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Local report details Detroit’s population trends, jobs, housing stock

Photo by Michelle & Chris Gerard

A new report by Detroit Future City called 139 Square Miles, funded through the Knight Foundation, compiles a slew of Detroit data points to help understand where Detroit has been and where we might be headed. The report has data in four areas: population, economy, people, and place. This includes population trends in terms of age and race, where jobs are located and how much they pay, how people get to work, and how housing stock has changed.

Overall, the report shows that Detroit is finally moving toward growth for the first time in 60 years. Although the population itself hasn’t grown yet, it is stabilizing after decades of decline. In this graphic, we can see where housing and population is stabilizing in the city. The darker the blue, the greater the growth.

Detroit Future City

Although signs point toward growth, the number of families with children has declined significantly in Detroit; since 2000, the number has decreased by 43%.

The report also highlights how rent-burdened many residents are (as we’ve discussed before). While rents in Detroit are still less than other cities, the median income is also a lot lower. 58% of renters are cost-burdened, while 37% of renters spend more than 50% of their income on housing.

In terms of jobs, the report shows that Detroit has shown a large increase in jobs that pay more than $40,000 a year. Most are located in the downtown/Midtown corridor. The report shows a high number of residents who live in the city and commute out of the city for work (especially those with lower incomes). Unemployment is still high among African American and Hispanic residents, who make up a majority of the city’s population.

Detroit’s poverty rate sits at 40%.

The report also compiles data relating to safety, transportation (69% of commuters drive alone), schools, and health. The full report is meant to present, not analyze data, and it can be found here.