New Data Shows Education Levels, Income, & More by City

New Data Shows Education Levels, Income, & More by City

(Kurt Metzger, Dec. 23, 2018)

Oakland County, MI- Newly released data from the U.S. Census Bureau clearly demonstrate the wide social and economic diversity that exists across communities in Oakland County.

Utilizing data collected by the American Community Survey over the 2013-2017 period, I have chosen to look at 4 characteristics:

Percent Foreign born

Percent Born in Michigan

Percent College educated (Bachelors or higher)

Median Household Income

Percent of Population in Poverty

Foreign Born

While 12.4 percent of Oakland County’s population is foreign born, community level shares range from a high of 28.4 percent in Troy to five communities (Royal Oak Twp., Clarkston, Ortonville, Holly, and Leonard) with one percent or less.

Novi, Auburn Hills, and West Bloomfield also had more than 20 percent of their population born outside of the United States.

Born in Michigan

Due to a lack of migration into our state, Michigan is one of the top 3 states (West Virginia and Pennsylvania are the others) in terms of the share of its population born in-state.

Oakland County communities range from a low of 55.9 percent in Bloomfield Hills to a high of 86.8 percent in Addison Twp.  Troy and Novi also had rates below 60 percent, while Ortonville and Brandon Twp. came in above 86 percent.

Educational Attainment

The correlation of educational attainment to income in Michigan has never been stronger, due to the loss of high paying jobs in manufacturing that required little education, accompanied by the growth in the technology sector.  While Oakland County trails only Washtenaw County in percent of college graduates, there is a huge gap difference across communities.

Huntington Woods leads all with a college graduation rate of 79.8 percent, followed by Birmingham (76.7%), Franklin (73.1%), Pleasant Ridge (71.6%), and Bloomfield Twp. (71.3%).

On the opposite end of the scale are Royal Oak Twp. (11.3%), Pontiac (11.5%), Hazel Park (12.6%), and Holly (18.6%).

Median Household Income

Oakland County’s Median (midpoint that separates all households in half) Household Income in 2017 was $73,369, placing it second to Livingston County.

Twenty-three communities fell below this median, with the lowest being Royal Oak Twp. ($26,406), Pontiac ($31,401) and Hazel Park ($35,148), the same three communities that had the lowest levels of educational attainment.

The gap between the lowest and highest income communities in Oakland County – $160,157 – is by far the greatest of any county in Southeast Michigan, as Bloomfield Hills tops the list at $186,563.  It is followed by Lake Angelus ($166,250) and Orchard Lake ($157,750).


Oakland County’s 2017 poverty rate of 9.0 percent places it third lowest in Michigan, behind Livingston and Leelanau counties.

As we have seen with the other socioeconomic factors however, the gap between the county’s communities is vast.  Ten communities, led by Novi Twp. and Huntington Woods, had poverty rates below 3.0 percent.

On the other end of the spectrum are Pontiac (34.1%), Royal Oak Twp. (29.3%) and Hazel Park (25.8%).

Learn more about the US Census at

Scroll down to see your community’s data.

Recommended stories:

Oakland County’s Silver Tsunami is Real: A Look at the Data (April 18, 2018)

Data Shows Population Shifts to and from Oakland County (Dec. 27, 2017)

Voter Turnout by City/Twp in Oakland County 2018 Election (Nov. 7, 2018)

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