Economic Opportunity


New Detroit publishes annually the "Metropolitan Detroit Race Equity Report". This report identifies clear and measurable disparities among different racial and ethnic groups in this region in business ownership, educational achievement, in per capita income, in home ownership and in other measurements. Those disparities exist in every geographic area in southeast Michigan. They make it all too clear we are nowhere near achieving a post-racial society.


State, County, and Detroit Firms

Fig. 26

The 2007 Survey of Business Owners provides basic economic data on businesses owned by Hispanics/Latinos, Blacks or African Americans, American Indians/Alaskan Natives, Asians, Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders, and whites. The survey data is based firms rather than on establishments. A firm may operate one place of business or more, such as a chain of restaurants, or have no fixed business location, such as the firm represented by a self-employed carpenter or salesperson. A firm contrasts with an establishment, which is a single physical location at which business is conducted.

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Business Ownership: Arabs & Chaldeans

The U.S. Census Bureau must adhere to the 1997 Office of Management and Budget (OMB) standards on race and ethnicity which guide the Census Bureau in classifying written responses to the race question: white – A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa. Therefore, the U.S. Census considers Arabs and Chaldeans as white. Nearly two-thirds of Arabs and Chaldeans identify their race as “white,” while another third identify as “other.”

Arabs and Chaldeans own their own businesses in greater numbers than others in the tri-county area and are more likely to be self-employed.

  • Nineteen percent of Arabs and Chaldeans own their own businesses, while only 14 percent of the larger population owns a business.
  • Among currently employed Arabs and Chaldeans, 31 percent say they are self-employed, while another 9 percent are both self-employed and employed by others. These numbers are nearly twice as high as those found among the general population, 16 percent of whom are self-employed and 5 percent of whom are both self-employed and working for others.