Detroit: Some facts behind the love

View of downtown Detroit from Milliken State Park

When I sat down to listen to speakers at the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Mackinac Policy Conference a few weeks ago I found a brochure on my chair simply called “Detroit: a region where things get done.” Intrigued, I picked it up, began to thumb through it and found it was filled with statistics about our region and state.

Guess what. The Detroit region is the seventh best metropolitan area in the US for economic growth … and our state isn’t bad either. Cool.

So, how many of the following things did you know?

Detroit is home to one of the busiest border crossings in North America and a gateway to global commerce.

  • Each year the Detroit and Port Huron border crossings handle more than $200 billion in trade, accounting for more than one-third of all US/Canada trade.
  • Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport is the 16th busiest airport in the world with 270 international flights daily and more than 500 daily departures to more than 160 destinations worldwide.
  • More than 17 million tons of cargo from 29 private public sector terminal facilities go through the Port of Detroit each year.

The Detroit region has a robust health care industry.

  • The Detroit region is home to 13,000 health care-related businesses and more than 350,000 jobs.
  • The health care industry has a $36 billion economic impact on the Detroit region.
  • In 2011 the National Institute of Health awarded the Detroit region $588.6 million to fund research.
  • Wayne State University is investing $94 million in a state-of-the-art biomed research center.

Detroit and Michigan have a strong entrepreneurial spirit.

  • Detroit is home to the nation’s first US Patent & Trademark satellite office.
  • Michigan is among the top 10 states in patents granted.
  • Michigan ranks sixth for business R&D performance in the US and first in automotive R&D.

Detroit and Michigan help keep the world on wheels.

  • Sixty-eight of the top 100 original equipment automotive suppliers to North America are headquartered or have a major presence in the Detroit region.
  • The top six global automakers have a presence in the Detroit region.
  • Nearly 75 percent of automotive R&D funding spent in the US is spent in Michigan.
  • Nine out of 10 top automotive companies developing hybrid electric vehicles are located in Michigan.
  • Nearly $6 billion in investment has been generated by Michigan’s advanced battery industry since November 2008.

Michigan has a strong talent and research base.

  • The University Research Corridor (URC), a collaborative partnership of Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University, is the third highest spending “innovation cluster” in the US after Silicon University and the Research Triangle in North Carolina.
  • The URC has a $15.2 billion annual economic impact on the Detroit region.
  • The URC spent $1.9 billion on research and development in 2010.
  • Michigan’s higher education institutions consistently rank in the top of global reviews.
  • Michigan ranks #1 in graduating engineers per capita.
  • There are 25,000 foreign students studying at Michigan’s colleges and universities.
  • 37 percent of Michigan’s foreign-born population has a bachelor’s degree or higher, which is 10 percent higher than the national average.

We are a global community.

  • 1,250 foreign firms from 34 countries operate in the Detroit region.
  • Japan, Germany and Canada have the greatest number of US subsidiaries operating in the Detroit region.
  • Immigrants are more than three times more likely to start a business here.
  • More than 588,000 foreign-born individuals reside in Michigan, ranking us 15th in foreign-born population.
  • 50 percent of all international patents in Michigan are filed by the foreign-born population.
  • 140 different languages are spoken in Michigan.
  • More than 134,000 state residents work in foreign-based companies.

OK. I admit this brochure is aimed at attracting new business to our city and state but I thought the stats were great and wanted to share.

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