Poverty, Labor Force Participation Moderately Correlated in Southeastern Michigan

As discussed throughout our most recent series, data about labor force participation highlights decreasing percentage of individuals who are not active participants in the work force. To further explore the recent labor force and poverty rate discussions, this post delves into the correlation between the 2015 labor force participation rate and the 2015 poverty levels across the Southeastern Michigan area.

A correlation is statistical technique that can be used to describe the relationship between two variables. The correlation coefficient, often expressed as ‘r’, is a numerical value that is always between +1 and -1. When r is closer to +1, it implies a positive correlation; as one variable increases, the other does as well. When r is closer to -1, it implies an inverse correlation; as one variable increases the other decreases. When the value of r is closer to 0 the implication is that there is no relationship between the two sets of data.

Looking across the region we find that labor force participation with poverty at a level of -0.46, a moderate correlation. (Note that we are using municipalities as the unit of analysis here.) This correlation tends to indicate that as labor force participation declines, poverty increases, all other factors being equal. This helps to explain why we are seeing increasing poverty in areas, including many suburban areas, where labor force participation was hit hard by the Great Recession.

 

We also examined the variation in this correlation across the counties in the region.

 

Correlation Coefficients for Southeastern Michigan Counties: Labor Force Participation and Poverty

  • Livingston County: -.4
  • Macomb County: -.24
  • Monroe County: -.18
  • Oakland County: -.28
  • St. Clair County: -.18
  • Washtenaw County: .08
  • Wayne County: -.84

These results present correlations calculated across municipalities within counties. We found that, aside from Washtenaw County, every other county in Southeastern Michigan had a negative correlation, meaning that as labor force participation declined, poverty increased. Of those six counties, Wayne County was the only one to have a strong negative correlation—(-0.84). This implies that municipalities in Wayne County with lower labor participation are very likely to have higher levels of poverty.

 

The correlations for five other counties–Macomb, Livingston, St. Clair, Monroe and Oakland–were negative but weak or moderate, meaning that there was still a tendency for poverty to increase with a lower labor participation rate, but it was weaker.

 

Washtenaw County was the only county in the region to have a correlation coefficient above 0, the value being +0.08, indicating a very low positive association between poverty and labor force participation.

 

Overall, these analyses show that six of the seven counties had weak to moderate correlation between their labor participation rates and their adult poverty rates. Wayne County was the exception to this, with a strong correlation coefficient of -0.84. Previous posts have shown that Wayne County communities also experienced some of the largest decreases in its labor force participation rates since 2010 and had some of the highest overall adult poverty rates. For example, in 2015 Highland Park had the lowest adult labor force participation at 54 percent, while the poverty rate is 49.3 percent.

 

In the suburbs, particularly those located nearer to Detroit (with some notable exceptions), there have been overall declines in labor force participation rates. At the same time data clearly shows that the percentage of adults in poverty has been increasing for many of the suburbs in Southeastern Michigan in recent years.

Strong Correlations Exist For High Education Levels and High Incomes Throughout Most of Southeastern Michigan

In our last post we showed there is an area of overlapping high median incomes and high educational attainment running through Washtenaw County, western Wayne County, southern Oakland County and western Macomb County with nearly the opposite—lower median income and lower educational attainment–south of that in the region. In this post, we discuss explicitly the correlation between the levels of education examined in the last post (less than high school education, high school education, associate’s degree or some college education, bachelor’s degree, and graduate/professional degrees) and median incomes. The correlations are calculated for medians and percentages of municipalities across the region.

A correlation is statistical technique that can be used to describe the relationship between two variables. The correlation coefficient, often expressed as ‘r,’ is a numerical value that is always between +1 and -1. When r is closer to +1, it implies a positive correlation; as one variable increases, the other does as well. When r is closer to -1, it implies an inverse correlation; as one variable increases the other decreases. When the value of r is closer to 0 the implication is that there is no relationship between the two sets of data.

Educational Attainment Correlation Value
Achieved less than a high school diploma -0.74
Achieved only a high school diploma -0.71
Achieved some college or an associate’s degree -0.57
Achieved only a bachelor’s degree 0.75
Achieved a graduate or professional degree 0.77

 

Looking first across the region incomes tend to be lower for those municipalities with a higher percentage of people who do not have a high school degree, with a correlation of -0.74. This tends to indicate that less education leads to lower incomes. At the same time, it could mean that people with lower incomes have less of chance of completing their education. For those with a high school diploma the effect was slightly smaller, with a correlation of -0.71, and similarly for those with some college or an associate’s degree the correlation was -0.57.

For those at the upper end of education distribution the opposite holds true—there is a positive correlation between higher educational levels and higher incomes. Across Southeast Michigan for the municipalities with a higher percentage of people with a bachelor’s degree, incomes tend to be higher, with a correlation of 0.75. The relationship between income and educational attainment is even stronger for those who have attained graduate or professional degree, with a correlation of 0.77.

Next we examined these relationships at the county level—for all municipalities in a county. Of the seven counties in the region, Wayne County had the strongest correlations of (0.91) in relation to those with bachelor’s degrees and the median income. For those with graduate or professional degrees in Wayne County the correlation was 0.90 percent.  Monroe County had the weakest correlation value between those with bachelor’s degrees and the median income, with a correlation value of 0.22; it also had the weakest correlation between income and those with graduate or /professional degrees, with a correlation value of at -0.13 percent. Such values for Monroe County indicate that the relationship between higher levels of education attainment and higher median incomes are weakened or reversed in that largely rural setting. For several of the other counties, the correlation between these variables was much greater. In addition to Monroe County having a weak relationship between median income and those with a bachelor’s degree, there was also a weak relationship between those same two variables for St. Clair and, surprisingly, Washtenaw counties. For Washtenaw, it may occur because there are many students with higher education who are still pursuing degrees and have relatively lower incomes.

At the other end of the education spectrum, there exist a strong tendency for lower incomes to be associated with lower levels of education. Each county has either a moderate to strong correlation between incomes and lower levels of education. Monroe County again had the lowest correlations between median income and educational attainment for attainment, this time for less than a high school education and up to a high school education.

Overall, these analyses show a range of correlations across counties between higher median incomes and higher levels of educational attainment, some high and positive, others weak. Monroe County stands out as the only county one where there was a weak correlation between median income and all levels of educational attainment. It could be speculated this is because it is a more rural county and much of the work there relates to agriculture, work that is often learned at home within families.  In southeastern Michigan as a whole, there are relatively strong positive and inverse correlations between incomes and education attainment. There is a positive correlation between those who have achieved a graduate or professional degree and incomes–people with higher education tend to have higher incomes.  There is an inverse relationship between those who have not achieved a high school diploma and incomes–those with less education tend to have lower incomes.

Median Income, Educational Attainment Highlight Segregated Classes in Southeastern Michigan

Using Census data, this post examines the visual correspondence between income and educational attainment across the region. It clearly portrays the continuing association between these two critical variables with one region of high income and high educational achievement arching across the region from Washtenaw County, through Western Wayne County and up through Oakland County and western Macomb County. South of this is a region of lower income and educational attainment with a few islands of higher income and achievement. In all, this represents a strong and largely consolidated portrait of segregated classes in this region.

In Southeastern Michigan the City of Highland Park had the lowest median income at $17,250, with 33 percent of the adult population only having a high school diploma. In terms of educational attainment in Highland Park, those who had some college education or an associate’s degree represented the highest percentage of residents, as opposed to the other categories (less than high school, high school education, bachelor’s degree, graduate or professional degree). On the opposite end of the spectrum, the City of Bloomfield Hills had the highest median income at about $173,000, with the largest percent of its adult population having a graduate or professional degree (38%). Such trends are not unique to Highland Park or Bloomfield Hills.

Above the maps show what the median income of each community is with an overlay that shows what the percentage of educational attainment is at five different levels. These levels are: graduate degree, bachelor’s degree, associate’s degree or some college, high school diploma or an equivalency and less than a high school diploma. The overall purpose of each map is to present an image on how educational attainment and at each level may, or may not, relate to the median income.

When looking at the maps above we see that the communities that have more than 18 percent of its adult population with graduate or professional degrees tend have median incomes above $77,000. In total, there were only 10 communities, out of 46, where more than 18 percent of its adult population had graduate or professional degrees but the median income was below $77,000. Of those 10 communities, the City of Ypsilanti had the lowest median income at about $31,000 and 18 percent of its adult population had a graduate or professional degree. The community with the highest percentage of adult residents with a graduate or professional degree  is Ann Arbor, where both the University of Michigan and the University of Michigan Hospital are located. The median income for Ann Arbor in 2015 was $103,000. There was no community in Southeastern Michigan where more than 30 percent of the adults had a graduate or professional degree and had a median income below $95,000.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, there are 154 communities in Southeastern Michigan where 10 percent or more of the adult population had less than a high school education in 2015. The City of Hamtramck had the highest percentage of adults without a high school education at about 31 percent; the City’s median income was about $23,000. There are nine communities in the region where 20 percent or more of the population had less than a high school education. Of those nine communities, with the exception of Lincoln Park, none had a median income above $33,000. The median income in Lincoln Park was $41,000 in 2015. The City of Detroit is included in that list of nine communities, with a median income of about $26,000 and about 22 percent of its adult population having less than a high school education. Additionally, in Detroit, about 32 percent of the adult population had a high school education, and about 32 percent had some college education or an associate’s degree.

The percentage of Detroit residents with a bachelor’s degree was far lower than any of the statistics mentioned above. In Detroit, about 8 percent of residents had a bachelor’s degree in 2015. In terms of the percentage of residents throughout Southeastern Michigan with a bachelor’s degree, the average percentage was 18 percent and the median income was about $66,000.

Regionally, the community with the highest percentage of residents with a bachelor’s degree was the Village of Grosse Point at about 62 percent; the city had a median income of about $139,000. The City of River Rouge had the lowest percentage of adults with a bachelor’s degree at about 4 percent; it had a median income of approximately $26,000. In total, there were 46 communities in Southeastern Michigan where less than 10 percent of the population had a bachelor’s degree. Exeter Township, located in Livingston County, had the highest median income of the 46 communities that had less than 10 percent of its adult residents with a bachelor’s degree. The median income in Exeter Township was about $68,000.

Overall, this post shows that there is a correlation between median incomes and educational attainment, a deeper conversation that we will dive into next week. The maps and the data show that it is the communities with the higher percentage of residents with a bachelor’s degree and/or a graduate degree that have amongst the highest median incomes.

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.

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.

Vacancy Rates in Detroit Remain Stagnant

In the City of Detroit in September 2016 the total percentage of vacancies was 21.9 percent, according to the U.S. Postal Service. This vacancy percentage was nearly unchanged from the 22 percent total vacancy rate the U.S. Postal Service reported in June of 2016. Similarly, when looking at the percentage of residential vacancies and business vacancies in the City these too nearly went unchanged between June and September. The U.S. Postal Service reports that the September 2016 residential vacancy rate was 22.4, down 0.1 percent. The September 2016 business vacancy rate was 25.9, up .02 percent from June.

Overall, in the month of September there were 87,762 reported total vacancies, 80,002 of which were residential, 7,670 of which were businesses and 104 of which were considered “other.” Between June and September, the total 0.1 percent vacancy decrease was equivalent to a decrease of 579 vacant addresses; there was a decrease of 641 vacant residential addresses and an increase of 62 vacant business addresses.

The first two maps below show, by Census Tract, the total number of vacancies and the total percentage of vacancies. The Census Tract with the highest number of total vacancies is on the east side, just north of Belle Isle. This Census Tract had 906 vacancies, which was 50.6 percent of the total number of structures in that Census Tract.

As the first map shows, majority of the Census Tracts with vacancies above 400 were located either on the cities east side, or just west of the downtown area of Detroit. When looking at the total percentage of vacancies in Detroit by Census Tract we see there is a slight shift in which Census Tracts have among the highest amount of vacancies in terms of percentage versus total numbers. This is directly related to the total number of structures in each Census Tract. For example, just east of Hamtramck there is a Census Tract with 229 vacant addresses, a number that does not put in amongst the Census Tracts with the highest vacancy numbers. However, these 229 vacant addresses in that Census Tract mean there is a 42.9 percent vacancy rate. Just south of that Census Tract is another where there are 307 vacancies which make up 18 percent of the structures there.

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When comparing the total number of vacancies between September 2015 and 2016 we see that there are several Census Tracts that experienced an increase in the total number of vacancies. It was a Census Tract just north of Highland Park that experienced the greatest increase at 7.8 percent. Vacancy increases over the last year occurred the most on the City’s east side, however they were not isolated there.

Overall, while there were Census Tracts with vacancy rate increases there was a total decrease of 5,446 vacant addresses between September 2015 and September 2016.

In addition to these changes, in September of 2016 there was a decline in the number of “no stat” addresses; that number decreased by 2084 in the last year. 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, as are addresses for properties that are still under construction. Urban addresses are labeled as no-stat when the carrier decides it is unlikely to be occupied again any time soon — meaning that both areas where property is changing to other uses and areas of severe decline may have no-stat addresses.

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