Economy Continues to Improve in Southeastern Michigan

  • The unemployment rate increased at the State and local level (monthly);
  • Regionally, Livingston County’s unemployment rate was the lowest;
  • The Standard and Poor’s Case-Shiller Home Price Index for the Detroit Metropolitan Statistical Area shows home prices continue to increase monthly and annually.

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 throughout the summer. In June of 2017 the state unemployment rate was 4 and by July it rose to 4.9. While there was this increase during the summer months, unemployment rates were lower than those in the winter months, which peaked at 5.3 in February.

The City of Detroit unemployment rate peaked at 12.3 in January and has continued to decline since then. In June, for which the most recent data was available, the unemployment rate was recorded at 7.8, up slightly from 7.5 in May.

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 throughout the summer. In June of 2017 the state unemployment rate was 4 and by July it rose to 4.9. While there was this increase during the summer months, unemployment rates were lower than those in the winter months, which peaked at 5.3 in February.

The City of Detroit unemployment rate peaked at 12.3 in January and has continued to decline since then. In June, for which the most recent data was available, the unemployment rate was recorded at 7.8, up slightly from 7.5 in May.

The chart above displays the unemployment rates for each of the seven counties in Southeastern Michigan for June of 2016 and 2017. All but Monroe showed declines across June 2016 to June 2017. Wayne County had the highest unemployment rates for both 2016 and 2017 (6.7 and 4.5 percent, respectively). In 2017, Livingston County had the lowest unemployment rate at 2.7 while Washtenaw County had the lowest rate in 2016 at 3.9. Wayne and Monroe counties were the only two in the region with unemployment rates above 4 percent in 2017. In 2016 though, Washtenaw County was the only one in the region that had an unemployment rate below 4.

St. Clair County had the largest unemployment rate decrease between June 2016 and 2017 at 2.5; Monroe County had the lowest at 0.0.

Higher Percentage of Children in Poverty in Southeastern Michigan than Adults

In Southeastern Michigan there is a greater percentage of children under the age of 18 living in poverty in several communities than there is adults living in the same circumstances. Not only is this the case in the region, but also, the percentage of children living in poverty has increased at a more rapid rate since 2000 than it has for those between the ages of 18-64 and for those above the age of 65. This is sad state of affairs.

All data presented here is provided by the U.S. Census Bureau and according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the poverty threshold for an individual in 2015 was an annual earning of $11,770 and for a family of four it was $24,250.  In 2010 the poverty threshold for an individual was $10,830 and for a family of four it was $22,050. In 2000 the poverty threshold for an individual was $8,350 for a family of four was $17,050.

In the year 2000 the following five municipalities had the highest percentage of children under the age of 18 living in poverty:

  • Highland Park: 45 percent
  • Hamtramck: 36.4 percent
  • Ecorse: 34.9 percent
  • Detroit: 33.9 percent
  • River Rouge: 30.9 percent

In 2010 the municipalities with the highest percentage of children population living in poverty shifted to the following:

  • Highland Park: 58.5 percent
  • Hamtramck: 58.5 percent
  • Ecorse: 51.9 percent
  • Detroit: 46.9 percent
  • Memphis: 46 percent

By 2015 the percentage of children living in poverty had increased still further throughout the region, as can particularly be seen by the top five communities with the highest percentage of children living in poverty. These communities were:

  • Highland Park: 63.8 percent
  • Hamtramck: 62. Percent
  • Detroit: 57.1 percent
  • Inkster: 56.7 percent
  • River Rouge: 54.4 percent

 

Percent in Poverty Level Changes 2000-2010

Between 2000 and 2010 the LaSalle Township experienced the highest percentage increase of children residing in poverty at 28.4 percent. LaSalle, being a more rural suburban community in Southeastern Michigan, was not the only community with such characteristics to find itself atop the list with the highest percentage increases. Of the 46 communities that experienced more than a 10 percent increases in the percentage of children living in poverty between 2000 and 2010, 11 were inner-ring suburbs.  Detroit experienced a 13 percent increase in the percentage of children living in poverty between 2000 and 2010; Highland Park experienced a 12.8 percent increase and Hamtramck experienced a 22 percent increase. Overall, there were only 39 communities that experienced either no increase in the percentage of children residing in poverty or a decline in the percentage.

When comparing the increase in the percentage of children living in poverty between 2000 and 2010 we see that for both adults between the ages of 18-64 and those over the age of 65, neither group experienced an increase above 17 percent. For children under the age of 18, there were 12 communities where the increase in the percentage of children living in poverty was above 17 percent.

Percent in Poverty Level Changes 2010-2015

Between 2010 and 2015 there were 32 communities in Southeastern Michigan where there was more than a 10 percent increase in percentage of children living in poverty. Of these communities, the top five were nearly all more rural, suburban communities. These communities were:

  • Richmond (city): 35.2 percent
  • Belleville: 24 percent
  • St. Clair: 23.3 percent
  • Melvindale: 23.2 percent
  • Sumpter Township: 21.7 percent

Percent in Poverty Level Changes 2000-2015

Between 2000 and 2015 there were 64 communities in Southeastern Michigan that experienced over a 10 percent increase in the percentage of children living in poverty since 2000 and 173 communities that experienced an increase above 0.01 percent. The top five communities with the largest increases were:

  • Richmond (city): 31.6 percent
  • Inkster: 28.6 percent
  • Royal Oak Township: 28 percent
  • Sumpter Township: 27.6 percent
  • Eastpointe: 26 percent

During this time span we do see that there is a greater number of inner-ring suburbs that experienced increases above 10 percent than there were during the 2000 to 2010 time frame. However, as the map shows above, the suburbs were not protected from the, in some cases drastic, increases in the percentage of children living in poverty.  And, just as the increases were drastic for several communities throughout Southeastern Michigan, they were also far greater than the percentage increases of adults between the ages of 18-64 and those above 65 living poverty during the same time period. For those between the ages of 18-64 the highest percentage increase of those living in poverty was River Rouge at 21 percent. For those above the age of 65 the City of Hamtramck experienced the largest increase at 13.5 percent.

Overall, the data presented in this post conveys two strong messages: Southeastern Michigan has a greater percentage of children living in poverty than adults and the elderly, and the percentage of children living in poverty has been increasing at a faster rate than the adults living in the region. Additionally, the data presented in this post again shows the theme that poverty levels aren’t only increasing in the region’s urban areas, but also in the suburbs and more rural areas.

Southeastern Michigan Suburbs Experience Highest Poverty Increases for Elderly

Since the year 2000 several municipalities in Southeastern Michigan have had consistently the highest percentages of residents over the age of 65 living at or below the poverty level–Highland Park, Hamtramck, Detroit. Remarkably, however, as this post demonstrates the biggest increases in poverty among older adults were in suburbs.

At the same time, the percentage of elderly residents living below the poverty line in Southeastern Michigan municipalities is below that of those between the ages of 18-64 living in poverty. Regionally, in 2015 about 10.3 percent of residents between the ages of 18-64 lived in poverty and about 6.5 percent of residents over the age of 65 and older lived in poverty.

All this poverty data is provided by the U.S. Census Bureau while the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services tell us the poverty threshold for an individual in 2015 was an annual earning of $11,770 and for a family of four it was $24,250. In 2010 the poverty threshold for an individual was $10,830 and for a family of four it was $22,050. In 2000 the poverty threshold for an individual was $8,350 for a family of four was $17,050.

In the year 2000 the following five municipalities had the highest percentage of residents over the age of 65 living in poverty:

 

 

  • Royal Oak Charter Township: 32.1%
  • Highland Park: 28.8%
  • Memphis: 19.4%
  • Detroit: 17.9%
  • Hamtramck: 17.4%

 

In 2010 the municipalities with the highest percentage of elderly living in poverty shifted to the following:

 

  • Hamtramck: 28.6%
  • Highland Park: 26.1%
  • Oak Park: 23.1%
  • Hazel Park; 22.6%
  • Center Line: 21.9%

Most recently, in 2015, we again saw several of the same municipalities in Southeastern Michigan having the highest percentage of elderly living at or below the poverty line. By this time the percentage of elderly in poverty had continued to increase for several of the municipalities.

  • Highland Park: 38.6%
  • Hamtramck: 30.7%
  • Detroit: 20.4%
  • Melvindale: 19.5%
  • Madison Heights: 17.2%

Percent in Poverty Level Changes 2000-2010

Between 2000 and 2010 the only inner-ring suburb that ranked in the top five for Southeastern Michigan municipalities with the highest increase in the percentage of elderly living at or below the poverty line was Hamtramck. The top five municipalities that experienced the highest change in those 10 years were:

  • Yale (St. Clair County): 15.6%
  • Hazel Park (Wayne County): 15.1%
  • Brighton (Livingston County): 13.9%
  • Marion (Livingston County): 13.1%
  • Lynn Township (Livingston County) 12%

From 2000 through 2010 for the 213 municipalities for which comparable data was available through the American Community Survey, 84 experienced a decrease in the percentage of residents over the age of 65 living in poverty. On the opposite side of the spectrum, about 20 of the communities that experienced an increase in the percentage of elderly living in poverty were direct suburbs of Detroit. However, between 2000 and 2010, Detroit experienced only a 0.7 increase in the percentage of elderly living in poverty. Highland Park, which has typically ranked at the top for the percentage of residents living in poverty and for percentage increases, experienced a 2.7 percent decrease in the percentage of elderly residents living in poverty between 2000 and 2010.

Percent in Poverty Level Changes 2000-2015

Between the years 2000 and 2015, the increase in poverty among older residents was on par with the increases experienced for several municipalities between the years 2000 and 2010. During this time period, the City of Hamtramck experienced the largest increase at 13.5 percent, followed by Berlin Township (St. Clair County) and Melvindale. These were the only three communities in Southeastern Michigan that experienced increases above 10 percent in the percentage of elderly residents living in poverty. Additionally, there was an overall increase in the number of communities between 2000 and 2015 that experienced a decrease in the percentage of residents over the age of 65 living in poverty. Of the 213 municipalities for which comparable data was available, 94 experienced a decrease. However, Highland Park experienced about 9 percent increase in the percentage of older residents residing in poverty between 2000 and 2015, and Detroit experienced about a 2.5 percent increase. Still the remarkable trend was the tendency for poverty among older adults to increase in the suburbs.

Percent in Poverty Level Changes 2010-2015

Between 2010 and 2015, Highland Park experienced the largest increase in the percentage of residents over the age of 65 living in poverty. During this time frame, Highland Park experienced an increase of about 12.5 percent; Berlin Township followed with an increase at about 10.8 percent. These two communities were the only ones in the region that experienced increases for the percentage of residents over the age of 65 living in poverty above 10 percent between 2010 and 2015.

Additionally, between 2010 and 2015, the number of communities that experienced a decrease in the percentage of elderly residents living in poverty decreased. In total, of the 213 communities for which data was available for, 102 experienced a decrease in the percentage of residents living in poverty.

Overall, this post shows that currently, and overtime, there is a smaller percentage of resident over the age of 65 living in poverty. Compared to last week’s post, which focused on those between the ages of 18-64 (typically those of working age) we see that there is a higher percentage of residents between the ages of 18-64 living in poverty and that those percentages across the region have increased for those in that age bracket. For the elderly population though, the percentage of residents residing in poverty has increased overtime for a number of municipalities, but majority of the region experienced a decrease.

Southeastern Michigan’s Poverty Levels Have Increased Since 2000

This post explores how the percentage of residents between the ages of 18-64 living in poverty has increased throughout Southeastern Michigan since 2000 and 2015. The bottom line here is that the substantial majority of communities saw increases, some of them substantial, in poverty over the years 2000 through 2015. Only 10 saw decreases.

All data is provided by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In 2000 the poverty threshold for an individual was $8,350, and for a family of four it was $17,050. In 2010 the poverty threshold for an individual was $10,830, and for a family of four it was $22,050. The poverty threshold for an individual in 2015 was an annual earning of $11,770, and for a family of four it was $24,250.

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the City of Highland Park had the highest percentage of individuals between the ages of 18-64 living in poverty in the years 2000, 2010 and 2015. Between each of the years the percentage has continued to grow. In 2000, the Census reported that 35 percent of the adult population between the ages of 18-64 was living in poverty in Highland Park. In 2010 that number increased to 42 percent and by 2015, 46.1 percent of the adult population between the ages of 18-64 in Highland Park was living in poverty. Just as Highland Park remained at the top of the list for the percentage of individuals between the ages of 18-64 living in poverty, the top five Southeastern Michigan communities with the highest poverty levels didn’t shift much from year-to-year. The data are displayed below.

2000

  • Highland Park: 35%
  • Detroit : 23%
  • Hamtramck: 23%
  • Ypsilanti: 20%
  • River Rouge: 20%

2010:

  • Highland Park: 42%
  • River Rouge: 36%
  • Hamtramck: 35%
  • Detroit: 31%
  • Royal Oak Township: 28%

2015:

  • Highland Park: 46%
  • Hamtramck: 41%
  • River Rouge: 41%
  • Detroit: 38%
  • Ypsilanti: 34%

Percent in Poverty Level Changes 2000-2010

When viewing how poverty levels have increased over time, the data shows that between the years 2000 and 2010 the City of Memphis (on the border of St. Clair and Macomb Counties) had the highest percentage increase of individuals between the ages of 18-64 living in poverty at about 17 percent. River Rouge and Hamtramck followed in the number two and three spots with percentage increases at 16 and 12, respectively. Highland Park experienced an increase at 7 percent while Detroit experienced an 8 percent increase.

Percent in Poverty Level Changes 2000-2015

Expanding the range of dates from 2000 through 2015, River Rouge, Hamtramck and Port Huron Township had the highest increases in the percentage of individuals between the ages of 18-64 in poverty between 2000 and 2015. For River Rouge that increase was 21 percent; Hamtramck had a 19 percent increase, and Port Huron Township had a 19 percent increase. In Detroit the percentage increase for individuals in poverty between the ages of 18-64 was 15 percent, and in Highland Park it was 11 percent.

In total, of the 213 communities in Southeastern Michigan for which long-term poverty data was available there were only 10 that experienced a decrease in the percentage of individuals between the ages of 18-64 living in poverty between 2000 and 2015. On the opposite side of the spectrum, there were 27 communities where the percentage increase of individuals in poverty was at 10 percent or above; less than 10 of those communities were outside the direct Detroit suburbs.

Percent in Poverty Level Changes 2010-2015

Finally, we examine the change in the percentage of individuals between the ages of 18-64 in poverty between the years 2010 and 2015 the data shows that the highest increases occurred in the more rural areas of the region. For individuals between the ages of 18 and 64 the city of Richmond had the highest percentage increase of residents living in poverty at 13 percent. Ypsilanti and the City of Yale both had 12 percent increases. London Township and Port Huron Township were the only other two communities in Southeastern Michigan where the percentage increase of the individuals between the ages of 18-64 was above 10 percent. The City of Detroit experienced a 7 percent increase and Highland Park experienced a 3 percent increase in the percentage of individuals between the ages of 18-64 who lived in poverty between the years 2010 and 2015.

Between 2010 and 2015 there were 58 communities in Southeastern Michigan where the percentage of individuals living in poverty decreased. The City of Unadilla had the largest decrease at 9 percent. None of the communities that experienced a decrease in the percentage of individuals between the ages of 18-64 were an inner-ring suburb of Detroit. The communities with decreases in poverty levels around 5 percent and above were located on the more outer edges of the region.

While the data shows that poverty levels have continued to increase for majority of the communities across the region, there are signs that the growth of poverty levels are decreasing. Between 2010 and 2015 there was a smaller number of communities who experienced an increase in poverty levels than between 2000-2010 or 2000 to 2015. The data comparing 2010 and 2015 levels also shows the percentage of poverty levels decreasing above 6 percent in certain communities, a statistic that was not achieved in the 2000 to 2010 comparisons and the 2000 to 2015 comparisons. However, the data does indicate that long-term poverty level growth appears to have been primarily concentrated in Detroit and its inner-suburbs. The more recent poverty data though (2010-15) shows that higher poverty levels are also being seen in the more rural areas.

Next week we will view how poverty levels are affecting the elderly population.

Highland Park has Highest Poverty Rate in Southeastern Michigan

In 2015, the highest levels of poverty were concentrated within the City of Detroit and its inner-ring suburbs, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Highland Park, which is surrounded by the City of Detroit, had the highest percentage of residents aged 18 or older living at our below the poverty level at 44.7 percent. In Hamtramck, 28 percent of the adult were living below the poverty level in 2015, and in the City of Detroit, 25.5 percent of the adult population was living below the poverty level.

In 2015, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the poverty threshold for an individual was an annual earning of $11,770 and for a family of four it was $24,250.

When breaking down the adult population into two groups, those between the ages of 18-64 and those above the age of 65, Highland Park and Hamtramck, respectively, again had the highest poverty percentages. In Highland Park, 46.1 percent of the population between the ages of 18 and 64 lived at or below the poverty level, and 38.6 percent of the population above the age of 65 lived at or below the poverty threshold. In the City of Hamtramck, 41.7 percent of the population between the ages of 18-64 lived at or below the poverty level, and 30.7 percent of those above the age of 65 lived at or below the poverty level. In Detroit, 37.5 percent of the residents between the ages of 18-64 lived at or below the poverty level in 2015, and 20.4 percent of those above the age of 65 lived at or below the poverty level.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, there were 134 communities in Southeastern Michigan (of the 214 total municipalities) where less than 10 percent of those between the ages of 18-64 lived at or below the poverty level. Additionally, there were 175 communities in the region where less than 10 percent of those above the age of 65 lived at or below the poverty level.

The communities with the lowest percentages of their adult populations living at or below the poverty level were primarily concentrated in the western area of the region, with several being located in Washtenaw County.

While the highest poverty levels were concentrated around the City of Detroit, poverty levels across the region have increased. This data will be explored next week by comparing Census poverty level data for the years 2000, 2010 and 2015.

Indicators Show Growth For Housing in Southeastern Michigan

In Southeastern Michigan, home prices are on the rise, as are the number of housing units being built, while mortgage rates appear to be slowly, and slightly, decreasing. Such indicators, which are more closely examined in this post, speak to a slow ongoing recovery in housing and possibly higher homeownership rates. However, since the number of building permits being pulled include many multi-family units, it is perhaps also true that higher rents, a trend we have been following, are drawing more investment into rental housing.

Above are three average 30-year mortgage interest rates at the national, state and local levels. These rates were provided by bankrate.com, which does a national survey of large lenders on a weekly basis. As a 30-year fixed rate mortgage is the most traditional type of home financing, this was chosen to show the rate differences. On average, the State of Michigan had the lowest average interest rate for the week of July 12 at 3.84, which was 0.02 points higher than the last time we examined that data. Of the three months for which we have examined mortgage rates, Michigan’s continues to remain the lowest.

Also during the week of July 12, 2017 Detroit’s average 30-year fixed mortgage interest rate was higher than the national average. At this point in time, Detroit’s average was 4.06 and the national average was 4.03. Between May and July, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate for the Detroit area decreased (it was 4.12 in May and was 4.06 the week of July 12) but it increased by 0.01 on the national level (it was 4.02 in May).

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 $115,610 in April 2017. This was an increase of $10,390 from April of 2016 and an increase from $16,110 from April of 2015 and an increase of $20,750 from April of 2014. Between just March and April of this year the average home price in the region increased by $2,030.

Between 2006 and 2016, according to the Southeastern Michigan Council of Governments, the number of building permits pulled dropped to a low in 2009, mid-recession. The number of building permits reported for each county includes single family, two family, attached condo and multi-family units.

The number of building permits pulled have recovered for all seven counties in the region since the 2009 nadir. However, only three of the seven counties have outpaced their 2006 numbers. These counties are Livingston County, Oakland County and Washtenaw County. The difference between the number of 2006 building permits and 2016 building permits for each of these three counties are:

  • Livingston: 59
  • Oakland: 786
  • Washtenaw: 405

Of the four counties where building permit numbers have yet to recover to 2006 numbers or beyond, Macomb County had the biggest difference at 739. In 2006 there 2,626 building permits pulled in Macomb County and in 2016 there were 1,887. For Wayne County, there was 356 difference in that time frame. There were 2,766 building permits in Wayne County in 2006 and in 2016 there 2,410.

Overall, in 2016, Oakland County had the highest number of building permits pulled at 3,088. Oakland County has had the highest number of permits pulled, regionally, since 2012 when it surpassed Wayne County.

According to the 2015 American Community Survey, Wayne County had the lowest percentage of occupied housing units at 83 percent, meaning there was a 17 percent vacancy rate in the county in 2015. Macomb County on the hand had the highest occupied housing unit rate in the region at 94 percent. Livingston, Oakland and Washtenaw counties all had 93 percent occupied housing unit rates, and Monroe County had a 92 percent occupied housing unit rate. The only other county in the region that had an occupied housing unit rate below 90 percent was St. Clair County. In 2015, St. Clair County had an 89 percent occupied housing unit rate.

In 2015, according to the American Community Survey, Livingston County had the highest home-ownership percentage at 84.6 percent while Washtenaw County had the lowest at 59.8 percent. It should be noted though that the University of Michigan is located in Washtenaw County, meaning off-campus student housing is typically made up of rental units. In Wayne County, the percentage of owner-occupied housing units was 63 percent. It was only Washtenaw and Wayne counties where the percentage of homeowners was below 70 percent.

Southeastern Michigan Drug Death Rates On The Rise, Trend Similar to State and Nation-wide Problem

Between 2010 and 2015 Wayne County experienced the largest rate increase for drug-induced deaths in Southeastern Michigan, according to the Michigan Department of Community Health. In 2010 the rate for drug-induced deaths in Wayne County was 22.4 per 100,000 people and by 2015 that increased to 36.1 per 100,000 people. In Detroit, the drug-induced death rate increased by 9.4; in 2010 the rate was reported at 22.3 per 100,000 people and in 2015 it was reported to be 31.7 per 100,000 people.

Monroe County was the only other in the region to experience an increase above 10 per 100,000 between 2010 and 2015 was Monroe County. In 2010 the drug-induced death rate in Monroe County was 19.7 per 100,000 people, and by 2015 it had increased to 32.1 per 100,000 people, meaning there was a 12.4 rate increase.

In addition to showing rate changes between 2010 and 2015 we have also created maps that show the rate changes in five-year increments between 2000 and 2005 and 2005 and 2010. Between 2000 and 2005 Monroe County was the only county in the region to experience a rate increase above 10. In 2000 the drug-induced death rate in Monroe County was reported at 4.1 per 100,000 people and by 2005 increased to 17.1 per 100,000 people. Between 2005 and 2010 the rate increase for Monroe County was much smaller at 2.6, however the data shows drug-induced death rates in Monroe County and throughout the region have continued to increase since 2000.

Between 2000 and 2015 the overall drug-induced death rate increase for Monroe County was 28, and for Wayne County that rate increase was reported at 18.2. In 2000 the drug-induced death rate in Wayne County was reported to be 18.2 per 100,000 people, by 2005 it increased to 22 per 100,000 people. Between 2005 and 2010 there was a slight rate decrease of .3, but by 2015 the rate peaked at 36.1 per 100,000 people (the highest in the region).

Also between 2005 and 2010 in Detroit there was a drug-induced death rate decrease; this decrease was reported at 3.7 (in 2005 the rate was reported at 26 and in 2010 it was reported at 22.3). However, like the seven counties in the region, Detroit experienced drug-induced death rate increases between 2010 and 2015 of 9.4 per 100,000 residents, and overall since 2000 an increase of 9.1.

An overall increase in drug-induced death rates is not unique to Southeastern Michigan. According to the Michigan Department of Community Health, 2015 was the third straight year the State of Michigan experienced an increase in the drug-induced death rate. In 2015 the rate was reported at 22.3, compared to a rate of 20.5 in 2014, 18.3 in 2013 and 16.4 in 2012. Throughout the country, according to a recent Free Press article, there were 19 states (Michigan being one of them) that experienced an increase in drug-induced death rates. The U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention reported that of the 52,404 drug overdose deaths in 2015, 63 percent of them were related to opioids. In Michigan, according to the Free Press article, about 45 percent of the drug related deaths in the state were related to opioids and about 20 percent involved heroin.

Southeastern Michigan Median Incomes Have Yet to Catch Up to Pre-Recession Numbers

Between 2000 and 2015 median incomes in cities and townships throughout Southeastern Michigan declined by an average of 20 percent, according to U.S. Census Data. This percentage, and all percentages discussed in this post were adjusted to 2015 dollars to best show the true decline in incomes throughout the region. (Note that this percentage is the average across cities and townships, each treated equally. Therefore it will be different from a number aggregated across individuals as opposed to municipalities.)

In our last post we highlighted how the city of Bloomfield Hills had the highest median income at $172,768 in 2015. This data shows that incomes for Southeastern Michigan’s highest income community decreased by 26.5 percent overall from 2000 through 2015, but this broken down between a 36.7 percent decline between 2000 and 2010 and a 16 percent increase between 2010 and 2015. These statistics further add weight to the narrative that the wealthiest are financially bouncing back much more quickly since the recession, while the middle class and low income families have been making minimal gains, at best. Between 2010 and 2015 there were 15 communities where median incomes increased at least 20 percent. Of those communities, the average median income in 2015 was about $77,000 while the average median income for the region was about $66,500. In total, there were 117 communities in Southeastern Michigan that experienced an increase in median income between 2010 and 2015. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there were 10 communities with median incomes above $80,000 in 2015 that experienced a decline in median income between 2010 and 2015; of those 10 communities seven experienced a decline of less than 5 percent.  

Between 2000 and 2010 there were only 5 communities that experienced median income growth. Overall though, the average change in median income (adjusted) between 2000 and 2010 was negative 22 percent; there were 136 communities in Southeastern Michigan that experienced median income declines above 20 percent during that time frame.

 

There were 117 communities in Southeastern Michigan that experienced an increase in median income between 2010 and 2015. These communities showed an average increase of almost 10 percent. At the same time, 91 communities in the region experienced decreases in median income by an average of roughly 6 percent. Between 2010 and 2015 median incomes in all of Southeastern Michigan increased by an average of nearly 3 percent.

 

While the data shows a modest median income growth post recession (2010 to 2015), median incomes were down by approximately 20 percent in 2015 compared to what they were in 2000. Since then, there have been only 5 communities that have experienced any median income growth—City of Northville, Sylvan Township, City of Plymouth, Ira Township and City of Memphis. All of these communities experienced an increase in median incomes under 10 percent, with two of them being lower that 5 percent. The other 203 communities in the region exhibited decreases in median incomes by an average of almost 21 percent between 2000 and 2015. It is clear that majority of the regional population is still trying to earn back the wages that once existed in the early years of this century.

 

The city of Hamtramck experienced one of the largest decline at 34 percent. For the city of Hamtramck, there was an even larger decrease in the adjusted median income between 2000 and 2015 than there was between 2000 and 2010. In 2000 the median income for Hamtramck (adjusted to 2015 dollars) was $36,634 and in 2015 it was reported at $23,759; overall there was a 35 percent decrease. The city, which has one of the region’s lowest median incomes, also experienced a decline in median income between 2010 and 2015.

 

The city of Detroit is another community where the median income decreased since both 2000 and 2010. According to the data, Detroit experienced a 36 percent median income decrease since 2000 and a 9 percent median income decrease since 2010. In 2000 the median income was reported at about $40,000 (adjusted for inflation) and in 2010 it was reported at about $28,000 (adjusted for inflation). The 2015 median income for the city of Detroit was about $25,000.

 

Overall, the data show that economic growth since the recession has been slow, at best. Majority of the communities in Southeastern Michigan have yet to recover to their adjusted 2000 incomes. Studies suggest that has to do with several factors, including job availability, average wages, out migration and educational attainment. In this series, we will further explore these factors to better help highlight why the growth has been so slow and what areas are suffering the most.

Bloomfield Hill’s Median Income Ranks Top in Southeastern Michigan

In Southeastern Michigan the average median income was $50,750 in 2015, according to the American Community Survey. Of the seven counties in the region, Wayne County had the lowest median income at $41,210 while Livingston County had the highest at $75,200. Although Livingston County had the highest median income in the region it was Oakland County that had the most number of communities with median incomes above $100,000. In total, there were 12 communities in Oakland County with median incomes above $100,000 and the city of Bloomfield Hills had the highest median income, both county and region-wide, at $172,768.

Income disparity is a growing issue at the national and local levels. In Michigan, this disparity is particularly exemplified due to the fact that the average hourly wage in the state has decreased from what it was a decade ago. According to a recent Crain’s Detroit article, the median hourly wage in Michigan in 2017 is $17.32 and in 2007 it was $18.67. In 2010 in Michigan, residents had a 46 percent chance of out earning their parents, according to a recent Stanford study, which is highlighted in the Crain’s article. The example in the article used to highlight this decline in wages is that in 1977 a newly employed high school graduate at General Motors was earning about $26 an hour (number adjusted with inflation) and today that wage is about $16. Other aspects that contribute to an individual’s economic mobility include access to jobs, particularly those with higher wages, and educational attainment.

In next week’s post we will see how median income has changed regionally since 2000 and 2010, further exploring the claim that upward mobility has declined.

 

Detroit’s Liquor Licenses Above 1,000

In the City of Detroit there are a total of 1,017 liquor licenses, which equates to about 15 liquor licenses per 10,000 people. A look at the Detroit map below shows that establishments with these licenses are located throughout the city, but patterns occur on major roadways, such as Gratiot and Woodward avenues, and in the larger business districts, such as the downtown area and up into Midtown. There is also a concentration of establishments with liquor licenses in Southwest Detroit.

In Michigan there are several types of liquor licenses which can be obtained, according to the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, which provided the data for this post. These include licenses needed to sell just beer, those need to sell beer and liquor at a golf course, a hotel, a bar and at a private event. Additionally, brewpubs, distilleries, wholesalers (both those in state and those out of state bringing goods in), winemakers, and stores selling beer and/or liquor need a license. All liquor licenses in the state of Michigan are issued by the Michigan Liquor Control Commission; each license (with the exception of special designated ones) can be transferred anywhere within the county in which the original license was issued.

For this post, there are maps of seven different communities, each one represents the community in each Southeastern Michigan county with highest number of establishments with liquor licenses per 10,000 people. The maps however are dot maps, showing the total number of establishments in each community. The regional map though, which is the first map shown below, represents the number of establishments with liquor licenses per 10,000 people. The per capita calculation was used to best show how many establishments there are per person, or in this case per 10,000 people, so the data could be comparable for each community in the region. Due to how the per capita rate is calculated (taking the old total number of establishments, multiplying it by 10,000 and then dividing that number by the total population) the rate often appears larger than the total number of establishments with liquor licenses.

While Detroit has the highest total number of establishments with liquor licenses in Southeastern Michigan, the village of Memphis has the highest total of liquor licenses per 10,000 people at 63. In total, Memphis, of southern St. Clair County, has 5 establishments with liquor licenses, most of which are concentrated in the downtown business district. The total population of Memphis about 800, a number that plays a role in its high number of liquor licenses per capita. Each community with the highest number of establishments with liquor licenses per 10,000 people in each of the seven counties has smaller population numbers, and of those other six communities The cities of Plymouth and Utica are the only two that have more than 20 establishments with liquor licenses. The city of Plymouth has 39 and Utica has 25 establishments with liquor licenses. The rate per 10,000 people for Plymouth is 44 and the rate for Utica is 53. Plymouth’s population is nearly double of Utica’s at about 9,000 people. The total number of establishments with liquor licenses and the per capita number for the other communities with the highest per capita in each county are:

  • Plymouth (city)-39 (total); 44 (per capita)
  • Uitca: 25, 53
  • Chelsea-19; 37
  • Village of Dundee-14; 35
  • Pinckney-7; 48
  • Clarkston—5; 54

In all of the maps featured below there are two common themes on where the establishments are located. Particularly in Plymouth and Utica, there is a concentration of establishments with liquor licenses in the centrally located downtown districts. In the smaller communities, such as Dundee or Clarkston, the establishments are located along major roadways in the community.

Throughout Southeastern Michigan there are 10 communities with more than 100 establishments with liquor licenses; all of these communities have populations of 75,000 or more. In terms of sheer volume, Ann Arbor has the second highest number of establishments with liquor licenses at 214, which is about 800 less than the number of establishments the City of Detroit has.

According to a study by the Pacific Institute, a high concentration of liquor stores holders can may be related to several public safety and health problems, ranging from high rates of alcohol related hospitalizations, to pedestrian injuries, to high levels of crime and violence. According to data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation we know that Detroit’s violent crime rate was 1,749 per 100,000 residents in 2015 (the most recent data available) and the city’s property crime rate was 4,070, while the state of Michigan’s violent crime rate was 415.5 per 100,000 residents and its property crime rate was 1,889. In Ann Arbor, the violent crime rate was 192 in 2015 and the property crime rate was 1,991.