Real Estate Investments Strong in Southeastern Michigan

In September of 2019 the unemployment rate for the State of Michigan was 3.5, a small decrease from the August unemployment rate of 4.2, according to the most recent data provided by the Michigan Department of  Technology, Management and Budget. The State unemployment rate for September of 2018 was the same as it was this year in September, 3.5.

In September of 2019 Detroit’s unemployment rate was 8.5 percent.  That Detroit unemployment rate was 0.8 points lower in September of 2019 from the previous month. Also, the September 2019 unemployment rate for Detroit was 0.1 point higher from the previous year. In August of 2018 it was 8.4 percent.

The chart above displays the unemployment rates for each of the seven counties in Southeastern Michigan for September of 2018 and 2019. In September of 2019 Wayne County had the highest unemployment rate at 4.9. Washtenaw County had the lowest unemployment rate at 3.

Monroe County was the only one to have a lower unemployment rate in September of 2019 compared to September of 2018. In 2018 Monroe County had an unemployment rate of 3.7 and in 2019 in decreased to 3.2.  For all the other counties in the region an unemployment rate increase between September of 2018 and 2019 was not above 0.2.

Real estate availability is another aspect of an area’s financial health. Below is information from the quarterly reports of Cushman and Wakefield, a global real estate firm, which produces information related to Metro-Detroit. According to the company, investments in Metro-Detroit have been strong in 2019. One instance cited for this is the investment Amazon is making in Pontiac at the old Silverdome site (1,500 jobs are expected to come with the purchasing and transition of the site). In the third quarter of 2019 Pontiac had a commercial vacancy rate of 13 percent, as shown in the second chart below. Southfield, the Grosse Pointes and Troy all had higher vacancy rates at 18.1 percent, 17.8 percent and 14.6 percent, respectively. Ann Arbor had the lowest vacancy rate at 7.8 percent, followed by Macomb County at 8.7 percent. As one might expect Ann Arbor, with one of the lowest vacancy rates in the third quarter of 2019 also  one of the highest costs per square feet in the region at $23.25. The Birmingham/Bloomfield area was one of the only other areas in the region with a higher cost per square foot for commercial property at $25.41, while in the Grosse Pointes the average commercial property was priced at $25.02 per square foot. Macomb County had the lowest cost at per square foot at $16.97.


Breast Cancer in Southeastern Michigan

The month of October is Breast Awareness Month and in 2019, according to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, it is estimated that there will be 268,600 new cases of invasive breast cancer, nationally. In addition, the foundation estimates that there will about 42,000 deaths from breast cancer in 2019. Breast cancer affects both men and women, but occurs at a much higher rate in women. According to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, there is an estimated 129.8 new cases of invasive breast per 100,000 women each year and in men that number is 1.2 cases per 100,000 men. Additionally, the American Cancer Society estimates there will be more diagnoses of breast cancer in 2019 (9,310) than lung, colon, prostate, melanoma or bladder cancer. However, the American Cancer Society also estimates that lung, colon and pancreatic cancer have a higher mortality rate than female breast cancer.

The data shown in the maps below has been provided by the Michigan Department of Community Health and Services and was last updated in 2017. Additionally, the data focuses on women.  According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, breast cancer is the most common newly diagnosed cancer among women in Michigan. In 2017 there were about 8,160 new cases of invasive breast cancer in women in Michigan.

In 2017 St. Clair County had the highest rate of women with invasive breast cancer at 27.3 per 100,000 females, according to the Michigan Department of Community Health and Services. Wayne County had the second highest rate at 22 per 100,000 females and Oakland County had the lowest rate at 17.8 at 100,000 females. At the state level the rate for women with breast cancer was 19.2 in 2017. The only county below this rate in Southeastern Michigan was Oakland County.

Although not all women with breast cancer die from the disease, there are hundreds of deaths from the disease a year. In 2017 Wayne County had the highest number of deaths at 247 followed by Oakland County at 153 and Macomb County at 126. Regionally, Livingston County had the lowest number of deaths associated with invasive breast cancer at 18. These numbers are, generally, consistent with populations across these counties. In 2017 there was a total of 1,308 deaths associated with breast cancer across Michigan.

While breast cancer rates at the county level in Southeastern Michigan are are lower than those at the national level (129.8 cases per 100,000 women), it still causes significant number of deaths per year. Since the early 2000s the number of breast cancer deaths has declined, in large part due to increased mammogram screening. This month multiple health care organizations, such as Henry Ford, Beaumont and McLaren, are offering free mammograms to raise awareness and increase the chances of early detection. The risk of breast cancer increases with age, so as individuals grow older-particularly women- annual and regular testing becomes more and more important.

Economic Indicators: Percentage of Salaried, Wage Workers who are Union Members Decreases

In August of 2019 the unemployment rate for the State of Michigan was 4.2, a small decrease from the July unemployment rate of 4.3, according to the most recent data provided by the Michigan Department of  Technology, Management and Budget. The State unemployment rate for August of 2018 was 0.3 points lower than what it was in August of 2019 (4.2).

The Detroit rate was 1.8 points lower in August of 2019 from the previous month. Also, the August 2019 unemployment rate for Detroit was 0.6 points lower from the previous year. In August of 2019 Detroit’s unemployment rate was 9.3 percent and in August of 2018 it was 9.9 percent.

The chart above displays the unemployment rates for each of the seven counties in Southeastern Michigan for August of 2018 and 2019. In August of 2019 Wayne County had the highest unemployment rate at 5.4. Washtenaw County had the lowest unemployment rate at 3.3.

Wayne and Monroe counties were the only two to have lower unemployment rates in August of 2019 compared to August of 2018; Monroe County experienced a 0.9 point decrease and Wayne County experienced a 0.4 point decrease. Among the remainder, none of the other five counties in the region experienced an unemployment increase of more than 0.2 between August of 2018 and August of 2019.

The above chart shows 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 $129,220 in July 2019; this was $300 higher than the average family dwelling price in June. The July 2019 price was an increase of $4,980 from July of 2018 and an increase of $12,140 from July of 2017, an increase of $20,050 from July of 2016 and increase of  $25,880 from July of 2015 and, finally, an increase of 
$31,090 from July of 2014.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the percent of the workforce in Michigan that is a member of a union has gradually decreased since 2000. In 2000, 20.3 percent of employed wage and salary workers were represented by a union and in 2018 that dropped to 14.5 percent. The highest percent of union membership of the work force in that time frame was 21.9 percent. 

In the 2019 State of Women-Owned Businesses report released by American Express, Detroit ranked as the top metropolitan area that increased a combination of its growth rates for the number of women-owned firms, employed women and their revenue. According to Crain’s Detroit, the number of women-owned businesses in the Metro-Detroit area grew from 157,090 in 2012 to 358,507 in 2019. Additionally, the number of women-owned businesses in the State of Michigan grew 29 percent between 2012 and 2019, with employment at those companies growing 4 percent and revenue growing by 20 percent.

Long-term Substitutes More Concentrated in Lower Income Areas

In Michigan there is a teacher shortage and often times long-term substitute teachers are seen as at least a temporary fix to the problem. The individuals who fill these positions are not required to have an education background and can end up leading a classroom for a full year, or more. According to data from the Michigan Department of Education, the number of long-term substitutes in Michigan schools has increased from 213 during the 2012-13 academic year to 2,538 for the 2018-19 year. For this post we explore the percentage of teachers that were long-term substitutes in the Southeastern Michigan school districts for the 2018-19 academic year; charter schools are not included.

At first glance, the map shows that majority of the districts in the seven county region had less than 2.5 percent of the teacher population at each district serving as long-term substitute teachers. In Washtenaw, St. Clair and Monroe counties not one of the public school districts had more than 2.5 percent of the teacher population made up of long-term substitutes. The county with the highest number of public school districts with higher percentages of long-term substitute teachers was Wayne County. In Wayne County, and regionally, South Redford School District had the highest percentage of long-term substitutes at 13.3 percent. Other districts in Wayne County with higher percentages of long-term substitute teachers were the River Rouge School District, Ecorse Public Schools and the Dearborn Heights School District. In Oakland County, the Berkley School District had 13.2 percent of its teacher population made up of long-term substitutes. According to a recent article by Bridge Magazine, school districts in areas with lower household incomes are more likely to have a higher percentage of long-term substitutes. This is also especially true for charter schools, which were not examined in this post but will be at a later time. Bridge Magazine’s analysis states that charter school students are four times more likely to have a long-term substitute as a teacher than a student in a traditional public school. Additionally, according to the article, low academic performing school districts are more than three times as likely to have long-term substitutes instead of certified teachers.

While this post highlights how in some areas of the Southeastern Michigan, and in the state, there is a shortage of certified teachers, additional information reveals that there are overall personnel shortages in school districts. From teachers to speech pathologists to adult education teachers, the State of Michigan has posted critical shortage openings for retirees to re-apply to so the positions can be filled. The list can be found here. That information, coupled with the long-term substitute data, further shows that education in Michigan is in need of assistance. With a critical need for teachers, at least in part due to stagnant and/or declining salaries, and overall lack of funding for education changes need to happen to ensure the students of Michigan are receiving the education they need and deserve.

Timeline Shows Area Counties Follow Different Patterns for Felony Sentencing

Throughout this series on data for felony offenders sentenced in Southeastern Michigan we’ve focused on the percentage of offenders sentenced to prison, jail, a combination of jail and probation, or probation. This post allows us to further examine what trends there may be in sentencing in each of the seven counties. This data was provided by the Michigan Department of Corrections and focuses on years 2011 and 2017; the data prior to 2011 was reported differently and therefor not included.

The first chart below shows how Macomb County has consistently had the lowest percentage of felony offenders sentenced to prison since 2011, and that percentage has been decreasing in recent years. Similar to Macomb County, most of the other counties in the region have recently experienced a decrease in the percentage of felony offenders sentenced to prison. Washtenaw County experienced the largest decrease in felony offenders sentenced to prison between 2011 and 2017; that percentage decreased from 23.7 percent to 18 percent.  In that same time frame Oakland and St. Clair counties both experienced increases in the percentage of felony offenders sentenced to prison. For Oakland County the percentage increased from 19 percent to 20.1 percent and for St. Clair County the percentage increased from 15.4 percent to 18.7 percent.

The chart below shows the percentage of felony offenders sentenced to jail in Southeastern Michigan between 2011 and 2017. Consistently in this time frame, St. Clair County sentenced the highest percentage of offenders to jail and Wayne County sentenced the lowest percentage of offenders. In St. Clair County there has been a slow increase in the percentage of offenders sentenced to jail, from 32.7 percent in 2011 to 39.7 percent in 2017. There has also been an increase in the percentage of offenders sentenced to jail in Livingston County between 2011 and 2017; there was an increase from 20.8 percent to 24.3 percent. None of the counties have seen an overall decrease in the percentage off felony offenders sentenced to jail since 2011, with the exception of Monroe County. In 2011 14.4 percent of felony offenders were sentenced to jail in Monroe County and in 2017 that number decreased to 13.7 percent.

The chart below shows that Monroe County has consistently had the highest percentage of felony offenders sentenced to a jail/probation combination since 2011. The chart also shows that Washtenaw and Oakland counties have been increasing the percentage of felony offenders they’ve sentenced to a jail/probation combination. In 2011, 23.6 percent of felony offenders in Washtenaw County were sentenced to the jail/probation combination and by 2017 that number increased to 31.3 percent. For Oakland County, 39.5 percent of the felony offender population was sentenced to a jail/probation combination and by 2017 that number increased to 47.8 percent.

Wayne County consistently sentenced the lowest percentage of offenders to the jail/probation combination between 2011 and 2017.

The probation chart below shows several patterns, the first being that Wayne County has consistently sentenced the highest percentage of felony offenders to probation since 2011. Not only has Wayne County consistently sentenced the highest percentage of offenders to probation, but this sentencing form also has the largest difference between the county with the highest sentencing percentage (Wayne) and the lowest (Monroe County).

Oakland County experienced the largest decrease in the percentage of offenders sentenced to probation between 2011 and 2017. In 2011, 16.3 percent of felony offenders were sentenced probation and by 2017 that number decreased to 4.5 percent. Livingston County also experienced a decrease, from 16.3 percent to 6.4 percent. Macomb, St. Clair and Washtenaw counties also experienced minor decreases in the percentage of felony offenders sentenced to probation.

Overall, this post highlights •A decrease in the percentage of felony offenders sentenced to probation; •A general decrease in the percentage of felony offenders sentenced to prison; •General increases in the percentage of felony offenders sentenced to jail and a jail/probation combination.

Additionally, these charts highlight the trends counties tend to adhere to in sentencing. This is helpful in understanding what counties’ criminal justice priorities are and where the may money to fund the criminal justice system in each county is flowing.

Finally, this post highlights that counties follow strikingly different strategies relative to corrections, demonstrating how the criminal justice system in this state is fragmented.

The Difference in Sentencing for Convicted Felons

As this series over the last few weeks has highlighted, there are several different approaches to sentencing a felon, some of which are more common than others. For example, sentencing a felon to community service or restitution is highly uncommon, whether the individual has been convicted of a non-assaultive, assaultive or drug related felony. Prison time, jail time, a combination of jail and probation and then just probation are other sentencing options. For certain offenses, such as murder, prison time is required, and for other offenses, along with what the inmate’s criminal record is, other sentencing options may be viable.  

When an individual is sentenced to prison it means that they have been sentenced to spend at least a year in a correctional facility, whether it be controlled by the state or the federal government. Michigan has indeterminate sentencing, which means that an offender is sentenced with a minimum and maximum term of years to spend in prison. According to the Michigan Senate Fiscal Agency, in 2015 it cost between $32,000 and $38,000 a year to house an inmate, which includes probation/parole supervision and nonoperational overhead. Currently, Michigan’s prison population is at a 20-year low but expenses to house inmates and operate a jail continue to rise, in part due to rising health care costs and the aging prison population.

Those sentenced to jail time, or who spend time in jail, are either awaiting trial or sentencing or have been sentenced to serve a small amount of time. Jails in Michigan are under the jurisdiction of the county, not the state or the federal government. This means that the cost to house an inmate comes from the County budget. In Michigan there is also pay-to-stay policies in some county jails. According to a 2018 news story, jail inmates are charged between $20 and $60 a day at some county jails throughout Michigan. County jails too are facing rising costs with aging infrastructure being a large contributing factor. New jails are also being built in Michigan, some of which are reducing the number of beds though as a new approach to the criminal justice system begins to take hold.

According to the Michigan Department of Corrections, probation has been the primary form of supervision for felons in Michigan more than 100 years. The department states one of the reasons this is such a common form of sentencing is because it achieves public protection by assisting the offender in becoming a productive member of society. In order for such success to be achieved, the offender must be willing to participate and programs must be available. The typical felony probation is at least 18 months in length. According to the United States Courts, the annual cost of detaining a prisoner is much more significant than the cost of placing them on supervision. In Wayne County, officials stated that incarceration rates at the county jail facilities have decreased in recent years due to more offenders being placed on tether monitoring systems, which is part of a probation sentence. This approach costs less per offender than housing them in jail, according to Wayne County officials, but specific costs were not identified.

Recently, there has been a push to reevaluate the criminal justice system. In Michigan, for example a Joint Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration was created to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the state’s criminal justice system. According to data from the Pew Charitable Trusts, the jail population in Michigan has almost tripled in the last 30 years, despite crime rates being at a 20-year low. According to the Prison Policy Initiative there was about 225 prisoners incarcerated per 100,000 in 1985 and that increased to about 600 prisoners per 100,000 people in 2015. Discussions to decrease incarceration rates include increasing pre-trial services and better determining what treatment and programs may suit an individual better than jail time. If this approach does occur, future trends would reflect an increase in the probation and the “other” category and a decrease in incarceration rates. 

Next week we will take a deeper look as to how the percentage of felony offenders sentenced to either prison, jail, probation or other community service and treatment based alternatives has changed over the last decade. 

Probation Rate High for Non-assaultive Felony Offenders in Wayne County

This series presents correctional data for felony offenders in Southeastern Michigan. We will present data for the seven counties for three types of offenses–non-assaultive, assaultive and drug. This post concentrates on non-assaultive felony offenses. For non-assaultive felony offenders in Southeastern Michigan,  jail and probation paired together represented  the highest percentage of those sentenced, compared to those sentenced to prison, just jail or just probation. Of the seven counties in the region Monroe County had the highest percentage of offenders sentenced to jail and probation at 58.1 percent. Wayne County, conversely, had the lowest percentage of offenders sentenced at 16.1 percent. Wayne County was the only county in the region to have less than 35 percent of non-assaultive felony offenders sentenced to jail/probation.

Wayne County had nearly double the percentage of non-assaultive felony offenders sentenced to probation than any other county in the region. In 2017, 59 percent of non-assaultive felony offenders in Wayne County were sentenced to probation. The county with the second highest percentage of non-assaultive felony offenders sentenced to probation was Washtenaw County at 27.4 percent. Monroe County had the lowest percentage of offenders sentenced to probation at 1.9 percent.

Regionally, Monroe County had the highest percentage of offenders sentenced to prison in 2017 at 24.7 percent, and St. Clair County had the lowest percentage at 12.9. St. Clair County had the highest percentage of non-assaultive felony offenders sentenced to jail at 40 percent in 2017. Wayne County had the lowest percentage of offenders sentenced to just jail at 10.7 percent.

As with the first post, and future posts reflective of the 2017 Michigan Department of Corrections, the “other” category had the lowest percentage of non-assaultive felony offenders sentenced to this option. Macomb County had the highest percentage of offenders sentenced to community service, restitution fines and costs in 2017 at 1.8 percent. Monroe and St. Clair County had zero percent of offenders sentenced to community service, restitution fines and costs.

It should be noted again that Wayne County regularly has highest percentage of offenders sentenced to only probation and the lowest percentage sentenced to any length of a jail stay. As this data set on non-assaultive felony offenders shows, Wayne County had about double the amount of offenders sentenced to probation than any other county in the region.

Wayne County Has Highest Percentage of Felony Offenders Sentenced to Probation

Last month the first meeting of Michigan’s Joint Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration was held, commencing state-wide efforts to better understand who is in the county jails, the average length of time they are there for and what better alternatives there may be. While county-wide jail data is difficult to come by, the Michigan Department of Corrections releases an annual report that details, among other information, the percentage in which felony offenders are sentenced to prison, jail, jail and probation, probation and other (community service, restitution fines and costs) for all offenses, drug offenses and assaultive offenses. This post highlights those breakdowns by county for the year 2017 in the seven county region.

When examining the overall breakdown between the five categories above, Monroe County had highest percentage of felony offenders sentenced to prison over any other sentence type. In 2017, 23 percent of the felony offenders in Monroe County were sentenced to prison. Oakland County was the only other county in the region where more than 20 percent of felony offenders were sentenced to prison; this number was 20.3 percent. Macomb County had the lowest percentage of felony offenders sentenced to prison at about 13.1 percent. The largest difference between prison and jail is the length of stay for an offender; traditionally if an offender is sentenced to serve time for longer than a year they are sentenced to prison.

In the jail category for all criminal felony offenders, St. Clair County had the highest percentage of offenders sentenced to only jail at 39.7 percent. Oakland County had the second highest percentage of felony offenders sentenced to only jail time at about 27.2 percent. Wayne County had the lowest percentage at 10.2 percent. Wayne County also had the lowest percentage of felony offenders sentenced to jail and probation at 15.8 percent. For the jail/probation sentencing category, Monroe County had the highest percentage of felony offenders sentenced to that category at 61.6 percent. Overall, the jail/probation category had the highest percentage of sentencing for all felony criminal offenses in the region, with the exception of Wayne County.

According to the data, in Wayne County in 2017 55.1 percent of criminal felony offenders were sentenced to probation. A recent article by the Detroit News highlights how Wayne County has reduced its incarceration numbers in recent years due to a move to put more offenders on tether monitoring systems, rather than housing them in the jail which costs more per offender per day. The county with the second highest probation sentencing rate was Washtenaw County 27. 1 percent. Monroe County had the lowest probation rate at 1.7 percent.

For the “other” category, which is an individual being sentenced to community service, restitution fines and costs, Macomb County had the highest percentage of offenders sentenced at 1.2 percent. Monroe County had zero percent of offenders sentenced to this option.

A key takeaway is that Wayne County regularly has the highest percentage of offenders sentenced to only probation and the lowest percentage sentenced to any length of a jail stay. As mentioned earlier, the reason for this is likely because probation is traditionally less expensive for a government entity than sentencing someone to jail. It could also be due to the fact that government entities are trying to explore other jail alternatives to reduce the number of offenders entering jails and prisons and to reduce the amount of money it costs a local government entity to house a prisoner.

Next week we will further dig into the felony offender data to see what percentages of offenders with drug, assault and non-assault charges are being sentenced to prison, jail and/or probation.

Crops Growth Behind Due to Weather

Knee high by the Fourth of July.

That’s how the old saying goes for farmers to measure the success of their corn crop during the summer months. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture 98-100 percent of corn and soybean crops are planted by the end of June. However, this year, because of wet soil conditions, only 90 percent of corn crops had been planted by June 23, 2019 and about 71 percent of soybean crops had been planted. While nearly all of the corn is planted by now, it does not mean it will be ready for harvesting when typically expected. Right now, a lot looks about ankle3 high, instead of knee high.  As for the soybeans, planting is far below the five-year average, and conditions are declining because of the waterlogged soil.

Given that crop production may be down this year, we took a look at the number of acres planted, aggregate yields last year and bushels yielded per acre in 2018 in Southeastern Michigan. This can  provide a better perspective as to how agriculture affects the lives and economy of Michigan residents.

Regionally, Monroe County had the highest number of acres harvested for corn at 50,500 acres, with Washtenaw County coming in second at 35,000 acres. Monroe, St. Clair, Livingston and areas of Macomb and Washtenaw counties are more rural, with more space for farming. Oakland and Wayne counties tend to be more urban and have the lowest number of acres harvested, along with the fewest number of bushels yielded and produced. Following the trend in which county harvested the most amount of corn regionally, Monroe County also produced the most at 8.5 million bushels of corn and it yielded 168.3 bushels per acre. A bushel is an old measure based on a bushel basket. Wayne County produced the lowest number of bushels of corn at 70,000; it yielded 116.7 bushels per acre.  In terms of the most amount of corn yielded in 2018, St. Clair County had the highest yield at 176.5 bushels yielded per acre of corn planted.


When looking at the amount of soybeans harvested in 2018 regionally, Monroe County again had the highest number of acres harvested at 83,500, and St. Clair County had the second highest at 70,200. Wayne County had the lowest number of soybean acres harvested at 3,000 acres. In terms of production, Monroe County produced the highest amount at 3,765,000 bushels; a bushel of soybeans weighs 60 pounds.  St. Clair County produced 3,150,000 bushels of soybeans and Wayne County had the lowest production rate at 118,000 bushels. When looking at the amount of soybeans yielded per acre each county was within close range of the others. Livingston County had the highest yield rate at 47.7 bushels per acre and Washtenaw County had the lowest yield rate at 43.1 bushels per acre. 


While the majority of crops are now planted there are still many farmers worried about the yield for crops that will be harvested and produced. There are also plenty of farmers relying on crop insurance to ensure some kind of income for the year. According to recent MLive article, the extent of crop insurance claims this year is 13 times higher than last year. As we wait to see what the end result of this year’s corn and soybean crop season is, we also wait to see if the weather patterns of this summer will become a pattern in years to come.

Birth Rates Continue to Decline in Michigan

In 2017 Kent County had the highest birth rate per 10,000 people in the state of Michigan at 136.5. This means there were 8,684 live births in Kent County in 2017 with a population of 636,376. Wayne County had the second highest birth rate in the state at 131.9 live births per 10,000 people; this equates to 23,257 live births for a population of about 1.7 million. Of the 83 counties in Michigan 38 of them had live birth rates above 100 per 10,000 people in 2017. Additionally, in terms of the total number of live births Wayne County had the highest total with Oakland County having the second highest total at 13,184.

As the second map below shows, most of the state had between 13 and 4,660 live births in 2017. There were 12 counties where the total number of live births was below 100, with Keweenaw County having the lowest number of live births in 2017 at 13.  Keweenaw County is in the Upper Peninsula, and like Keweenaw County several of the other counties in the UP had less than 100 live births in 2017. On the opposite end of the range, there were only five counties in the state that had more than 4,660 live births, those counties being Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Genesee and Kent counties.

onitoring the number of births and birth rates in an area is important because it directly impacts policy and budgeting as it relates to education and health care. In the U.S., and in Michigan, the number of births are dropping. For example, in 2017 in Michigan there was a total of 111,507, which was about 2 percent lower than what it was the previous year. As Michigan’s population ages but birth rates decline some are concerned that long-term this will affect the state’s economy and the talent pool.