We want to take a quick moment to re-introduce an effort that Michigan Future coordinated last year. Along with 23 leaders in economic and community development—from around the state and across the political spectrum—we called state leaders to action around the need to measure what really matters to Michigan families—rising incomes. We released the Rising Income for All website, where you can find data, stories, and maps to understand the true extent of struggle that is faced by so many Michigan families.
We’ve recently updated that website with fresh data from the recent report (the data is from 2019–meaning it represents our pre-pandemic economy). The overall picture hasn’t changed much. 38 percent of Michigan families still struggle to pay for basic necessities. And in all but four counties, the rate of families that struggle is more than 30 percent. In some counties, more than half of families can’t meet their needs with their income. It’s not a rural problem or an urban problem, or a problem “over there.” It’s a problem in all of our backyards, across our state.
So we encourage you to check out the site, look for the map of your region, investigate some of the root causes of this issue, review the call to action statement, and even read some stories about real people who work—often, they work a lot—and still struggle.
In addition, the Michigan Association of United Ways has create a great new web tool for people who want to really dig into the data. For any county in Michigan, you can explore how cost of living, demographics, families with children, workforce features, and access to digital technology—along with a range of other data points—impact or are affected by the percent of families who are struggling. This can help you get a fuller sense of the story in your own community.
We hope these tools help you think about how you can understand and advocate for changes in our communities and state that will help all Michigan families thrive.