavy metal that accumulates in the body when ingested, and has toxic effects on the nervous system, cognitive development, and blood production. A child can get lead poisoning from two main sources: deteriorating lead based paint, airborne lead based particles that can be inhaled as dust. Deteriorating lead-based paint is especially hazardous when found on surfaces that children can chew or that get a lot of wear-and-tear, such as windows and window sills, doors and door frames, stairs, railings, banisters, and porches.3 Air-borne lead paint particle dust, does not necessarily have to be inhaled, but can also settle in nearby soil and on porches, windowsills and stairs and can therefore also increase risk of being ingested by children as they crawl or play.4 A lead dust equivalent of only three grains of sugar can begin to poison a child.5

The main target for lead is the nervous system. Even very low levels of lead in the blood of children can result in permanent damage to the brain and nervous system leading to lifelong behavior and learning problems.6 Estimates show a 2.6-point decrease in IQ level for every 10 µg/dL increase in blood lead and studies have found that significant damage occurs even at BLLs below 5 µg/dL.7 I In addition, lead poisoned kids are seven times more likely to drop out of high school.8 Locally, about 60 percent of DPS students who performed below their grade level on 2008 standardized tests had elevated lead levels.8

Lead poisoning can also result in inattentiveness, hyperactivity, disorganization, aggression, increased risk of delinquency.9 Studies have shown, higher childhood blood lead levels are consistently associated with higher adult arrest rates for violent crimes.10 For every 5 µg/dL increase in blood lead levels, the risk of being arrested for a violent crime as a young adult increased by almost 50%.11

There is no current effective treatment of children with elevated blood lead levels.7

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  1. CDC: Lead (http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/)
  2. United States Environmental Protection Agency. (2013). http://www2.epa.gov/lead/learn-about-lead#lead
  3. United States Environmental Protection Agency. (2013). http://www2.epa.gov/lead/protect-your-family#sl-home
  4. Farfel, M., Orlova, A., Lees, P., Rohde, C., Ashley, P., and Chisolm, J. “A Study of Urban Housing Demolitions as Sources of Lead in Ambient Dust: Demolition Practices and Exterior Dust Fall.” Environmental Health Perspectives Vol. 111, Issue 5 (2003): 1228-1234).
  5. Olden, K., PhD. “Environmental Risks to the Health of American Children.” Preventative Medicine 22 (1993): 576-578.
  6. 6. United States Environmental Protection Agency. (2013). http://epa.gov/lead/learn-about-lead#lead
  7. Zhang, N., Baker, H.W., Tufts, M., Raymond, R.E., Salihu, H., & Elliott, M.R. (2013).  Early Childhood Lead Exposure and Academic Achievement: Evidence from Detroit Public Schools, 2008-2010.  American Journal of Public Health, 103(3), e72-e77.
  8. Lam, T. and Tanner-White, K. “High lead levels hurt learning for DPS kids.” Detroit Free Press (May 16, 2010).
  9. Zubrzycki, J. “Lead-Exposure Problems Spotlighted in Detroit.” Education Weekly Vol. 32, Issue 5 (2012): 6-9.
  10. 10. Drum, K. “America’s Real Criminal Element: Lead.” Mother Jones (Jan. 3, 2013).

11 Wright, J. et al. “Association of Prenatal and Childhood Blood Lead Concentrations with Criminal Arrests in Early Adulthood.”

 

U.S. Postal Service: Detroit Vacancy Rates Drop by 2,500 between 2014 and 2015

There were 2,540 fewer vacant Detroit residential properties between December 2014 and December 2015, according to the U.S. Postal Service. Between September 2015 and December 2015 the number of residential vacancies decreased by 896. Overall in the month of December of 2015 there were 80,077 vacant residential addresses, which is equivalent to a 22.4 percent residential vacancy rate, according to the U.S. Postal Service. Also for December 2015 the total number of residential addresses decreased by 905 from December 2014 and by 1,163 from September 2015.

In addition to a decrease in the number of vacant addresses in the city of Detroit in December of 2015 there was also a decline in the number of “no stat” addresses; that number decreased by 786. Mail carriers denote properties as being either “vacant” or “no-stat.” Carriers on urban routes mark a property as vacant once no resident has collected mail for 90 days. Addresses are classified as “no-stat” for a variety of reasons. Addresses in rural areas that appear to be vacant for 90 days are labeled no-stat. So are addresses for properties that are still under construction, and urban addresses that the carrier decides are unlikely to be occupied again any time soon — meaning that both areas of high growth and severe decline may be labeled no-stat.



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Making Sense of the Environment: Exploring the Locational Patterns of Cultural Organizations in Southeast Michigan

The ongoing demographic changes in urban and suburban communities present a challenging task for cultural organizations. Unlike more dynamic creative industries (media firms, telecommunications, law and other consulting firms) that often have the capacity to choose their location, most cultural organizations rely heavily on fixed capital that ties them to their historic locations. The majority of long-standing cultural organizations (history and natural history museums, opera, ballet, symphony, art museums) were established in certain geographic locations (mostly urban centers) by elites from former generations at the time of the Industrial Revolution or during periods or urban prosperity and growth. In post-industrial cities, such as Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Detroit, many of these institutions face severe survival and sustainability pressures due to the overall economic decline, reduction in the attendance rates, increased competition for funding with other organizations, and the aging of their core audiences and supporters. The problem of audience decline is particularly salient in areas with high population diversity, as well as areas that lack proper infrastructure to provide access to cultural resources for traditionally underserved populations.

In response to these issues, the Center for Urban Studies has been conducting research on exploring the locational patterns of cultural organizations in Southeast Michigan. The study is being conducted in collaboration with the Wayne State University’s Assistant Professor of Political Science Alisa Moldavanova, who studies nonprofit organizational sustainability. This study examined the locational patterns of 216 cultural organizations in Southeast Michigan in relation to the social and demographic profile of their communities. The goal is to holistically explore the existing geographical, institutional, and social barriers limiting access to cultural organizations, analyze the public accessibility of these institutions, and develop recommendations regarding improving access to cultural organizations.

As the first step in this study, we have explored the density of cultural organizations’ locations in the seven-county region of Southeast Michigan. Our analysis shows that different types of cultural institutions are unevenly distributed in this geographic area, as seen in the map below. There are areas of cultural districts (high density of particular types of organizations and the overall presence of the sector), and cultural deserts (low density of particular types of organizations and the sector). We see a high concentration of arts and cultural institutions in Detroit, Ann Arbor and near the Bloomfield Hills area. The opposite is true for many of the rural communities in the region and even suburbs bordering the high-density arts and cultural areas like Detroit and Ann Arbor. Newer organizations in this study appeared to select locations with access to donors (and where donors had relocated as the city expanded), creating mini-districts in recent suburbs such as Bloomfield Hills in Oakland County (established 1932), Rochester Hills in Oakland County (established 1984), and Northville in Wayne County (established 1955). This suggests that, as cities and regions have expanded, the original organizational location may no longer serve the institution in the same manner it once did, and may fail to adequately reflect current and future needs of local communities.

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As the second step in this study, we have been constructing an index of access to cultural organizations that takes into account admissions policy, the physical characteristics of a location (i.e. travel distance), and the availability of, and access to, transportation. So far, we have applied the index to three selected organizations – the Detroit Institute of Arts, Cranbrook Art Museum and the University of Michigan Art Museum. We analyzed the levels of access to these institutions by different CENSUS tracts. When used in combination with community socio-demographic characteristics, this index, which is displayed in the map below, reveals that certain groups of the population are at a greater disadvantage in terms of their access to cultural amenities. In particular, areas of the lowest access are the most rural, have the greatest number of people with less than Bachelor’s degree, the greatest number of unemployed people, and the lowest median household income. On the contrary, areas with the highest access tend to be urban and suburban. Some have the highest median household income, the lowest percent of unemployment, the least percentage of people in poverty, and the greatest number of seniors, while some of the older urban areas, still have high access because of their proximity to the historic cultural centers. These areas tend to have lower socio economic indicators. The access index, therefore, reveals that, due to access barriers, some organizations may be underutilizing an important community resource – diverse audience, while others like the DIA still provide access to diverse populations. Interestingly, Western Wayne County and south Central Oakland County enjoy relatively high access because of their centrality relative to the three institutions studies here.

In the map below, we see that the areas with the lowest access to the three art museums
(Detroit Institute of Arts, Cranbrook Art Museum and the University of Michigan Art Museum), which have an index score of 2 and are colored in purple, are located in the more rural edges of the region in St. Clair, Livingston, and Monroe counties. One area in the region has the highest access score (9, colored red), and that is the area around Bloomfield Hills. Residents in this area have one the highest median incomes in the region.

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Metro-Detroit’s Home Prices Continue to Grow

  • From November 2015 to December 2015, the unemployment rate across the state remained stable and the city of Detroit’s increased (monthly);
  • The Purchasing Manager’s Index for Southeast Michigan decreased from November 2015 to December 2015 (monthly);
  • Commodity Price Index increased from November 2015 to December 2015 for Southeast Michigan (monthly);
  • Standard and Poor’s Case-Shiller Home Price Index for the Detroit Metropolitan Statistical Area shows home prices are about $6,800 higher than in December of 2014.

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According to the most recent data provided by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget, the unemployment rate for the State of Michigan remained constant at 4.5 percent between November and December of 2015. During this same period, unemployment in the City of Detroit increased from 10.6 percent in November to 10.9 percent in December.

Slide05

Since March of 2015 the number of people employed in the city of Detroit increased by 4,895, for a total of 214,282 people employed in the city in December of 2015. In the last year, the month of March had the lowest number of people employed in Detroit. Employment went down slightly in December.

Slide07

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 January 2015 to December 2015. In that time frame the number of people employed in this industry increased by 1,100, from 104,900 to 106,000.

Slide09

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 indicates the economy is expanding.

According to the most recent data released on Southeast Michigan’s Manager’s Index, the PMI for December 2015 was 54.8, an decrease of 2.3 point from the prior month. It was also a decrease of 9.4 from December of 2014.

Slide11

The Commodity Price Index, which is a weighted average of selected commodity prices, was recorded at 47.2 points in December 2015, which was 1.7 points higher than the previous month and 7 points lower than December 2014.

Slide13

The above charts show the Standard and Poor’s Case-Shiller Home Price Index for the Detroit Metropolitan Statistical Area. The index includes the price for homes that have sold but does not include the price of new home construction, condos, or homes that have been remodeled.

According to the index, the average price of single-family dwellings sold in Metro Detroit was $103,770 in December 2015. This was an increase of $6,800 from December of 2014. Note also that there were continuing increases at the end of 2015.