Profile: Social Statistics

The Detroit region saw high growth in residential construction during the early 2000s. Between 2000 and 2004, 131,369 permits were issued for new residential builds in the region. Growth of residential construction permits in the Detroit region roughly matched the national trend during the same period.

Chart of Housing Permits 2019

After peaking in 2004, the number of housing permits issued in the Detroit region began sharp decline. In 2009 — just one year after the arrival of the financial crisis — under 2,000 permits were issued. The number of new housing permits have not yet returned to pre-2007 levels.

However, the housing construction has grown over the past decade. In 2010, the number of issued housing permits grew by 100.3%, a rate that far exceeds the national trend of +3.7%. Housing permits continued to be issued in growing numbers through 2019 with the exception of a 21.4% decline in 2018 that was partially recouped in 2019.

Chart of Growth in Recipients of Social Security and Disability 2019

The distribution of Social Security and Disability benefits in the Detroit region saw modest declines (1.0% to 2.1%) in the years leading up to the Great Recession. In 2009, distribution of these benefits increased sharply by 3.7%, exceeding the US trend. From 2009 until 2018, growth in Social Security and Disability benefits has declined faster than the U.S. average. As of 2012 the region has had a lower growth rate than the U.S. as a whole.

Chart of Growth in SSI Recipients 2019

Growth in the number of Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients in the Detroit region followed a similar trajectory to benefit distributions by surging in 2009 (+4.9%) before falling, but there are some noteworthy differences.

Growth of SSI recipients hovered just below 5% until 2011. The Detroit region SSI growth also did not fall below the national trend. This indicates that the number of SSI recipients continues to increase at a relatively fast rate in the Detroit region.

Chart of Murder Rate 2019

The Detroit-Warren-Dearborn metropolitan area (six counties) has a very high murder rate when compared to the US average. In 2009, the metro area experienced 10 murders per 100,000 population, almost the 2009 national rate (5.1 murders/100,000 people). By 2019, the murder rate in Detroit-Warren-Dearborn fell to 8.4 murders per 100,000 population.

Chart of Larceny and Theft Rate 2019

Meanwhile, incidents of larceny and theft are lower in Detroit-Warren-Dearborn MSA compared to the nation overall. In 2009, the larceny and theft rate in Detroit-Warren-Dearborn area was 1,730 incidents per 100,000 people — a figure significantly lower than the national rate of 2,120 incidents per 100,000 people.

Both the US and Detroit-Warren-Dearborn larceny and theft rates fell over the 10-year period that followed. In 2019, the US and Detroit-Warren-Dearborn rates were 1,550 and 1,110 incidents per 100,000 people, respectively.