Mapping Detroit: Job density vs population density

This is part of a series from the unofficial cartographer of Detroit, Alex B. Hill, a self-described “data nerd and anthropologist” who combines mapping, data, and analytics with storytelling and human experience. He is the founder of DETROITography and author of “Detroit in 50 Maps."
In Detroit, the spatial mismatch of people to jobs and opportunities is stark. It gets all the more glaring when the Census Bureau (LEHD) reveals that just 30% of available jobs in Detroit are held by Detroit residents.

The Opportunity Index by the Kirwan Institute showed this same mismatch nearly a decade ago and included an update for the Kresge Foundation. Opportunity had improved in greater downtown and worsened in Detroit’s neighborhoods between 2000 and 2010. The more recent Opportunity Atlas from Opportunity Insights, Harvard University, and Brown University builds off Raj Chetty’s research into “Which neighborhoods in America offer children the best chance to rise out of poverty?"

Here, it's clear that healthcare, education, and government sectors anchor Detroit employment, which is why Detroit’s three main hospital zones heavily highlight jobs. This is evident in greater downtown with the Detroit Medical Center in Midtown (along with Wayne State University), in Northwest Detroit where Sinai-Grace is located, and along the Eastside border with St. John’s Hospital and a number of skilled nursing facilities.
Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.

Read more articles by Alex B. Hill.