MIMACS is a reliable source for timely and relevant public opinion data in changing Michigan communities.

We believe that public policies and community investments should be guided by the voices of people who live there. Using state-of-the-art scientific methods we provide the most representative insights available on issues that matter to the future of Michigan's communities. 


The Michigan Metro Area Communities Study (MIMACS) is designed to provide a reliable source for timely and relevant public opinion data in select Michigan communities – currently including Detroit, Flint, and Ypsilanti – by using state-of-the-art scientific methods to obtain the most representative insights available. MIMACS engages with community partners to solicit input on questionnaires and to help interpret results and disseminate them to the community. 

Amplifying Community Voices

Residents of participating communities are randomly selected to participate in the survey to ensure results are representative of the community’s population. Selected residents can complete surveys online (via a secure Qualtrics survey platform) or by phone (by calling the MIMACS office) in English or Spanish, and they are designed to take roughly 20-40 minutes to complete. Respondents will be compensated for completing the survey and will be given the option of receiving the compensation in the form of a check or gift card. More information for survey participants is available here.

After the survey closes, a detailed topline report and topical reports will be posted on the MIMACS website so that results will be accessible to the public. All results will be weighted to calibrate the demographic and socioeconomic composition of our samples to their respective populations, using benchmark data from the American Community Survey on the sex, age, race/ethnicity, education, and income compositions of each city.

Topic Areas

Topics included on MIMACS surveys may include:

Building Off Success

MIMACS builds off the successful deployment of the Detroit Metro Area Communities Study (DMACS), a representative panel survey of adult residents of the city of Detroit that has conducted 19 surveys since launching in 2016 (for more information, see detroitsurvey.umich.edu). 

Under MIMACS, similar panel surveys were launched in Flint and Ypsilanti in February, 2022, and in Grand Rapids in January 2024. 

MIMACS is seeking funding to conduct follow up surveys in participating communities in the future.

Community-Led Approach

MIMACS is supported in part by the National Institutes of Health as part of the Community Engagement Alliance (CEAL) Against COVID-19. The Michigan CEAL site, Michigan Communities Conquering COVID-19, engages in community-based participatory research (CBPR) to study the community-level awareness and understanding of the multi-level factors (e.g., individual, social determinants) associated with access and uptake of the COVID-19 vaccines and learn how to effectively utilize trusted community-based sites for vaccine delivery as a method to increase uptake of COVID-19 vaccines.

The CBPR Steering Committee consists of community partners in Genesee, Washtenaw, and Wayne Counties. Genesee County members of the Steering Committee include Elder Dr. Sarah Bailey (CEO, Bridges into the Future), Ella Greene-Moton (Administrator, Community Based Organization Partners), and E. Yvonne Lewis (Director of Outreach, Genesee Health Plan; Founder and CEO, National Center for African American Consciousness), and Dr. Susan Woolford (Co-Director, Healthy Flint Research Coordinating Center; Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Michigan Medicine).  

Findings by Community

Research Leads

Elisabeth Gerber, Ph.D.

Jack L. Walker, Jr. Professor of Public Policy

Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy

University of Michigan

Jeffrey Morenoff, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Sociology

Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy

Population Studies Center

Survey Research Center

University of Michigan

Mara Ostfeld, Ph.D.

Assistant Research Scientist

Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy

University of Michigan


Sharon Sand

Project Manager

Yucheng Fan

Data Manager

Lydia Wileden

Research Associate

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the MIMACS survey approach?

What makes MIMACS unique?

To ensure that community leaders have access to reliable public opinion data, MIMACS conducts and reports out on surveys of people in select Michigan communities carefully designed to capture the multitude of experiences and perspectives of residents. As a research tool for area decision-makers, MIMACS is unique in its scale (providing deep intel across the entire city); representativeness (leveraging state-of-the-art scientific methods); and continuity (engaging a consistent panel of respondents over time).

How can I access MIMACS findings and data?

We are eager to share our findings and data with city officials, non-profits, business and community leaders, neighborhood organizations, researchers and philanthropies to inform policies and programs, and guide investments that better reflect the interests of residents. If you are interested in accessing MIMACS data or would like to speak with a member of our team about our results, please contact us. We would also like to share and discuss our findings with your group, if you are interested. Please email us at: Please email us at MIMACS-info@umich.edu.

Who can take MIMACS surveys?

Survey participants are randomly selected from a list of all household addresses in select Michigan communities to ensure that the sample reflects the general population of each city. Selected households receive an invitation letter by mail.

Contact MIMACS

For more info about MIMACS, please email MIMACS-info@umich.edu.