why the detroit region?

Regional Overview


The 11-county Detroit region is one of the most innovative and diverse in the United States. From automotive to aviation to defense, we’re changing the way the world moves.

Our unmatched research, design, and advanced manufacturing resources make this region the leader in next-generation mobility and technology development.

Our culture of innovation in the transportation sector, also extends to the broader information technology sector, with companies like Amazon, LinkedIn, Microsoft, and Google establishing tech centers here.

The Detroit region brings together all of the resources of one of the nation’s leading tech-hubs, with cutting-edge manufacturing and logistics capabilities, at a competitive cost structure that makes the Detroit region a destination of choice for leading global companies.

regional facts


  • 5.4 million people  
  • A workforce of 2.65 million – larger than the workforce of 28 other states
  • More than  1,400 foreign firms from 40 countries  
  • 10 Fortune 500 Headquarters
  • Real GDP of $228 billion, ranks the region 14th among the top 50 metros
  • An international airport (DTW) that can get you anywhere – 1,100 daily flights on 4 continents, with 140+ non-stop destinations
  • Located on the busiest border crossing in North America – $500 million in trade crosses daily between the Detroit Region and Canada
  • The Detroit region’s 35 colleges and universities graduate 60,000 students annually, with more than 45% earning STEM degrees
  • Home to 80,000 engineers – the greatest concentration in the United States
  • Densest automotive cluster on the planet – 17 auto manufacturers, 96 of the Top 100 suppliers to North America, $10 billion in annual auto R&D spend, 1,700+ automotive suppliers
  • Michigan’s flat 6% Corporate Income Tax is among the lowest in the nation



The Detroit region is home to one of the largest, most diverse, highly-skilled and cost-effective workforces in the United States. In addition, the region’s higher-education institutions produce an extremely robust pipeline of world-class graduates annually. Companies locating in the region can quickly tap into both the existing workforce and higher-education pipeline to meet their talent needs.


  • A civilian labor force of 2.65 million people – larger than the workforces of 28 states
  • The region’s 35 colleges and universities produce 60,000 graduates annually
  • The region has more than 1 million residents between the ages of 20-35
  • 90% of the population 25 and older hold a high school degree or higher, with 40 percent holding an Associate’s degree or higher
  • A very diverse population, with nearly 443,000 resident foreign-born
  • Greatest concentration of engineering talent in the United States, with more than 80,000 engineers employed in the region, and more than 6,000 engineering graduates produced annually
  • More than 316,000 high-skilled, tech-savvy STEM workers currently employed in the market
  • 70,000 people employed in the IT industry, including 25,000 software developers and programmers, with the region graduating more than 3,400 software development engineers annually
  • The region employs nearly 560,000 in skilled trades-related occupation, with 120,000 employed in automotive manufacturing and assembly 



The Detroit Region has a diverse selection of real estate that has unparalleled access to major domestic and international markets, transportation hubs, and infrastructure. The region includes a strong variety of industrial, office, and mixed-use properties to meet the needs of large and small companies.


  • Total Industrial Inventory: 653,299,892 square feet in 18,793 buildings
  • Industrial Vacancy Rate (Q4 2018): 3.0%
  • Average Industrial Lease Rate: $6.13 per square foot/year



  • Total Office Inventory: 217,502,671 square feet in 11,577 buildings
  • Office Vacancy Rate (Q4 2018): 8.9%
  • Average Office Lease Rate: $19.55 per square foot/year

By contacting the Detroit Regional Partnership directly with your real estate requirements, we can help you quickly survey the type and cost of real estate in our region or go the next step in conducting a comprehensive market assessment, arrange tours and provide a guided site location experience.

Please contact Will Butler  with additional site requests.



The Detroit Region possesses a robust transportation network that allows businesses to efficiently serve both the Midwest and Canadian markets.

The Detroit region is a 10-hour drive to half the population and GDP of both the United States and Canada. The Detroit region’s transportation, distribution and logistics network enables our region to export more than $45 billion annually.


  • The Detroit Metro Airport (DTW), a major Delta Airlines hub, has more than 131 gates, 1,100 daily flights, 160 non-stop routes to 4 continents and served 34.7 million passengers in 2018
  • DTW is ranked #2 for customer satisfaction among the 12 busiest airports in North America
  • The Detroit Region is served by 5 major airports with other notable airports being Flint Bishop International Airport, Willow Run, Oakland County International Airport, and St. Clair County International Airport


  • The Detroit/Windsor border is the richest in the world with more than $500 million in trade crossing each day
  • The region is connected to Canada by two bridges, two rail tunnels, two truck ferries, and the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel
  • Port Huron is home to the nation’s  #2 border crossing for rail traffic as measured by value and volume of goods
  • In 2022, the new $2.5 billion Gordie Howe bridge will be completed, creating a third international bridge crossing connecting Detroit and Canada


  • The Detroit Region is served by 4 of the 7 national Class I railroads in the United States, unique to only 1/3 of the United States
  • 3 of the 4 railroads have intermodal terminals in regional Detroit
  • There are more than 3,600 miles of track in Michigan


  • The trade region is supported by 11 interstates that reach from Quebec, Canada to Mexico and connect our region to both the east and west coasts
  • Major interstates serving the region include: I-75, I-94, I-96, I-69


  • Port of Detroit is ranked the 3rd largest steel-handling port in the United States
  • Annually, the Detroit Port oversees more than 17 million tons of cargo at 29 private and public terminals
  • The Region also has three additional ports: Monroe, Algonac, and Port Huron




Michigan ranks among the top 10 states for major new and expanded facilities due to its new, simpler, and more competitive corporate income tax. And, with more than $120 million in available incentives annually, not including local tax abatements and training programs, the Detroit Region can provide a highly-competitive business case for any investment project. Additionally, Michigan’s incentive programs are also among the most flexible in the country providing for both a cash grant program that is paid out in the first few years of a project, as well as credit-based incentives designed for larger-scale job creation and long-term investment projects.


  • Corporate Income Tax is 6% on federal taxable income apportioned to Michigan
  • No Personal Property Tax
  • Personal income tax rate is 4.25%, among the lowest in the nation
  • Michigan’s overall business tax climate ranks among the top 15 states in the U.S., according to the Tax Foundation


Primary Incentive Programs


The Michigan Business Development Program is the state’s primary incentive program, typically deployed as a cash grant for companies creating highly-competitive projects in Michigan resulting in qualified jobs and investment. The grant is flexible in that the milestones for distribution of payment are negotiated with the company, often tied to hiring metrics or other key project milestones. The grant can be utilized by the company to address any project cost gap or need and is designed to be paid out in the first two to five years of the project, allowing for companies to access the benefit more quickly. The maximum support for any project cannot exceed $10 million unless by special legislative approval.


Industrial property tax abatements provide incentives for eligible businesses to make a new investment in Michigan. These abatements encourage Michigan manufacturers to build new plants, expand existing plants, and renovate aging plants. High-technology operations are also eligible for the abatement. The incentive can allow for a 50% abatement of local real property taxes on new construction and improvement of real property.

Personal Property Tax Relief in Distressed Communities (PA 328)

Personal Property Tax Relief in Distressed Communities allows distressed communities, county seats, and certain border county communities to abate personal property taxes on new investments made by eligible businesses..


In 2017, Michigan passed a new incentive program known as the Good Jobs for Michigan Program, which allows the state to offer significant financial support for corporations generating large-scale job creation. The legislation allows state employee withholding tax capture revenues of up to 50 or 100% for up to five or 10 years, depending on the average annual wage and the number of certified new jobs created by the authorized business.

Projects that result in 3,000 new jobs that pay wages that are equal to or greater than the regional average wage or projects that result in 250 new that pay 125% of the regional wage are eligible for up to 100% capture for up to 10 years. In order to be eligible for up to a five-year 50% capture, the business must create 500 certified new jobs with wages that are equal to or greater than the regional average wage.


The State Essential Services Assessment is for manufacturers that do not pay personal property tax.  The Michigan Strategic Fund can exempt or reduce the assessment for projects that create jobs and private investment within qualified geographic areas.   


Businesses that choose to locate in a County that borders another state or Canada may qualify for special tax incentives.  In order to qualify for a PA 198 or PA 328, at least 90% of the facility must be used for warehousing, distribution, or logistics purposes and occupy a build or structure of at least 100,000 square feet.  


Renaissance Zones are a geographic location in the state that can be considered virtually tax free for any business within the designated border.  Taxes that the business potentially may not have to pay are Michigan’s 6-mill education tax, local personal property tax, local real property tax, local income tax, and utility users’ tax.  


Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (BRA) can be used to develop and implement Brownfield projects. A BRA is a resource that may use Tax Increment Financing (TIF) as a tool for property redevelopment.

  • Utilities


    The Detroit Region is served by two energy providers – DTE Energy and Consumers Energy – supplying both electricity and gas service with combined reliability of nearly 99.97%.


    The Detroit Region on average has a lower cost per kilowatt hour than the national average which makes the region a cost-effective decision when looking to locate in a company in our region.


    With more than one-tenth of the nation’s natural gas storage capacity, Michigan cycles more natural gas through underground storage than any other state in the nation. An added benefit to customers is their ability to purchase directly from licensed alternative gas suppliers. Major regional suppliers include DTE Energy and Consumers Energy.



    DTE Energy (NYSE: DTE) is a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. DTE Energy has more than 10,000 employees in utility and non-utility subsidiaries involved in a wide range of energy-related businesses.

    DTE Electric generates, transmits, and distributes electricity to 2.2 million customers in southeastern Michigan. With an 11,084-megawatt system capacity, the company uses coal, nuclear fuel, natural gas, hydroelectric pumped storage, and renewable sources to generate its electrical output.

    DTE Gas is engaged in the purchase, storage, transmission, distribution, and sale of natural gas to approximately 1.2 million customers in Michigan. The company owns and operates 278 storage wells representing approximately 34 percent of the underground working capacity in Michigan.

    DTE Energy


  • Energy has been working for Michigan families and businesses for more than a century. The company got its start in Jackson, Michigan in 1886 and remains headquartered there today. Consumers serve 6.7 million Michigan residents, operates 71,039 miles of electrical distribution lines, more than 27,000 miles of natural gas distribution pipelines and have 5,885 megawatts of generating capacity. Consumers workforce consist of 15,000 employees and contractors
  • Consumers Energy



  • City of Detroit

    Stimulated by more than $5 billion in investments throughout the past decade, an entrepreneurial spirit, engineering and manufacturing know-how, Detroit is an excellent location to own a business, work, live and play.  Sharing a border with Canada, Detroit is an international gateway to the world and home to the busiest northern border crossing. Five universities and colleges located within the city provide high-demand, highly-skilled talent to local companies.

    • Population: 673,104
    • Median Household Income: $27,838
    • Bachelor’s Degree or higher: 14.2%
    • Unemployment Rate (2018): 5.0%
    • Primary Industries: Corporate Operations and Manufacturing

  • Top Employers:
    • General Motors C.o.
    • Illitch Companies
    • Rock Ventures
    • Henry Ford Health System

    Lead Agency:  www.degc.org


Genesee County, home to the City of Flint, encompasses an area of 648 square miles. Along with Bishop International Airport, the County’s infrastructure includes the intersection of three major highways – I-75, US 23, and I-69 (NAFTA International Trade Corridor) – and 3 rail lines (NS, CSX, CN).

  • Population: 410,881
  • Workforce: 180,822
  • Median Household Income: $45,231
  • Bachelor’s Degree or higher: 20.4%
  • Unemployment Rate (2018): 4.6%
  • Primary Industries: Manufacturing, Automotive, Healthcare, and Pharmaceutical

Top Employers:

  • General Motors
  • Diplomat Pharmacy
  • McLaren Regional Medical Center
  • Hurley Medical Center

Lead Agency:  https://www.flintandgenesee.org


  • Lapeer

    The elements of success are in place for businesses considering a Lapeer County location. A diverse range of companies from around the world have chosen Lapeer County for its low-cost properties and cost of living, excellent infrastructure, award-winning schools and strategic location in close proximity to major markets.

  • Lapeer County is located just north of Detroit along I-69 within 500 miles of 1/3 of the U.S. population and less than one hour from Ontario, Canada’s largest province.


    • Population: 88,205
    • Workforce: 41,337
    • Median Household Income: $56,186
    • Bachelor’s Degree or higher: 18.4%
    • Unemployment Rate (2018): 5.2%
    • Primary Industries: Manufacturing, Healthcare, and Agriculture
    • Top Employers:
      • Lapeer Plating & Plastics, Inc.
      • Pinnacle Foods Group, LLC
      • Kamax
      • McLaren-Lapeer Region

        Lead Agency:  http://www.lapeerdevelopment.com


      Lenawee County is located near the Ohio-Michigan border, positioned to provide easy access to Detroit, Ann Arbor, and Toledo, Ohio. With these cities so close, Lenawee can offer benefits of small-town living with big-city amenities. In Lenawee, collaboration is key. Partnerships with the Detroit Regional Partnership, Greater Ann Arbor Region, and Toledo bring together a myriad of assets while our local talent grows through training at specialty schools and colleges.

      • Population: 98,585
      • Workforce: 47,462
      • Median Household Income: $51,339
      • Bachelor’s Degree or higher: 20.5%
      • Unemployment Rate (2018): 3.7%
      • Primary Industries: Manufacturing, Furniture, Automotive, and Healthcare

      Top Employers:

      • Inteva Products, LLC
      • Hi-Lex Controls
      • Kirchhoff Automotive
      • Wacker Chemicals – Adrian

      Lead Agency:  http://www.lenaweenow.org



      With the county seat in Howell, Livingston County, is located in Central proximity and convenient access to major metropolitan center of Detroit, Lansing, Ann Arbor, and Flint. Three major expressways pass though the County: I-96, US 23, and M-59. Livingston County has the highest median household income and the lowest poverty rate in the State of Michigan.

      • Population: 189,946
      • Workforce: 102,045
      • Median Household Income: $78,430
      • Bachelor’s Degree or higher: 34.7%
      • Unemployment Rate (2018): 3.3%
      • Primary Industries: Manufacturing, Medical Device, and Automotive

      Top Employers:

      • Trinity Health
      • Citizen’s Insurance Company
      • Livingston Education Service Agency
      • Chem-Trend, Inc.

      Lead Agency:  www.annarborusa.org



      Macomb County ranks as Michigan third most populated county and continues to be one of its fastest growing. At 482 square miles, the county is comprised of 27 unique communities including three of the state’s top 10 largest (Warren, Sterling Heights, and Clinton Township). Home to the U.S. Army Garrison – Detroit Arsenal and operations for the world’s leading automotive OEMs, a robust network of suppliers supports all stages of product life cycle. Efficient access to I-94 and I-696 connect Macomb County to the rest of the state, nation, and Canada.

      • Population: 864,019
      • Workforce: 443,549
      • Median Household Income: $58,175
      • Bachelor’s Degree or higher: 24.2%
      • Unemployment Rate (2018): 4.1%
      • Primary Industries: Defense, Advanced Manufacturing, and Automotive R&D

      Top Employers:

      • General Motors Co.
      • Ford Motor Company
      • FCA US LLC
      • Henry Ford Health System

      Lead Agency:  http://business.macombgov.org/business-home



      Monroe County, situated in the southeastern corner of Michigan, is home to the state’s only port on Lake Erie. It is situated directly between Detroit to the North and Toledo, Ohio to the south, with proximity to other cities like Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Windsor, Ontario. Monroe County is characterized by urban and industrial development along its eastern shoreline and agriculture in its western sector. It has two coal-fired power plants and one nuclear power plant.

      • Population: 149,619
      • Workforce: 76,077
      • Median Household Income: $59,479
      • Bachelor’s Degree or higher: 18.6%
      • Unemployment Rate (2018): 4.0%
      • Primary Industries: Manufacturing, Furniture, Power Generation, and Healthcare

      Top Employers:

      • Yanfeng
      • La-Z-Boy
      • Dundee Engine Plant FCA
      • ProMedica Monroe Regional Hospital

      Lead Agency:  https://monroecountybdc.org/



      Oakland County is the 2nd most populated county in the State of Michigan. The county provides several innovative programs to support local industry including its Medical Main Street and Tech248 initiatives. The county is home to five Fortune 500 companies: Penske Automotive Group (143), Lear Corporation (154), Autoliv (310), BorgWarner Inc., (339), and Kelly Services (467) and more than 1,000 international business location from 39 countries.


      • Population: 1.251 million
      • Workforce: 665,922
      • Median Household Income: $73,369
      • Bachelor’s Degree or higher: 45.7%
      • Unemployment Rate (2018): 2.9%
      • Primary Industries: Advanced Manufacturing, Automotive R&D, and Healthcare

      Top Employers:

      • FCA USA LLC
      • Beaumont Health Systems
      • General Motors Co.
      • Ascension Michigan

      Lead Agency:  www.oakgov.com



      Shiawassee County is located halfway between Toronto, Canada and Chicago along with I-69 International Trade Corridor (NAFTA Corridor) and just minutes from Lansing, home of Michigan State University, and Flint home to the University of Michigan-Flint and Kettering University. Shiawassee County offers a central location to North American markets along with a pro-business climate and a competitive cost of doing business.

      • Population: 68,617
      • Workforce: 33,330
      • Median Household Income: $50,967
      • Bachelor’s Degree or higher: 16.2%
      • Unemployment Rate (2018): 4.2%
      • Primary Industries: Manufacturing, Transportation & Distribution, and Agribusiness

      Top Employers:

      • Memorial Healthcare
      • Wheeler Trucking
      • Crest Marine
      • Machine Tool & Gear

      Lead Agency:  http://sedpweb.org


      St. Clair

      St. Clair County is a great place to invest, to do business and raise a family. It is home to nearly 160,000 residents whom enjoy the region’s beauty and quality of life. St. Clair County is also a logistical center of international commerce with a double-stacked rail tunnel, deep water port and the Blue Water Bridge, connecting the Midwest and United States to Ontario, Canada. The county’s economy is bolstered by its strong manufacturing cluster and energy generation. One-third of Metro Detroit is powered by energy generated in the county, and it’s also home to the largest underground natural gas storage in the Midwest.

      The area is robust in recreational opportunities, including a diverse fishery, multiple marinas and golf courses, scenic trails and a state-designated Island Loop water trail.


      • Population: 159,761
      • Workforce: 75,871
      • Median Household Income: $53,641
      • Bachelor’s Degree or higher: 18.0%
      • Unemployment Rate (2018): 4.9%
      • Primary Industries: Manufacturing, Automotive Supply Chain, and Advanced Plastics

      Top Employers:

      • DTE Energy
      • SMR Automotive Systems USA, Inc.
      • McLaren Port Huron
      • Grupo Antolin

      Lead Agency:  http://www.edascc.com


      Ann Arbor & Washtenaw County

      Washtenaw County is home to more than  350,000 citizens, with 720 square miles that includes 27 cities, villages, and townships.  The two largest cities are Ann Arbor, home to the University of Michigan, and Ypsilanti home to Eastern Michigan University. The county boasts a diverse economy, with strong industry clusters in connected and automated vehicles, life sciences, information technology, advanced manufacturing, and professional services.


      • Population: 361,509
      • Workforce: 195,123
      • Median Household Income: $65,618
      • Bachelor’s Degree or higher: 54.3%
      • Unemployment Rate (2018): 2.7%
      • Primary Industries: Life Sciences, Information Technology, and Advanced Manufacturing

      Top Employers:

      • University of Michigan
      • Faurecia North America
      • Eastern Michigan University
      • Trinity Health

      Lead Agency:  www.Annarborusa.org



      Wayne County is the most populated county in the State of Michigan and is anchored by the City of Detroit.  The county is home to the state’s largest airport, Detroit Metropolitan International Airport, which includes Delta’s second largest hub. With a strategic location in southeastern Michigan, Wayne County attracts advanced manufacturing, automotive research and development, and global logistics companies. Wayne County has two international border crossings which are ranked the busiest in North America.

      • Population: 1.763 million
      • Workforce: 796,683
      • Median Household Income: $43,702
      • Bachelor’s Degree or higher: 22.8%
      • Unemployment Rate (2018): 5.0%
      • Primary Industries: Healthcare, Manufacturing, and Automotive R&D

      Top Employers:

      • Detroit Medical Center
      • Henry Ford Health System
      • Ford Motor Company
      • City of Detroit

      Lead Agency:  https://www.waynecounty.com


      Life In The Region