Michigan Public Policy Survey

A unique in the nation survey of local government leaders
Frequently asked questions

Launched in the wake of the Great Recession in 2009, the Michigan Public Policy Survey (MPPS) is the nation's first ongoing survey of local leaders from all general purpose jurisdictions across an entire state. In Michigan, this comprises the leaders of 1,856 counties, cities, townships, and villages. The program fills an important information gap in the policymaking process. While we knew the policy priorities and views of the state's businesses and citizens from other surveys, before the MPPS we knew very little about the views of the local officials who are so important to the economies and community life throughout Michigan. 

Covering a wide variety of today's most important issues, the biannual surveys provide long-term tracking of core fiscal, budgetary, and operational policy over time—as well as covering new issues on each survey wave, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, infrastructure, trust in government, police-community relations, economic development strategies, local government union issues, workforce development, intergovernmental collaboration, energy and environment, and much more. 
 
The MPPS is conducted in partnership with the Michigan Association of Counties, Michigan Municipal League, and Michigan Townships Association. 
 

Michigan Capital Building

MPPS reports

MPPS reports are used by local and state policymakers and practitioners, nonprofit organizations, citizen groups, the media and the academic community. The MPPS reports have been viewed more than 30,000 times.
See all MPPS reports

The MPPS data have been used to inform lawmakers when the Michigan Townships Association testified on bills. The outcome is legislation that better serves the public interest, accomplishes its intended objective, and avoids unintended outcomes.

Larry Merrill, senior consultant, Public Policy Associates and former executive director of the Michigan Townships Association
Civic Discourse

Michigan local leaders report little change in the tone of civic discourse in their communities, but are concerned about local impacts of increasingly hostile national partisan politics

This report presents the opinions of Michigan’s local government leaders regarding the state of public discourse in their communities, including how constructive or divisive it is. In addition, it looks at whether local leaders believe national partisan politics helps or hurts among elected officials and residents. These findings are based on statewide surveys of local government leaders in the Spring 2021 wave of the Michigan Public Policy Survey (MPPS).
Read more about "Michigan local leaders report little change in the tone of civic discourse in their communities, but are concerned about local impacts of increasingly hostile national partisan politics"
Annual Fiscal Health Tracking

Michigan local government officials report improved fiscal health after a year of COVID-19, but not yet back to pre-pandemic levels

This report presents Michigan local government leaders’ assessments of their jurisdictions’ fiscal conditions and the actions they plan to take in the coming year given their financial situations. The findings are based on responses from 13 statewide survey waves of the Michigan Public Policy Survey (MPPS) conducted annually each spring from 2009 through 2021.
Read more about "Michigan local government officials report improved fiscal health after a year of COVID-19, but not yet back to pre-pandemic levels"
Functioning of Democracy

Michigan local officials’ assessments of American democracy at the state and federal levels decline sharply

This report presents local government leaders’ views regarding the functioning of democracy in their jurisdictions, the State of Michigan, and the United States as a whole, as well as their confidence in elections in their own jurisdiction, across Michigan, and in other states. These findings are based on statewide surveys of local government leaders in the Spring 2021 wave of the Michigan Public Policy Survey (MPPS), and includes comparisons to Spring 2020 wave responses.
Read more about "Michigan local officials’ assessments of American democracy at the state and federal levels decline sharply"

Surveys conducted

23

The MPPS has conducted 23 surveys of Michigan’s local governments

Response rate

70%+

Since 2012, more than 70% of Michigan’s 1,856 local governments have responded to each MPPS survey

Questions asked

2640

The MPPS has an extensive database of every question asked since the survey began in 2009

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