Study finds over half of Detroiters would leave the city

Gallup Center for Black Voices examined the overall quality of life of residents in Detroit and its suburbs.

Downtown Detroit skyline

Over half of Detroit residents say they would move permanently, a new study finds.

The Gallup Center for Black Voices examined the overall quality of life of residents in Detroit and its suburbs. Participants were asked to score their well-being on a scale of 1 to 10. The results were shared at the Mackinac Policy Conference earlier this week.

Camille Lloyd, the center’s director, isn’t surprised by the reasons survey respondents shared.

“When we ask people about what’s their major reason for moving out of the city, we see that 62% says it’s a physical safety thing — so high crime,” Lloyd says. “But the next thing is 52% of them are saying they’re moving because they would want a better place to raise their children.”

In addressing higher crime, 59% of residents would like Detroit police to have a stronger presence in their neighborhood, with 83% of city residents saying the relationship between police and their community is staying the same or getting better.


Read: Detroit Mayor Duggan proposes tax reform, rate hikes for vacant lots


Additional data released showed just 30% of city residents are happy with the quality of schools compared to 53% in the suburbs, and 39% think there are enough quality jobs available.

“The other thing that also popped among Black employees living in the city is that they were 1.7 times more likely to say that they were looking for a new job because they wanted a more positive work environment that did not have harassment and discrimination,” Lloyd shares.

The purpose of the survey is to identify equity gaps for marginalized communities to help find solutions to close them.

“Bringing resident voices to the table is an important aspect of advancing racial equity,” Lloyd said in a statement. “Localizing these efforts is an approach that has not typically been employed in addressing inequities but allows us to amplify their voices and bring them into the decision-making process.”

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  • Russ McNamara
    Russ McNamara is the host of All Things Considered for 101.9 WDET, presenting local news to the station’s loyal listeners. He's been an avid listener of WDET since he moved to metro Detroit in 2002.