Blog Archive

December 2012

Thank you, Graphic Design Intern Rob Anderson!

Graphic Design Intern Rob Anderson received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Arts from Wayne State University in 2009. Leading up to his internship at Data Driven Detroit, Rob has performed freelance graphic design jobs in addition to his position as an inventory auditor. Rob joined the D3 team at the end of the 2012 summer and has assisted Communications Manager Kat Hartman in updating internal presentation and letter templates, the new Data Driven Detroit logo to reflect the new affiliation with MNA. He also worked on pamphlets describing D3’s new mission, vision and values, as well as examples of the organization’s work. The best part about interning at D3? “Learning about the work process and how friendly the staff is.” Rob says he has enjoyed his experience in the nonprofit sector and has learned a lot about collaborating with others on projects. Today is Rob’s last day with Data Driven Detroit. We are thankful for his dedication and wish him the best of luck!

Graphic Design Intern Rob Anderson

New Partnership for a New Year

by Dana Politi, Communications

Data Driven Detroit (D3) is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Michigan Nonprofit Association (MNA).

D3 Director Kurt Metzger and MNA Director Kyle Caldwell addressing the full staff for the first time

The new affiliation will provide the opportunity for D3 and MNA to effectively support the nonprofit, civic and business communities with research and services in Detroit and the state of Michigan.

Data Driven Detroit enlisted the help of an Advisory Council in early 2012 to explore the new venture with MNA and received approval in the fall. The affiliation with MNA became official on November 30, 2012.

In light of the holiday season, both organizations thought it would be exciting to make the partnership public. “We are very excited about the opportunity to affiliate with MNA. We share significant values, including a commitment to excellence, a strong emphasis on data collection, information sharing, and providing tools and resources to empower and inform communities and those serving them”, expressed Kurt Metzger through the official MNA and D3 press release.

To celebrate the new affiliation, MNA staff from the Lansing and Detroit offices met Data Driven Detroit’s staff at the Garden Bowl in Detroit for an evening full of holiday camaraderie. The event began with an ice breaker game and quickly moved to bowling. The teams were pre-selected so teams were equal parts D3 staff and MNA staff, allowing ample time for everyone to become acquainted with one another. D3 is happy to have had the opportunity to celebrate the holiday season and new venture with MNA and look forward to what the New Year will bring.


Thank you, Data Intern Jessica McInchak!

Today, we bid farewell to Data Intern Jessica McInchak. Jessica is a senior at Kalamazoo College studying Anthropology and Sociology. During the summer of 2012, she interned with Data Driven Detroit and returned during an extended winter break after her fall semester. While at D3, she worked with Communications Manager Kat Hartman to perform social network analysis using R, an open source statistical software, to create visual networks for D3’s work with UIX. Jessica has enjoyed her time at D3 and says she is excited to have gained experience researching forms of analysis through coding. After graduation, Jessica would like to work on community mapping and quantitative sociology as it applies to urban research. Thank you for all of your hard work, Jessica! Best of luck to you.




Michigan Turns the Corner as Population Increases for the First Time Since 2005

The Census Bureau released State population estimates for 2012 (July 1, 2012) and Michigan is shown as gaining population between 2011 and 2012 – up 6,559 persons or 0.1 percent. While this pales when compared to Texas’s gain of 427,400 residents (#1 in number gained) or North Dakota’s 2.17 percent increase (#1 in percentage gain), it does mark the first time that Michigan has experienced a year-to-year increase in population since 2004-2005.

The largest contributor to turning our fortunes around is the decreasing number of residents who chose to leave Michigan for other parts of the country – termed domestic migration. This number fell by almost 9,000 between the 2010-11 period and 2011-12, from 42,423 to 32,982. To put this in some perspective, we can look back at 2007-2008 when it is estimated that our net domestic migration loss was more than 109,000 residents. The other component of migration is international (or immigration) for which Michigan is given a slight increase over 2010-11 (17,000 vs. 16,225, respectively). [1]

The other component of population change is that of natural increase, or births minus deaths. Today’s estimates incorporate a birth total that is 3,000 lower than the previous year [2] with a death total that is about 250 lower. The result is a decrease in the contribution that natural increase is playing in the overall population picture – a decrease that has been occurring yearly since 1990.

The only cloud in an otherwise sunny outcome is the fact that the state of Georgia added 107,485 residents over the year, bypassing Michigan in total population and dropping our ranking to #9. This represents the first time that Michigan’s rank has changed since 1979, when Florida passed Michigan to make us #8. Since that time, Michigan has gained 600,000 residents while Florida has gained 10 million!

[1] Please refer to the recent post on immigration. Numbers provided by the Department of Homeland Security reported over 18,000 new immigrants took up residence in Michigan in 2011.

[2] A recent post reported on the latest birth numbers reported by the CDC. An overall drop in national numbers was attributed to the recession and Michigan was shown to have continued a decreasing trend in 2011 that began back in 1990.

The Economic Impact of the Recession on Birth Trends

by Kurt Metzger, Director

According to new preliminary numbers from the National Center for Health Statistics, the U.S. birth rate dipped in 2011 to the lowest ever recorded, led by a plunge in births to immigrant women since the onset of the Great Recession.

The overall U.S. birth rate, which is the annual number of births per 1,000 women in the prime childbearing ages of 15 to 44, declined 8% from 2007 to 2010. The birth rate for U.S.-born women decreased 6% during these years, but the birth rate for foreign-born women plunged 14%—more than it had declined over the entire 1990-2007 period. The birth rate for Mexican immigrant women fell even more, by 23%.

The overall birth rate in 2011 was 63.2 per 1,000 women of childbearing age. That rate is the lowest since at least 1920, the earliest year for which there are reliable numbers. The overall U.S. birth rate peaked most recently in the Baby Boom years, reaching 122.7 in 1957, nearly double today’s rate. The birth rate sagged through the mid-1970s but stabilized at 65-70 births per 1,000 women for most years after that before falling again after 2007, the beginning of the Great Recession.

In addition to the birth rate decline, the number of U.S. births, which had been rising since 2002, fell abruptly after 2007—a decrease also led by immigrant women. From 2007 to 2010, the overall number of births declined 7%, pulled down by a 13% drop in births to immigrants and a relatively modest 5% decline in births to U.S.-born women.

Preliminary numbers for Michigan indicate a stable birth rate of 59.9 over the last three years, in spite of another year of decrease in the number of births [1].  Unlike the national trend, Michigan births began to decrease after 2000 – the year after which Michigan’s Recession is thought to have begun [2].  The number of births decreased by 11.1 percent between 1990 and 2000, and by 16.2 percent between 2000 and 2011. Unlike national trends, Michigan’s birth rate, while dropping since 2000, has not experienced such a large and sudden decrease – dropping just 3 percent between 2007 and 2010.

While 2011 preliminary data are not available below the state level, the 2000 – 2010 trend for Michigan is reflected to a greater or lesser extent across the state.  Looking at Southeast Michigan, we see the following decreases in birth numbers between 2000 and 2010:

Livingston County: -17.3%
Macomb County: -11.8%
Monroe County: -11.0%
Oakland County: -19.4%
St. Clair County: -25.5%
Washtenaw County: -7.6%
Wayne County: -22.3%

Detroit city: -31.0%
Out-Wayne: -13.2%

Figure 1. Michigan Births, 1990 - 2011

While Michigan’s economic news has become much more positive, it will be interesting to see if birth numbers will begin to turn around.  Any significant increase will require both the birth rate to increase and the state to attract and retain women between 15 and 44 years of age.  Based on birth rates with this larger cohort, it is growth in the 20s and 30s that is most critical.

[1] Births have been decreasing in Michigan since 1990.

[2] 2000 marked a one-year increase in both births and birth rate.  2001 numbers mirrored those of 1999.

Immigration and its Role in the Future of Michigan and Our Region

by Kurt Metzger, Director

Immigration is a hot topic at the national, state and local levels.  While taking somewhat of a back seat in the recent Presidential campaign, there was still a great deal of discussion around undocumented workers, porous borders, pathways to citizenship and the Dream Act.  As Arizona has become the poster child for anti-immigrant sentiment, other states have been working to attract immigrants through a variety of efforts.  Michigan, while somewhat late to the party, has really moved the ball forward under Governor Snyder’s leadership.  Under his Global Michigan Initiative, he has charged the Michigan Department of Civil Rights and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to find new ways to encourage more highly educated immigrants and former Michiganders with advanced degrees to come to Michigan to work and live. Committees are working to address:

  • the attraction of needed talent by Michigan companies,
  • the retention of university graduates,
  • improved pathways for small business investment,
  • encouraging more welcoming communities for all,
  • licensing and credentialing highly skilled immigrants,
  • connecting immigrant business investors with local economic development and export strategies,
  • entrepreneurship,
  • maximization of the EB-5 investor visa program,
  • advocacy of the H1-B worker visa program,
  • effective information communication strategies.

With this in mind, I just wanted to take a few minutes of your time to document some of the new data coming out from two sources.  Together, these data are illustrating the state and local trends that we are seeing in the areas of immigration and foreign born students attending Michigan institutions of higher learning. In this article we look at immigration.  In the next we will report on foreign students at Michigan universities.  The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has just released their 2011 Yearbook of Immigration Statistics.  The number of persons obtaining legal permanent resident status in Michigan, 18,347, was down slightly from 2010 but consistent with the last five years (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Persons Obtaining Legal Permanent Resident Status in Michigan, 2001 - 2011

The trend was similar for the Detroit-Warren-Livonia MSA, the only Michigan metro covered by DHS.  Detroit has consistently been identified as the region of residence by about two-thirds of all new Michigan immigrants.

Figure 2. Persons Obtaining Legal Permanent Resident Status in the Detroit Metropolitan Area, 2001 - 2011

While India had topped all other countries in supplying immigrants to southeast Michigan through 2010, the large flow of refugees from Iraq over the last three years vaulted it into first place by 2011.  During fiscal year 2011, Iraqi immigrants outnumbered those from India by almost 2,000. Metropolitan Detroit was the destination for 14.7 percent of the nation’s Iraqi immigrants and only 1.7 percent of immigrants from India.  Metro Detroit’s highest shares went to Lebanon (19.7%), Yemen (17.0%), Montenegro (14.7%) and Albania (13.6%).

Figure 3. Top Countries of Origin for Immigrants to Metro Detroit, 2003 - 2011

According to the 2011 American Community Survey, Michigan ranked 28th among states in the percent of its population who is foreign born at 6.1 percent.  It is clear that Governor Snyder wants to see this ranking improve.  While our 2011 ranking for total number of new immigrants was 14th among the states, we will have to increase our numbers well beyond 18,000 per year if we want our ranking on foreign born share to move up the charts.  The attraction and retention of foreign students is an avenue that needs to be pursued vigorously.  The next article will set that stage.