Kurt Metzger, Detroit's Most Famous Demographer, Is Leaving The Numbers Game

August 13, 2013, 4:47 PM

Detroit numbers cruncher Kurt Metzger plans to retire by year's end as director of Data Driven Detroit, Sherri Welch reports in Crain's Detroit Business.

Metzger is running for mayor of Pleasant Ridge, but it was uncertain Tuesday afternoon if there was any connection between his retirement and his candidacy.

The Michigan Nonprofit Association, where D3 is housed, has named Erica Raleigh, who has served as assistant director of projects at D3 since 2009, as acting director, effective immediately.

Metzger will become emeritus director of D3, capping 38 years of data analysis in Detroit.

Metzger moved to Metro Detroit in 1975 to join the U.S. Census Bureau, and over the next 38 years, in demographics-related jobs at Wayne State, the United Way and D3, plus in many speaking engagements, he became well known among metro Detroit journalists, politicians, corporate leaders, non-profit specialists and others for his cheerful expertise on a subject that was often bad news: local population numbers.

During Metzger's years working in Detroit, the city's population dropped by nearly 500,000. 

In a column in Sunday's Free Press, for example, Metzger drew upon Census statistics to note the city of Detroit ranks last among big cities in the number of foreign-born residents.

The Kresge and Skillman foundations in 2008 tapped Metzger to develop and lead the foundation-funded regional data indicators system known today as Data Driven Detroit.

Read more:  Crain's Detroit Business

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