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
Annual Ratings of Government Performance

MPPS Policy Brief: Despite two-year trend of improvement, most Michigan local officials continue to say the state is on the wrong track

This report presents the opinions of Michigan’s local government leaders regarding the direction in which the state is headed, as well as their evaluations of the job performance of Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Legislature. The findings are based on statewide surveys of local government leaders in the spring 2023 wave of the MPPS and tracking comparisons to previous spring waves.
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Community Recycling Services

Michigan local government leaders report widespread support for community recycling programs

This report presents the opinions of Michigan's local government leaders on a range of issues regarding recycling services in their communities. The findings are based on the fall 2021 Michigan Public Policy Survey of the state's local government leaders, conducted between October 4 – December 6, 2021.
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Workforce recruitment, retention, and other issues

Michigan local government leaders report increased problems with workforce recruitment, retention, and other issues

This report presents Michigan’s local government leaders' views on a range of issues regarding their jurisdictions’ workforce, including recruitment, retention, and retirement turnover. These findings are based on statewide surveys of local government leaders from the Spring 2022 wave of the Michigan Public Policy Survey (MPPS), with comparisons to the Spring 2017 MPPS wave. The Spring 2022 MPPS was conducted between April 4 – June 6, 2022.
Read the brief

Surveys conducted


The MPPS has conducted 25 surveys of Michigan’s local governments

Response rate


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

Questions asked


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

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