Chaldeans in Metro Detroit
The Detroit Metropolitan area contains the largest single concentration outside of the Middle East of persons identifying themselves as “Chaldeans.” Chaldeans first came to Detroit in the first decade of the Twentieth Century, drawn by the growing automobile industry, Detroit’s proximity to Canada and an already existing Middle Eastern community.
Chaldean Household Survey
The Chaldean Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with other local Chaldean organizations, commissioned a survey as a way of both gaining a better understanding of the community and of obtaining a better estimate of the actual number of Chaldeans in the Detroit area. An advisory group was formed in 2006 and Dr. Marla Scafe from Walsh College and Kurt Metzger from the United Way for Southeastern Michigan were retained to assist in the development of the survey instrument, the survey methodology and the analysis of results.
In addition to household composition and educational attainment, the survey gathered information on age, employment, business ownership, church attendance, income, place of birth, year of entry, language spoken at home, housing type, ownership and value, fuel usage, income and more. Among the most interesting findings of the survey was the fact that approximately 61 percent of Chaldean households own their own business.
While grocery stores, convenience stores and gas stations formed the basis of early entrepreneurship, Chaldeans have moved on to invest in rental properties and real estate holdings, larger supermarkets, cell phone stores and hotels. An analysis of household income responses yielded a median household income of $96,100, well above the area median. One reason for this (in addition to business ownership) is the fact that Chaldean households tend to be family households and, more often than not, contain multiple workers.
Chaldeans are Entrepreneurs:
Chaldean Business Survey
In continuing our effort to gauge the economic impact Chaldeans have in this region, Data Driven Detroit and Walsh College surveyed Chaldean businesses in 2011, compiling data to identify details on Chaldean-owned businesses by sector, including information on how many people Chaldeans employ and the number of businesses we own. Survey results are expected to be released in April 2012.