Monroe County, Mich., is the most southeast corner of Michigan and bordered by the Toledo, Detroit and Ann Arbor communities in addition to Lake Erie to the east.

Here are some of the economic statistics that I have collected on the region.

The statistics that I refer to most often on Monroe on a Budget are median household income (half the families make more, half the families make less); and the percentage of students who are on free or reduced-price lunches.

Median income

The Monroe County, Mich., median household income as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau:

  • 1990: $35,462 in 1989 dollars or $63,403 in 2012 dollars, according to Census Explorer.
  • 2000: $51,742 in 1999 dollars or $71,303 in 2012 dollars, according to Census Explorer.
  • 2006: $54,444.
  • 2007: $53,750. Yes, there was a decline.
  • 2008: $57,539.
  • 2009: $52,824. Another steep decline.
  • 2010: $59,974. I didn’t expect this jump; especially when given the increase in food stamp recipients.
  • 2012: $54,588. See the county by county charts at Census Explorer.

The Michigan median household income as calculated by the U.S. Census bureau:

  • 2007: $49,800.
  • 2008: $48,600. Yes, there was a decline.
  • 2009: $47,797.
  • 2010: $45,413. Yes, a noticeable decline. And according to some news reports, this is nearly 20 percent less than it was in 2000.

Population

Population of Monroe County, Mich., based on U.S. Census and SEMCOG numbers:

Unemployment trends

This information comes from the Michigan Labor Market Information database:

1990s

  • 1990: 7.6 percent.
  • 1991: 10.2 percent.
  • 1992: 9.7 percent.
  • 1993: 8.1 percent.
  • 1994: 5.9 percent.
  • 1995: 5.1 percent.
  • 1996: 3.8 percent.
  • 1997: 3.6 percent.
  • 1998: 2.9 percent.
  • 1999: 2.8 percent.

2000s

  • 2000: 3.2 percent.
  • 2001: 4.4 percent.
  • 2002: 5.2 percent.
  • 2003: 6.1 percent.
  • 2004: 6.2 percent.
  • 2005: 6.1 percent.
  • 2006: 6.4 percent.
  • 2007: 6.6 percent.
  • 2008: 8.6 percent.
  • 2009: 14.2 percent.

2010s

  • 2010: 12.4 percent.
  • 2011: 9.7 percent.
  • 2012: 8.0 percent.

Education levels

The Monroe County Local College Access Network started meeting in 2012 to discuss ways that Monroe County, Mich., college graduate and certificate training percentages can increase. At a meeting in September, the committee distributed a preliminary of some statistics that it had collected. Most of the numbers are for the 2010-11 academic year.

The key statistic the committee is watching involves adults age 25 to 64 with a two- or four-year degree. Those numbers are:

  • United States: 38.3 percent.
  • Michigan: 36.3 percent.
  • Monroe County: 28.8 percent.

More data on education levels

This information is from the Census Explorer chart:

Monroe County, Mich, residents age 25 and older with a high school education:

  • 1990: 74.1 percent.
  • 2000: 83.1 percent.
  • 2012: 89.1 percent.

Monroe County, Mich., residents age 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree:

  • 1990: 10.5 percent.
  • 2000: 14.3 percent.
  • 2012: 17.6 percent.

Do you now understand why so many students in southeast Michigan are first generation in their family to go to college?

Highlights from Kids Count

The Anne E. Casey Foundation releases the Kids Count state by state statistical report every year. The Michigan statistics from the 2012 report include these figures:

Michigan students eligible for free or reduced price lunches:

  • 2006: 36.2 percent.
  • 2007: 37.5 percent.
  • 2008: 41.3 percent.
  • 2009: 45.8 percent.
  • 2010: 46.5 percent.

Do remember that families qualify for reduced-price lunches long before they would be considered “in poverty.”

Michigan children in poverty:

  • 2005: 18.3 percent.
  • 2006: 18.3 percent.
  • 2007: 19.3 percent.
  • 2008: 19.3 percent.
  • 2009: 22.2 percent.

Child support owed but less than 70 percent received in Michigan:

  • 2006: 58. 2 percent.
  • 2007: 57.8 percent.
  • 2008: 61.9 percent.
  • 2009: 61.2 percent.
  • 2010: 62.6 percent.

Remember that child support isn’t just applicable to never-married parents, but also to divorced parents.

Commuting statistics

There is public transit within the city of Monroe and fringe areas of Monroe Township and Frenchtown Township via a city bus system. The city itself is also very friendly to walkers and bikers with a network of sidewalks and trails.

But there is no public transit to take people from Monroe to the metro areas of Detroit or Ann Arbor. Connections to Toledo do exist, but are limited.

Now consider these U.S. Census statistics: 54.4 percent of Monroe County’s adult workforce worked outside the county in 2012. That’s up slightly from 2007, when about 50 percent of workers worked outside the county. Nationally, only 27.4 percent of workers commute outside the county where they live.

The mean travel time to work for Monroe County residents is 24.6 minutes.

The numbers for the top commute locations, from the 2012 data, are:

  • 13,323: Wayne County, Mich.
  • 11,986: Lucas County, Ohio.
  • 4,592: Washtenaw County, Mich.
  • 1,082: Wood County, Ohio.
  • 1,043: Oakland County, Mich.

Only 12 percent of Monroe County commuters travel less than 10 miles to work

Therefore: swings in gas prices are a detail that local residents pay close attention to.

These numbers also are interesting because they provide clues as to what stores people might be shopping at while on their daily commute; and what highways the local media need to watch for road reports.

Foreclosure rates

There have been a lot of foreclosures in Monroe County, Mich., which explains this data from the U.S. Census Bureau:

  • Percentage of owner occupied homes in 2007: 80.1 percent. The median housing value was $176,600.
  • Percentage of owner occupied homes in 2008: 79.7 percent. The median housing value was $169,400.

Poverty rates

The number of families in Monroe County, Mich., who lived at the poverty level, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates:

  • 2006: 7.3 percent
  • 2007: 7.8 percent.
  • 2008: 10.1 percent.
  • 2009: 8 percent.
  • 2010: 10.1 percent.

This increase is resulting in a strain on the traditional safety net programs that are aimed at the poorest of the poor. Many of government programs are aimed at those who make 200 percent of poverty level or less.

Food stamps

The number of households in Monroe County, Mich., who are receiving food stamps, according to U.S. Census Bureau reports:

  • 2007: 10.4 percent.
  • 2008: 12.2 percent.
  • 2010: 13.9 percent.

Related: The number of Michigan families who are receiving food stamps, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis in November 2010 says there were 1,877,087 Michigan families or 18.8 percent of the population receiving food stamps during August 2010. To compare, the U.S. average was 13.8 percent that month.

Public assistance

The Michigan Department of Human Services is reporting in fall 2010 the following information:

In fiscal year 2009, more than 2.5 million people in Michigan – or about a quarter of the state’s population – received one of five welfare programs. That includes cash, food, medical, state disability or child development and care assistance. Thousands more used benefits or services related to energy assistance, adult and child abuse or neglect, foster care or adoption, home help services or other assistance.

School lunch program

Here are the numbers of students in Monroe Public Schools, Monroe, Mich., who are receiving free or reduced-price lunch stats:

  • 2006-07 school year: 27 percent.
  • 2007-08 school year: 38 percent.
  • 2008-09 school year: 45 percent.
  • 2009-10 school year: 49 percent.

Noticing a trend here? I didn’t get keep up my efforts to get exact numbers from MPS, and therefore skipped the 2010-11 statistic. But I do have 2011-12 reports.

When one compares the school lunch figures (available through the MCOP 2012 Community Needs Assessment report) to student enrollment for that same year, the percentages of students in area districts who got such help during the 2011-12 year settle out like this.

  • Airport: 42 percent.
  • Bedford: 24 percent.
  • Dundee: 29 percent.
  • Ida: 21 percent.
  • Jefferson: 36 percent.
  • Mason: 45 percent.
  • Monroe: 51 percent.
  • Summerfield: 25 percent.
  • Whiteford: 23 percent.

Uninsured adults

The 2011 County Health Rankings survey is reporting the following percentages of uninsured adults during 2007:

  • Monroe County: 11 percent.
  • Michigan: 14 percent.
  • “National benchmark: 13 percent.

Last updated Dec. 13, 2013.

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