Welcome To Michigan's Oldest & Most Respected
Public Policy Research Organization

For 100 years, the objective of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan has been to provide factual, unbiased independent information on significant issues concerning state and local government organization and finance. CRC believes that the use of this information by policymakers will lead to sound, rational public policy in Michigan.

Citizens Research Council Centennial

Having been originally organized in 1916, 2016 marks 100 years of operation for the Citizens Research Council. We have events planned, a history of the organization is in the works, and associations and governments are sending congratulatory comments. Please help us celebrate this accomplishment throughout the year.

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NEW Job Posting - State Policy Expert

THIS POSITION HAS BEEN REPOSTED ALLOWING FOR LESS EXPERIENCED APPLICANTS: The Citizens Research Council of Michigan is seeking a research associate to join our team in performing nonpartisan, independent analysis of state and local public policy in Michigan. The person applying for this position should have an interest in state finances and the state budget process, an ability to analyze state taxes and programs, possess strong speaking skills, and be able to respond to inquiries from media members and others.

Job Posting

Latest Publications

Expanding Nursing Scope of Practice to Address Michigan’s Healthcare Costs and Physician Shortages

Memorandum 1142, September 2016 In Brief Patient health outcomes, patient experiences, and costs each are threatened by trends in Michigan’s healthcare services. Chronic health concerns coupled with expanded Medicaid and health insurance coverage and an aging population have created a higher demand for physicians, particularly primary care physicians. Healthcare costs are growing faster than the economy as a whole, making quality healthcare less affordable for individuals, businesses, and gove...

Public School Enrollment Trends in Detroit

Memo 1141, June 2016 In Brief Over the most recent 25-year period since 1990, Detroit’s population dropped 34 percent, but Detroit Public School’s (DPS’s) enrollment fell 73 percent.  Over the same period, state policymakers enacted new laws that made it easier for students to move to a neighboring school district (inter-district choice), but also created a new type of public school (charter schools) to compete for students. The Detroit education market continues to shrink on the whole an...

Catalog of Early Childhood Funding in Michigan

May 2016 | Report 393   Introduction For more than two decades, scientific research has increasingly revealed the critical importance of the first years of a child’s life on cognitive, emotional, and physical development.  This scientific evidence has also been a focus in discussions regarding appropriate public policy related to very young children, particularly those from vulnerable households.  As a result, there has been an expansion at both the federal and state levels in funding o...

2013 Revenue Comparison: Michigan and the U.S. Average

2013 Revenue Comparison: Michigan and the U.S. Average Memorandum 1140, May 2016 United States Census Bureau data show that Michigan has evolved from a high tax state to a below average state over the past three decades. This change can partly be attributed to economic decline as Michigan’s state and local governments are, for the most part, levying the same tax rates against smaller tax bases caused by the state’s “lost decade” of economic decline. It can also be attributed to policy ch...

Blog: CRC Column



Over CRC’s 100 year history, it has made an outsized impact for such a small organization.  This is the eighth in a series of blog posts highlighting CRC’s top projects and reports since its inception in 1916. The development of a network of limited access highways in the Detroit area during the 1950s and 1960s facilitated a spread of population throughout the region.  Regional concepts, similar to those propounded by the Citizens Research Council beginning four decades earlier, began to...


CRC and No-Fault Auto Insurance

Over CRC’s 100 year history, it has made an outsized impact for such a small organization.  This is the seventh in a series of blog posts highlighting CRC’s top projects and reports since its inception in 1916. In 2013, Citizens Research Council of Michigan waded into the often contentious topic of Michigan’s no-fault automobile insurance, a subject it had yet to explore in its 97 years.  Many groups have weighed in on the no-fault law, but Medical Costs of No-Fault Automobile Insurance...


CRC and the Tax Revolt

Over CRC’s 100 year history, it has made an outsized impact for such a small organization.  This is the sixth in a series of blog posts highlighting CRC’s top projects and reports since its inception in 1916. The most striking aspect of 20 years of attempts to place tax and spending limitations in the Michigan Constitution is that, of 15 proposals that made it to the ballot, only two were approved by the voters.  CRC, with its policy of providing analysis of all statewide ballot issues, s...


CRC and Local Government

Over CRC’s 100 year history, it has made an outsized impact for such a small organization.  This is the fifth in a series of blog posts highlighting CRC’s top projects and reports since its inception in 1916. From its inception in 1916, Citizens Research Council of Michigan (known as the Detroit Bureau of Governmental Research until 1951), has dedicated much, if not most at times, of its research to local government issues.  In the first decade of the new millennium, in concert with weakne...

  • Your knowledge and ability to distill the key issues in an easily understood manner is indeed impressive. As a long-time member of the Michigan School Business Officials, and current president, I look forward to your presentations and updates. They are thoughtful, balanced, and accurate. To say that you are a credible source on state finances is an understatement.

    Timothy Raymer
    Assistant Superintendent, Grandville Public Schools

  • The Citizens Research Council of Michigan -- the folks that bring you all those great non-partisan reports and data on Michigan government, laws, etc. are finally up and running on the web and it was worth the wait. This is a great site. Low-key graphics, great indexing, plenty of content including all their reports, research and memos...This is an invaluable tool...

    Debbie Gallagher, Government Information Specialist
    Michigan Electronic Library, University of Michigan

  • The Citizens Research Council of Michigan has been providing unbiased analysis of public issues since 1916. It is one of this state's indispensable institutions... The CRC's supporters recognize the need for impartial and nonpartisan analysis of local and state policy and fiscal issues... The value of the CRC over the years has been that it is private and independent of political party or ideology.

    The Detroit News

  • Dear CRC,
    Thank you for all the fine work you do. I'm a long time reader of you analyses and am a better citizen because of it.

    George Matthews
    Retired School Teacher

  • I have had a long relationship using the publications of the Citizens Research Council...you do a lot of good work here and we appreciate the support that keeps this operation so vital and relevant to the debates in Lansing, to Michigan's economic future, and to Michigan's future, period.

    Honorable John Engler
    Former Michigan Governor

  • The Citizens Research Council strives, without regard to political party or agenda, to frame educational issues in a balanced and thought-provoking context. Its consistent record of objectivity and thoroughness has made the CRC a high quality and immensely credible resource for policymakers at the state and local leadership levels. You can always count on CRC's findings to be solid and trustworthy.

    Mike Flanagan
    Michigan Superintendent of Public Instruction

  • Fortunately, we have here in Michigan an admirable entity known as the Citizens Research Council. CRC often comes to the rescue in public policy disputes and has demonstrated an acute ability to separate fact from fiction.

    Glenn Gilbert
    Oakland Press

  • The non-aligned Citizens Research Council of Michigan is a group with no particular axes to grind that we can see. Their bare-bones, passionless and objective studies of Michigan's ballot proposals might prove very helpful to interested voters wanting to make the most informed possible choices.

    Muskegon Chronicle

  • Since 1916, the CRC has been an advocate of state and local "good government." The Research Council's studies of policy and administrative practice in Michigan win national prizes for excellence, and universal respect from the best of our state and local leaders.

    Michael Meagher
    Fowlerville News/Review

  • Nonpartisan, accurate, unbiased and credible research on key issues, from school vouchers to Internet sales tax to better ways to finance highway construction to ideas for eliminating the blight of abandoned, tax-reverted properties in Michigan's older cities.

    Mary Kramer
    Crain's Detroit Business

  • [Escanaba Schools Superintendent Tom] Smith respects the findings of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan. "It's a pretty good group, well-respected, nonpartisan," he said. "Its opinions have been valued by both Democrats and Republicans as they formulate state policy"and by teachers and administrators alike."

    Daily Press, Escanaba