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Grand Rapids

City of Grand Rapids

  •   State: 
    Kent County
    Grand Rapids
      County FIPS: 
    42°57′40″N 85°39′20″W
      Area total: 
    45.63 sq mi
      Area land: 
    44.78 sq mi (115.97 km²)
      Area water: 
    0.86 sq mi (2.22 km²)
    640 ft (200 m)
    1826; Incorporated 1838 (village) 1850 (city)
  •   Latitude: 
      Dman name cbsa: 
    Grand Rapids-Kentwood, MI
    Eastern Standard Time (EST) UTC-5:00; Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) UTC-4:00
      ZIP codes: 

    Grand Rapids, Kent County, Michigan, United States

  •   Population: 
      Population density: 
    4,442.49 residents per square mile of area (1,715.26/km²)
      Household income: 
      Unemployment rate: 
  •   Sales taxes: 
      Income taxes: 

Grand Rapids is a city and county seat of Kent County in the U.S. state of Michigan. At the 2020 census, the city had a population of 198,917 which ranks it as the second most-populated city in the state after Detroit. Grand Rapids is home to five of the world's leading office furniture companies and is nicknamed "Furniture City" Other nicknames include "River City" and more recently, "Beer City" (the latter given by USA Today and adopted by the city as a brand) The city and surrounding communities are economically diverse, based in the health care, information technology, automotive, aviation, and consumer goods manufacturing industries, among others. The city's Gerald R. Ford International Airport and Ford Freeway are named after the former president of the United States, who was born and raised in the city. It was the childhood home of former President Gerald Ford, who is buried with his wife Betty on the grounds of the Ford Presidential Museum in the town. The Grand Rapids area was once home to the Hopewell culture, which occupied the Grand River Valley for thousands of years. In the late 1600s, the Odawa, who occupied territory around the Great Lakes and spoke one of the numerous Algonquian languages, moved into the area and founded several villages. By the end of the 1700s, there were an estimated 1,000 Odawa in the Kent County area. The Odawa established on the river, which they called O-wash-ta-nong, or far-away-water due to the river's length.


Grand Rapids is the primary city name, but also E Grand Rapid, East Grand Ra, East Grand Rapids are acceptable city names or spellings, Cascade, Cascade Twp, Forest Hills, GR on the other hand no longer accepted or obsolete and are no longer used as a designation. The official name is City of Grand Rapids. Odawa, who occupied territory around the Great Lakes and spoke one of the numerous Algonquian languages, moved into the Grand Rapids area and founded several villages along the Grand River. European fur traders (mostly French Canadian and Métis) and missionaries established posts in the area among the Odawa. By the end of the 1700s, there were an estimated 1,000 Odawa in the Kent County area. By 1810, Chief Noonday established the village of Bock-a-tinck on the northwest side of present-day Grand Rapids near Bridge Street. During the Battle of the Thames of 1812, Noonday was allied with Tecumse. General Lewis Cass, who was commissioned to negotiate the first Treaty of Chicago with a group of 42 men, established the first missions in the region. Chief Black Skin or Mukatasha was known by his native name as Chief Muck-i-ta-oska or Muk atasha. In 1820, General Cass commissioned Christopher Trowbridge to establish the first group of missions in Chicago with 42 men as his representative. In the late 1800s, the first European-American trading post was established in West Michigan on the banks of Grand River, near what is now Ada Township, the junction of the Grand and Thornapple Rivers. The village of Grand Rapids was home to about 500 Odawa, though the population would grow to over 1.000 on the occasion of the Battle Of the Thames in 1812. It is now located at the intersection of Watson Street and National Avenue.


Grand Rapids has a humid continental climate (Köppen Dfa), with very warm and humid summers, cold and snowy winters, and short and mild springs and autumns. The city averages 75.6 in (192 cm) of snow a year, making it one of the snowiest major cities in the United States. The highest temperature in the area was recorded on July 13, 1936, at 108 °F (42 °C) The average last frost date in spring is May 1, and the average first frost in fall is October 11, giving the area a growing season of 162 days. Grand Rapids is divided into four quadrants, which form a part of mailing addresses in Kent County. The area is in plant hardiness zone 6a, while outlying areas are 5b. Summers are warm or hot, and heat waves and severe weather outbreaks are common during a typical summer. During an average year, sunshine occurs in 46% of the daylight hours, 138 nights, and 5 days a year have lows that are 0 °F or colder. On days that meet the 90 °F mark, the average temperature is 9.2 °F. March has experienced a record high of 87°F (31°C) and record low of 13°C (25°F) The city is approximately 25 mi (40 km) east of Lake Michigan. The state capital of Lansing lies about 60 mi (97 km) to the east-by-southeast, and Kalamazoo is about 50 mi (80 km), to the south.


As of the 2010 census, there were 188,036 people, 72,126 households, and 41,015 families residing in the city. The city's racial makeup was 64.6% White (59.0% Non-Hispanic White), 20.9% African American, 0.7% Native American, 1.9%. Asian, 0,1% Pacific Islander, 7.7%. Hispanic or Latino residents of any race were 15.6%. The city was rated as the second-worst city for African Americans, behind only Milwaukee. Grand Rapids and suburban Latino communities have seen their Latino population grow over the past decade. The Latino population of Grand Rapids grew from 25,818 to 29,261 in a decade. In 2015, Grand Rapids continually declined in the African American population. The largest ancestry groups in Grand Rapids reported (not including "American") were those of German (23.4% of the population), Dutch (21.2%), Irish (11.4%), English (10.8%), Polish (6.5%), and French (4.1%) heritage. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 3.20. The median household income was $37,224, and the median family income was$44,224. 15.7 percent of the city's population and 11.9 percent of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 19.4%. are under the age of 18 and 10.4. are 65 or older.


Spectrum Health is West Michigan's largest employer, with 25,600 staff and 1,700 physicians in 2017. Grand Rapids has long been a center for manufacturing, dating back to its original roots in furniture manufacturing. The city is known as a center of Christian publishing, home to Zondervan, Kregel Publications, Eerdmans Publishing and Our Daily Bread Ministries. The Grand Rapids area is also known for its automobile and aviation manufacturing industries, with GE Aviation Systems having a location in the city. With Michigan being the second most agriculturally diverse state in the nation, the Greater Grand Rapids region is well-known for its fruit production. Due to its proximity to Lake Michigan, the climate is considered especially prime for apple, peach, and blueberry farming. Greater Grand Grand Rapids produces 1/3 of Michigan's total agricultural sales. The food processing and agribusiness industry has experienced a 10-year job growth rate of 45% from 2009-2019. In 2010, Grand Rapids was named the "most sustainable midsize city in the U.S." by the United States Chamber of Commerce Civic Leadership Center and Siemens Corp. It has also been named in several other notable rankings since, including:No. 1 Cities with the Most Manufacturing Jobs: Grand Rapids/Kentwood (Smartest Dollar, 2020) No. 1 Mid-Sized Metro for Economic Growth Potential: GrandRaphes (Site Selection Magazine, 2019) no. 1 Top Metro for Sustainable Development: Grand rapres (Site selection Magazine,2019).


Grand Rapids is home to the oldest co-educational Catholic high school in the United States, Catholic Central High School. Grand Rapids Community College maintains a campus downtown and facilities in other parts of the city and surrounding region. Grand Valley State University, with its main campus in nearby Allendale, continues to develop its presence downtown by expanding its Pew Campus. The Secchia Center medical education building, a $90 million, seven-story, 180,000-square-foot (17,000 m2) facility, at Michigan Street and Division Avenue, is part of the Grand Rapids Medical Mile. City High-Middle School, a magnet school for academically talented students in the metropolitan region operated by GRPS, is habitually ranked among the nation's top high schools. National Heritage Academies, which operates charter schools across several states, has its headquarters in Grand Rapids. The private, religious schools: Aquinas College, Calvin University, Cornerstone University, Grace Christian University, and Kuyper College, each have a campus within the city. Western Michigan University has a long-standing graduate program in the city, with facilities downtown, and in the southeast. The Van Andel Institute, a cancer research institute established in 1996, also resides on the medical mile. The university expanded across I-196 from the Medical Mile into the Belknap Lookout neighborhood in the 2010s, constructing the Raleigh Finkelstein Hall to assist with medical and nursing studies. The institute established a graduate school in 2005 to train Ph.D. students in cellular, genetic, and molecular biology.


In 1969, Alexander Calder's abstract sculpture, La Grande Vitesse, was installed downtown on Vandenberg Plaza, the redesigned setting of Grand Rapids City Hall. Since its installation the city has hosted an annual Festival of the Arts in the area surrounding the sculpture, now known informally as "Calder Plaza" In mid-2004, the Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM) began construction of a new, larger building for its collection. The museum was completed in 2007. It was the first new art museum to achieve gold-level LEED certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. In 2012, Grand Rapids tied with Asheville, North Carolina for "Beer City USA" Grand Rapids is the home of the John Ball Zoological Garden, which houses a museum, a movie theater, and an urban clay studio. The Grand River River Museum is a reconstructed earthwork by the Hopewell Mounds, which were constructed by the mounds' builders in the 1800s. Grand Rapids was the sole winner of " beer city USA" in 2013, taking more votes than those-place Kalamazoo, Michigan, and the third-place Asheville North Carolina. The city is home to the American Museum of Natural History, which is the only museum in the United States dedicated to the study of Native American art and culture. The Museum is located in the former home of former First Lady Betty Ford, who was buried on the site of the Van Andel Arena in downtown Grand Rapids.

Public safety

The Grand Rapids Police Department is tasked with law enforcement in Grand Rapids. The department has been serving the city since 1871. In 2020 Grand Rapids had 38 homicides, the highest number ever recorded in the city. In 2014, Grand Rapids experienced the lowest homicide rate in fifty years. In both 2020 and 2021, over 800 cars were stolen in the Grand Rapids area. On April 4, 2022, Officer Christopher Schurr killed a 26-year-old black man, Patrick Lyoya, during a traffic stop. Lyoya was a refugee from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, who had arrived in Michigan with his family in 2014. The police department later released footage of the killing on April 13, spawning a demonstration with hundreds of protestors demonstrating throughout the city, and the department later apologized for the killing. In 2011, the Kent County Dispatch Authority consolidated the dispatch operations of the Grand Rapid Police Department and the Wyoming Police Department, the public safety department of Grand Rapids' suburb, Wyoming. In 2013, the department received a $1.2 million grant from the Michigan Department of Law and Order. In 2015, the police department received an additional $1,000,000 in grants from the state of Michigan and the Michigan State Police Department. In 2012, the city received a grant of $2,500,000 from the U.S. Department of Justice. The city has received a total of $3.2 billion in grants since the start of the 21st century, and has received more than $2.5 million from the federal government. In 2009, the state legislature approved a $3 million grant to the department.

Government and politics

Under Michigan law, Grand Rapids is a home rule city and adopted a city charter in 1916 providing for the council-manager form of municipal government. The city levies an income tax of 1.5 percent on residents and 0.75 percent on nonresidents. The part-time mayor is elected every four years by the city at large and serves as chair of the commission, with a vote equal to a commissioner. In 2014 a narrowly-approved ballot initiative imposed a limit of two terms on the mayor and city commissioners, preventing George Heartwell from seeking a fourth term. In the eight most recent presidential elections, Democratic candidates Bill Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Joe Biden won a majority or plurality of votes in the city of Grand Rapids. Grand Rapids and its suburbs are home to several major donors to the national Republican Party, including the DeVos family and Peter Secchia, former Ambassador to Italy. The last Republican candidate for president to carry the city was George H. W. Bush in 1988. Both representatives in the Michigan State House of Representatives are Democrats, and the city's State Senate seat was taken by a Democrat in 2018. The City is the center of the 3rd Congressional District, represented by Republican Peter Meijer. Former President Gerald Ford represented the district (then numbered as the 5th) from 1949 to 1973 and is buried on the grounds of his Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids; he is buried in the museum's grounds.


The first improved road into the city was completed in 1855. Until the mid-1950s Grand Rapids Union Station was a hub for passenger trains from different directions in Michigan and beyond. I-96 runs along the northern and northeastern sides of the city, linking with Muskegon to the west and Lansing and Detroit, Michigan, to the east. The city is home to one of the first regularly scheduled passenger airlines in the U.S. Stout Air Services began flights from the old Grand Rapids airport to Detroit (Ford Airport in Dearborn, Michigan), on July 31, 1926. The Rapid Transportation Partnership, which brands itself as The Interurban Transit Partnership, provides public bus transportation around the city. Grand Rapids is also home to the DASH Shuttle, which provides free rides to and from the city's designated parking lots in the city of Grand Rapids and surrounding areas. The DASH shuttle is also provided by the "Downtown DASH Area Shuttle," which runs from downtown Grand Rapids to Plainfield, Michigan and back to Grand Rapids once a week. The Grand Rapids Public Library is located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The library is open from 9am to 8pm every day and has a free library card for the public to use. It is also open to the public on weekdays from 8am to 5pm. The public library is located at the University of Michigan-Grand Rapids, which has a branch in the downtown area. The university's library is also located in the Grand Rapids area of Michigan, which is the only public library in the state.

Air Quality, Water Quality, Superfund Sites & UV Index

The Air Quality index is in Grand Rapids, Kent County, Michigan = 23.2. These Air Quality index is based on annual reports from the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The number of ozone alert days is used as an indicator of air quality, as are the amounts of seven pollutants including particulates, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, lead, and volatile organic chemicals. The Water Quality Index is 39. A measure of the quality of an area’s water supply as rated by the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The EPA has a complex method of measuring the watershed quality, using 15 indicators such as pollutants, turbidity, sediments, and toxic discharges. The Superfund Sites Index is 20. Higher is better (100=best). Based upon the number and impact of EPA Superfund pollution sites in the county, including spending on the cleanup efforts. The UV Index in Grand Rapids = 3.4 and is a measure of an area's exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays. This is most often a combination of sunny weather, altitude, and latitude. The UV Index has been defined by the WHO ( and is uniform worldwide.


The most recent city population of 198,917 individuals with a median age of 33.1 age the population dropped by -2.33% in Grand Rapids, Kent County, Michigan population since 2000 and are distributed over a density of 4,442.49 residents per square mile of area (1,715.26/km²). There are average 2.54 people per household in the 72,338 households with an average household income of $39,808 a year. The unemployment rate in Alabama is 15.40% of the available work force and has dropped -7.55% over the most recent 12-month period and the projected change in job supply over the next decade based on migration patterns, economic growth, and other factors will increase by 9.50%. The number of physicians in Grand Rapids per 100,000 population = 261.5.


The annual rainfall in Grand Rapids = 37.1 inches and the annual snowfall = 73.2 inches. The annual number of days with measurable precipitation (over .01 inch) = 144. The average number of days per year that are predominantly sunny = 158. 83 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily high temperature for the month of July and 15.7 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily low temperature for the month of January. The Comfort Index (higher=better) is 51, where higher values mean a more pleasant climate. The Comfort Index measure recognizes that humidity by itself isn't the problem. (Have you noticed nobody ever complains about the weather being 'cold and humid?) It's in the summertime that we notice the humidity the most, when it's hot and muggy. Our Comfort Index uses a combination of afternoon summer temperature and humidity to closely predict the effect that the humidity will have on people.

Median Home Cost

The percentage of housing units in Grand Rapids, Kent County, Michigan which are owned by the occupant = 54.98%. A housing unit is a house, apartment, mobile home, or room occupied as separate living quarters. The average age of homes = 56 years with median home cost = $82,370 and home appreciation of -7.05%. This is the value of the years most recent home sales data. Its important to note that this is not the average (or arithmetic mean). The median home price is the middle value when you arrange all the sales prices of homes from lowest to highest. This is a better indicator than the average, because the median is not changed as much by a few unusually high or low values. The property tax rate of $12.38 shown here is the rate per $1,000 of home value. If for simplification for example the tax rate is $14.00 and the home value is $250,000, the property tax would be $14.00 x ($250,000/1000), or $3500. This is the 'effective' tax rate.


The local school district spends $5,401 per student. There are 18.4 students for each teacher in the school, 1348 students for each Librarian and 690 students for each Counselor. 6.95% of the area’s population over the age of 25 with an Associate Degree or other 2-year college degree, 15.55% with a master’s degree, Ph.D. or other advanced college degree and 7.95% with high school diplomas or high school equivalency degrees (GEDs).

  • Grand Rapids's population in Kent County, Michigan of 87,565 residents in 1900 has increased 2,27-fold to 198,917 residents after 120 years, according to the official 2020 census.

    Approximately 50.54% female residents and 49.46% male residents live in Grand Rapids, Kent County, Michigan.

    As of 2020 in Grand Rapids, Kent County, Michigan are married and the remaining 53.69% are single population.

  • 21.1 minutes is the average time that residents in Grand Rapids require for a one-way commute to work. A long commute can have different effects on health. A Gallup poll in the US found that in terms of mental health, long haul commuters are up to 12 percent more likely to experience worry, and ten percent less likely to feel well rested. The Gallup poll also found that of people who commute 61­–90 minutes each day, a whopping one third complained of neck and back pain, compared to less than a quarter of people who only spend ten minutes getting to work.

    75.97% of the working population which commute to work alone in their car, 12.92% of the working population which commutes to work in a carpool, 2.36% of the population that commutes using mass transit, including bus, light rail, subway, and ferry. 2.72% of the population that has their home as their principal place of work.

  • Of the total residential buildings in Grand Rapids, Kent County, Michigan, 54.98% are owner-occupied homes, another 37.38% are rented apartments, and the remaining 7.64% are vacant.

  • The 50.83% of the population in Grand Rapids, Kent County, Michigan who identify themselves as belonging to a religion are distributed among the following most diverse religions.

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