WDET's Raw Feed

What would it take to get you to move to the city of Detroit? 2,200 People Respond

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"The Detroit city/suburb hyperbole is so overwrought it overwhelms our ability to have normal conversations and has risen to the level of a regional pathology. No amount of clarifying the root causes or re-explaining why we feel the way we do will feed the thousands of kids who are living in the grips of food insecurity, help our teachers to remain motivated and effective, add a job, put a cop on the beat or fix our broken real estate market." - Mikel Ellcessor, WDET's General Manager

As part of WDET’s Crossing the Lines series, WDET created and fielded a survey that was designed to test our hypothesis that the two sides, city/ suburb, Detroit partisan and skeptic, are speaking past each other. We put all assumptions aside and asked people: What would it take to get you to move to the city? We set a goal of 1,000 responses in seven days. We met that goal in 48 hours, over the course of a weekend. A total of 2,200 respondents were collected at the end of the week, making this the largest known data set of it's kind.

So what would influence someone to move to Detroit and who is the person most likely to consider a move to the city? We address both questions in our findings. While some of the results may surprise you, the biggest takeaway is that the main barriers are tangible, real world issues that can be address through concerted action.

A quick preview:
85% of those with children under 17 in their household said they would consider moving to Detroit if better schools were addressed

85% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that they would support a friend or family member's decision to move to the city

Better public transportation was the #1 factor that needs to be addressed according to those who identified themselves as most likely to move into the city.


This survey is a big listening project. We hope our findings open the door to some committed listening and real collaboration. That’s why we're giving away all of the data. We’ve made it available for download below so that anyone can use it as a starting point for the real, hard work that lies ahead.

Thank everyone who took the time to participate in and share this survey. We encourage you to add your voice and experience to future projects by joining our Public Insight Network.

Survey Results & Analysis (PDF)

Survey Data - Actual Text

Survey Data - Numerical

Special thanks to Sara Elliott, a PhD Candidate in Social Policy at Brandeis University, whose assistance with the creation and analysis of this survey was invaluable.