Michigan Private Investigator Facts

ASG Investigations has compiled a list of Michigan private investigator facts. Researching how many private investigator licenses have been granted in the state of Michigan, per county, and comparing those counties with the most private investigators, as well as the least. The data below was compiled based on public information provided by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA).

Private investigators in Michigan are technically referred to as Michigan professional investigators. Any person or firm conducting business involving investigations, performed for a fee, needs to be licensed by the State of Michigan.

Michigan regulates private investigators under Public Act 285 of 1965, as amended (“the Act”). The Act defines a professional investigator “as a person who accepts employment to conduct investigation business.” “Investigation business” is defined as a business that accepts employment to make an investigation for the purpose of obtaining information (Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs).

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Michigan provides two types of private investigator licenses: 3701 and 3702. Professional investigators (whether independent/individual, partnerships or companies) are granted 3701 licenses. Branch offices of a Michigan private investigative agency are granted a 3702 licenses.

According the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of May 2018, Michigan had 530 employees in the occupation sector labeled “Private Detectives and Investigators” (33-9021). Detectives and criminal investigators (e.g. police) are counted under a separate category (33-3021).

The 339021 category does not include self-employed workers. As a result, the number of private detectives and investigators reported by the BLS is smaller than the number licensed by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

The BLS reports that Michigan has a location quotient of .58. This represents the ratio of the area concentration of occupational employment relative to the national average concentration. A location quotient of less than one indicates that the occupation of private detectives and investigators is less prevalent in a given area than nationally. In other words, there are fewer private detectives and investigators in Michigan than the national average.

The following statistics were derived utilizing information is provided from the State of Michigan, Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs; American Community Survey, 2018, 2019:

1. Number of professional investigator licenses in Michigan

According to Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, the state has issued 948 (current) professional investigator licenses (3701 and 3702 combined). Among these licenses, 929 are 3701 licenses, and 19 are 3702 licenses.

Table 1: Number of Private Investigator Licenses in Michigan
Source: Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

2. Michigan counties with the most (greatest number of) private investigators

Figure 1: 10 Michigan Counties with the Most Licensed Professional Investigators (3701)
Source: Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

These are the 10 counties in Michigan with the greatest number of licensed (3701) professional investigators. Among this group, Wayne County has the most investigators (192), while Berrian County has the fewest (19). Total counts for each county are not related to population size, meaning a larger county may have fewer investigators than a smaller county.

Figure 2: 10 Michigan Counties with the Most Licensed Professional Investigators (3701 and 3702 Combined)
Source: Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

These are the 10 Michigan counties with the greatest number of licensed private investigators (3701 and 3702 combined). Among this group, Wayne County has the most investigators (196), while Berrian and Ottawa have the fewest (21). As noted in Figure 1, total counts for each county are not related to population size.

3. Michigan Counties with only one professional investigator

Table 2: Michigan Counties with Only One Professional Investigator (3701), by Size of Population
Source: Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs; American Community Survey, 2018

These 8 Michigan counties have only one private investigator with a 3701 license. They are listed in order of population size (smallest to largest).

Table 3: Michigan Counties with Only One Licensed Private Investigator (3701 and 3702 Combined), by Size of Population
Source: Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs; American Community Survey, 2018

These 9 Michigan counties have only one professional investigator (3701 and 3702 combined). They are listed in order of population size (smallest to largest).

4. Michigan Counties with no professional investigators (3701), ordered by size of population

Table 4: 17 Michigan Counties without Professional Investigators (3701), Ordered by Population Size
Source: Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs; American Community Survey, 2018

These Michigan counties have reported no private investigators with a 3701 license. They are listed in order of population size (largest to smallest).

Table 5: Michigan Counties without Professional Investigators (3701 and 3702 Combined)
Source: Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs; American Community Survey, 2018

These Michigan counties have no investigators with a 3701 or 3702 license. They are listed in order of population size (largest to smallest).

5. Michigan Counties with the most professional investigators per 1,000 population (Rate = number of investigators per 1,000 inhabitants of the county.)

Figure 3: 10 Michigan Counties with the Most Professional Investigators (3701) per 1,000 Population
Source: Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs; American Community Survey, 2018

These 10 Michigan counties have the highest rate of professional investigators with a 3701 license. The rate is a ratio reflecting how many investigators there are to people in a particular population (e.g. population of a county). Among these 10 counties, Iron County has the highest rate (.18 per 1,000 residents), while Otsego County has the lowest (.12 per 1,000 residents).

Another way of expressing the rate is per 100,000 population. Using this formula, Iron County has 18 professional investigators per 100,000 population, while Otsego County has 12.

Figure 4: 10 Michigan Counties with Most Private Investigators (3701 and 3702 Combined) per 1,000 Residents
Source: Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs; American Community Survey; 2018

These 10 Michigan counties have the highest rate of professional investigators (3701 and 3702 licenses combined) per 1,000 population. Among these 10 counties, Iron County has the highest rate (.18 per 1,000), similar to Figure 4. Here, Berrian County has the lowest rate (.14 per 1,000) (rather than Otsego). Put another way, Iron County has 18 professional investigators per 100,000 population, while Berrian County has 14.

6. Michigan counties with the fewest professional investigators (per 1,000 population)

Figure 5: 10 Michigan Counties with the Fewest Private Investigators (3701) per 1,000 Population
Source: Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs; American Community Survey, 2018

These 10 Michigan counties have the lowest rate of professional investigators with a 3701 license per 1,000 residents. Among these 10 counties, Tuscola County has the lowest rate (.02 per 1,000), while Iosco County has the highest (.04). Alternatively, Tuscola County has 2 private investigators per 100,000 population, while Iosco County has 4.

Figure 6: Michigan Counties with the Fewest Professional Investigators (3701 and 3702 combined) per 1,000 Population
Source: Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs; American Community Survey 2018

These 10 Michigan counties have the lowest rate of licensed professional investigators (3701 and 3702 combined) per 1,000 population. While the counties here are the same as in Figure 5, some are ordered differently. Overall, as in Figure 5, Tuscola County has the lowest rate (.02 per 1,000), while Iosco County has the highest (.04).

7. Most populous counties by investigator per 1,000 population

Figure 7: 10 Most Populous Michigan Counties Ranked by Professional Investigator per 1,000 Population
Source: Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs; American Community Survey, 2018

These are the 10 most populous Michigan counties ranked by number of private investigators by 1,000 population rate. Wayne county, which would include a Detroit private investigator, has the highest rate (.1), while Saginaw has the lowest (.06).

8. Michigan cities with the most professional investigators

Figure 8: 10 Michigan Cities with the Most Private Investigators
Source: Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs; American Community Survey, 2018; 2019

These are the 10 Michigan cities with the greatest number of licensed professional investigators (3701). Among this group, Detroit private investigators (46) ranked 1st, Livonia private investigators ranked 3rd, Royal Oak and Troy private investigators were 5th and 6th, while Bloomfield Hills has the fewest (14).

Figure 9: 10 Michigan Cities with the Most Professional Investigators (3701 and 3702 combined)
Source: Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs; American Community Survey, 2018; 2019

These are the 10 Michigan cities with the greatest number of licensed professional investigators (3701 and 3702 combined). As in Figure 8, Detroit has the most investigators, although two have been added (48). In addition, Sterling Heights has the fewest investigators (15), compared to Bloomfield Hills in Figure 8.

9. Michigan cities with the most professional investigators (per 1,000 population)

Figure 10: 10 Michigan Cities with the Most Private Investigators per 1,000 Population
Source: Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs; American Community Survey, 2018; 2019

These 10 Michigan cities have the highest rate of professional investigators with a 3701 license per 1,000 population. Among these 10 counties, Houghton Lake has the highest rate (10.4 per 1,000), Novi private investigator placed 3rd, while Bloomfield Hills has the lowest (3.5). If one added Birmingham private investigators to neighboring Bloomfield Hills, that number would be significantly higher.

Figure 11: 10 Michigan Cities with the Most Private Investigators (3701 and 3702) per 1,000
Source: Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs; American Community Survey, 2018; 2019

These 10 Michigan cities have the highest rate of professional investigators with a 3701 and/or 3702 license per 1,000 population. Novi has the highest rate (13.3 per 1,000), while Bloomfield Hills has the lowest (3.5).

10. Cities with the fewest Michigan private investigators (per 1,000 population)

Figure 12: 10 Michigan Cities with the Fewest Private Investigators (3701) per 1,000 Population
Source: Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs; American Community Survey, 2018; 2019

These 10 Michigan cities have the lowest rate of professional investigators with a 3701 license per 1,000 population. Among these 10 cities, Macomb Township has the lowest rate (.01 per 1,000), while Van Buren Township has the highest (.04). Put another way, Macomb Township has 1 professional investigator per 100,000 population, while Van Buren Township has 4.

Figure 13: 10 Michigan Cities with the Fewest Private Investigators (3701 and 3702 COMBINED) PER 1,000 Population
Source: Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs; American Community Survey, 2018; 2019

These 10 Michigan cities have the lowest rate of licenses professional investigators (3701 and 3702 combined) per 1,000 population. All the cities are the same as in Figure 12. Once again, Macomb Township has the lowest rate (.01 per 1,000), while Van Buren Township has the highest (.04).

11. Michigan’s most populous cities ranked by rate per thousand

Figure 14: Michigan's 10 Most Populous Cities Ranked by Professional Investigator per 1,000 Population

These are the 10 most populous cities in Michigan ordered by rate of investigator per 1,000 residents. Among this group, Livonia has the greatest rate (.3), and Dearborn has the lowest (.05).

12. Michigan Zip Codes with more than one professional investigator

Figure 15: Michigan Zip Codes With More Than One Private Investigator (3701)
Source: Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

These are the only Michigan Zip Codes with more than one professional investigator (3701 license). The greatest number of private investigators (6) reside in 48026 in Macomb County. (ASG Investigations is a Macomb County private investigative agency).

Figure 16: Michigan Zip Codes with More Than One Private Investigator (3701 and 3702)
Source: Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

These are the only Zip Codes in Michigan that have more than one professional investigator (3701 and 3702 licenses combined). All the Zip Codes in this Figure are the same as in Figure 15, but a new one has been added (48118).

13. 5 Michigan Licenses with the oldest issue dates

Table 6: 5 Michigan Licenses (3701) with the Oldest Issue Dates
Source: Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

Among the current 3701 licenses, the oldest (by date of issue) was initially registered in 1962.

Table 7: 5 Michigan Licenses (3702) with the Oldest Issue Dates
Source: Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

Among the current 3702 licenses, the oldest (by date of issue) was first registered in 1988.

Table 8: 5 Michigan Licenses (3701 and 3702) with the Oldest Dates
Source: Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

Among the current 3701 and 3702 combined licenses, the oldest (by date of issue) was initially registered in 1962. All of the licenses in this group (3701 and 3702) are 3701 licenses.

14. 5 Michigan Licenses with the newest issue dates

Tab;e 9: 5 Michigan Licenses (3701) with the Newest Issue Dates
Source: Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

Among current 3701 professional investigator licenses, the most recent (by date of issue) was registered on 10/25/2019.

Table 10: 5 Michigan Licenses (3702) with the Newest Issue Dates
Source: Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

Among current 3702 professional investigator licenses, the most recent (by date of issue) was registered on 11/1/2019.

Table 11: 5 Michigan Licenses (3701 and 3702) with the Newest Issue Dates
Source: Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

Among current 3701 and 3702 professional investigator licenses, the most recent (by date of issue) was registered on 11/1/2019.

Typical services provided by a Michigan private investigator include surveillance, Michigan background checks, Michigan asset searches, locate investigations, online dating investigations, Michigan infidelity investigations, GPS vehicle tracking in Michigan, and Michigan child support investigations.

If you are looking to hire a Michigan private investigator, ASG Investigations can help! With offices in Clinton Township, Novi and Birmingham, our investigators work throughout the Metro Detroit area and beyond. Areas of service include but are not limited to Detroit, Grosse Pointe, Warren, Sterling Heights, Shelby Township, Troy, Plymouth, Southfield, as well as Ann Arbor, Flint and Grand Rapids. Give us a call today to discuss your investigative needs!