Detroit Regional Chamber > Chamber > A First Deep Dive Into the Detroit Resident Voices Survey Report

A First Deep Dive Into the Detroit Resident Voices Survey Report

August 11, 2023


  • Strong well-being, economic health, and social capital are important predictors of those who want to stay in the Metro Detroit area.
  • About 50% of all Detroit-area residents have “thriving” well-being, aligning with national trends.
  • However, over half of the city’s residents have “struggling” economic health.
  • Business resources need to be advertised much more prominently, as 81% of aspiring business owners in Detroit say they need more resources to start.

Partners and stakeholders from around the Detroit Region joined the Detroit Regional Chamber and the Gallup Center on Black Voices on Aug. 10 to dive deeper into the inaugural Detroit Resident Voices Survey Report and begin the conversation on collective next steps. Camille Lloyd, the Director of Gallup’s Center on Black Voices, led the presentation and discussed the factors contributing to well-being, determinants of residents wanting to stay or move, business ownership, and more.

Shaping Detroiters’ Well-being

Lloyd started the presentation by discussing the top well-being indicators, which is how Gallup crafted the survey questions. Some of these indicators include economic health and opportunity, community and neighborhood environment, and satisfaction with law enforcement.

The report showed that of the 12,000 surveys completed, nearly half of Detroit-area residents describe their well-being as “thriving,” which aligns with national trends. However, there is a stark generational difference, as Detroiters ages 65 and older were much more likely to be “thriving” than their younger counterparts.

The report also highlighted the struggles faced by those who fall into the “struggling” category, who may excel in one category – like physical health – but have troubles elsewhere, like financial hardship. These individuals, especially those having health issues and a lack of affordable housing, find it very difficult to believe in the power of hard work to get ahead.

Existing Business Resources Must Be Advertised More

Residents living the Central Business District, Lower East Central, and Corktown neighborhoods showed the greatest potential for economic mobility. The report also highlighted the active entrepreneurial spirit within Detroit’s Black community.

Lloyd explained that Black residents were found to be twice as likely to plan to start a business in the next 12 months. However, 81% of city residents planning to start a business reported needing more resources.

More Ties to Detroit Means More Likely to Stay

Lloyd also discussed the commonalities among those looking to stay in the Metro Detroit area. Along with overall “thriving” well-being, social capital emerged as a critical deciding factor, with those in the St. Jean, Boynton, and Davison neighborhoods reporting to have the highest number of friends.

Those more likely to contemplate moving away include Black residents, young people ages 18-34, those without a graduate degree, and non-homeowners. Additionally, 63% of the poorest economic health also expressed a desire to move away from the Metro Detroit area permanently. Reasons for all these groups included crime concerns and wanting “better places” to raise children. There are also perceptions of finding enhanced educational and job opportunities outside the city.

Continuing the Conversation in Person and Online

Moving forward, the Chamber and the Gallup Center on Black Voices plan to meet with stakeholders and partners again soon to continue the conversation. Additionally, there are plans to build a customizable dashboard of these findings, making the information readily available to all, including policymakers and community leaders, to utilize and take further action.

Watch the Presentation

View the Q&A