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Overview

Introduction to Grand Rapids, Michigan

Incorporated as a village around 1838, Grand Rapids is the second largest city in Michigan with a population of about 200,000. There are roughly 1.3 million people within the greater Grand Rapids metropolitan area, making it the second largest metropolis in the state as well.

Located on the Grand River in western Michigan, Grand Rapids lies 30 miles east of Lake Michigan. Its founding father, Louis Campau, was an astute businessman who dealt in real estate after establishing a trading post with the Ottawa Indians in 1827. More than 2000 years ago, the mound building Hopewell Indian tribe inhabited the area. The city's most famous son is President Gerald R. Ford.

Grand Rapids experiences all four seasons. Summer and winter temperatures are moderated by Lake Michigan. However, the lake-effect contributes to an average annual snowfall of 64.4 inches. July average daily high and low temperatures are 82.3 and 60.5 degrees Fahrenheit. January average daily high and low temperatures are 29.3 and 15.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

Three Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in Grand Rapids - Universal Forest Products, Spartan Stores, and Steelcase, the latter carrying on a tradition of quality furniture making. Another notable company is Bissel, Inc. Also within the county is Alticor, the parent of Amway. Approximately a dozen colleges and universities are located in the area.

Arts and Leisure

Grand Rapids boasts a complete array of arts and culture. Since 1970, a three day extravaganza showcasing the arts, called Festival, takes place during the first complete weekend in June. Grand Rapids is also host to ArtPrize, one of the largest public art events in the world. There is an extraordinary amount of sculpture within the metropolis. Outdoor works of art associated with three world famous artists include:

  • La Grande Vitesse, an enormous red-orange stabile by Alexander Calder.
  • Ecliptic, a park by Maya Lin, including an oval amphitheater that becomes an ice skating rink in winter.
  • American Horse, a 24 ft tall bronze by Nina Akamu. This is a modern day interpretation of a concept of the same scale which Leonardo Da Vinci came very close to creating. It is located in the Fredrik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park.

Other cultural attractions include:

  • The Grand Rapids Art Museum
  • The Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts
  • The Fredrik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park
  • Opera Grand Rapids
  • The Grand Rapids Symphony
  • The Grand Rapids Civic Theater
  • The Circle Theater
  • The Broadway Theater Guild
  • The Wealthy Street Theater

Some institutions for history and leisure are:

  • The Public Museum of Grand Rapids
  • The Van Andel Arena
  • DeVos Place
  • The Gerald R. Ford Museum
  • The John Ball Park Zoo

Professional sports teams in the area include:

  • The Griffins of the American Hockey League
  • The Rampage of the Arena Football League
  • The Flight of the International Basketball League
  • The West Michigan Whitecaps, a minor league baseball team playing in the Midwest League, and affiliated with the Detroit Tigers

People

Total Population 190,739
Male Share of the Population 48.8%
Female Share of the Population 51.2%
Senior Citizens 11.3%
Employed Population 16+ 86,757
Age of the Population 31

Families

% of people married 36.8%
Average household size 3

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 30.7%
Median Earnings25+ $28,842
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $16,095
Median Earnings With High School Degree $22,669

Wealth

Median Family Income $48,357
% Above Poverty Level 73.3%
% Below Poverty Level 26.7%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 20 minutes
% Working from Home 4.4%
% Walking and Biking to Work 4.3%
% Using Public Transportation 3.9%

Housing

People Living Alone 32.7%
Median Gross Rent $777
Median House Value $107,800

Ancestry

Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 39.7%
US/American 0%
English 6.7%
Irish 9.2%

Grand Rapids Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Large City 113 miles E of Milwaukee, Wisconsin
County Kent
Metro Area Grand Rapids - Muskegon - Holland
Standard Zip Codes 49503, 49504, 49505, 49506, 49507, 49508, 49509, 49512, 49519, 49525, 49544, 49546, 49548
P.O. Box Zip Codes 49501, 49510, 49514, 49515, 49516, 49518, 49523, 49588, 49599
Company Zip Codes 49502, 49530, 49550, 49555, 49560
Phone Area Codes 616
Time Zone Eastern (-5 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 42.963
Longitude -85.668

Grand Rapids Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

Notes:

  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Station GRAND RAPIDS INTL AP
Distance 9.5 miles
Jan Temp 16 to 29 F
Apr Temp 36 to 57 F
Jul Temp 61 to 82 F
Oct Temp 40 to 60 F
Annual Precip 37.1 inches
Station GREENVILLE 2 NNE
Distance 26.7 miles
Jan Temp 13 to 29 F
Apr Temp 33 to 58 F
Jul Temp 57 to 83 F
Oct Temp 38 to 61 F
Annual Precip 34.7 inches
Station GRAND HAVEN FIRE DEPT
Distance 28.7 miles
Jan Temp 19 to 30 F
Apr Temp 36 to 55 F
Jul Temp 61 to 79 F
Oct Temp 43 to 59 F
Annual Precip 32.7 inches

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

According to the US Postal Service, Grand Rapids, its neighborhoods, and/or surrounding areas are also referred to as:

Cascade (49506, 49546)

East Grand Ra (49506)

Kentwood Branch (49528)

Standale (49504, 49534)

Note that not all alternate names are acceptable for use in US Post Office addresses.

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
East Grand Rapids 10,999 $116,875
Grandville 15,613 $65,718
Hudsonville 7,217 $60,144
Kentwood 49,736 $61,381

Grand Rapids Public Libraries

Library
Grand Rapids Public Library
111 LIBRARY ST. NE
Grand Rapids, Michigan
(616) 988-5402
Library Web Site

library logo

More Information for Librarians

Grand Rapids Hospitals

SAINT MARY'S HEALTH CARE
(Voluntary non-profit - Church)
200 JEFFERSON SE
(616) 752-6090
Emergency Service: Yes

SPECTRUM HEALTH HOSPITALS
(Voluntary non-profit - Private)
100 MICHIGAN ST N E
(616) 391-1774
Emergency Service: Yes

METRO HEALTH HOSPITAL
(Voluntary non-profit - Other)
1919 BOSTON ST SE
(616) 252-7200
Emergency Service: Yes

These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles). Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
 
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Grand Rapids High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

FOREST HILLS NORTHERN HIGH SCHOOL
3801 LEONARD STREET NE
616-493-8600
Serves 1,449 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 18.2

FOREST HILLS CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL
5901 HALL STREET SE
616-493-8700
Serves 1,370 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 17

UNION HIGH SCHOOL
1800 TREMONT BOULEVARD NW
616-771-3160
A Title I School.
Serves 1,340 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 18.6

OTTAWA HILLS HIGH SCHOOL
2055 ROSEWOOD AVENUE SE
616-771-2900
A Title I School.
Serves 1,184 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 18.2

KENOWA HILLS HIGH SCHOOL
3825 HENDERSHOT AVENUE NW
616-784-2400
Serves 1,167 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 24.9

NORTHVIEW HIGH SCHOOL
4451 HUNSBERGER AVENUE NE
616-363-4857
Serves 1,166 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 116.6

CRESTON HIGH SCHOOL
1720 PLAINFIELD NE
616-771-2424
Serves 1,019 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 20.5

CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL
421 FOUNTAIN STREET NE
616-771-2310
A Title I School.
Serves 956 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 19.8

CITY MIDDLE/HIGH SCHOOL
111 COLLEGE AVENUE NE
616-771-2380
A Magnet School.
Serves 617 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 23.9

KELLOGGSVILLE HIGH SCHOOL
23 JEAN STREET SW
616-532-1570
A Title I School.
Serves 531 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 18.6

LINCOLN SCHOOL
860 CRAHEN ROAD NE
616-771-2762
A Special Education School
Serves 208 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 8

NORTHVIEW ALTERNATIVE HIGH SCHOOL
3801 EAST BELTLINE SE
616-361-7396
A Non-traditional School
Serves 151 students.

GATEWAY MIDDLE/HIGH SCHOOL
311 STATE STREET SE
616-458-9646
A Charter School.
A Title I School.
Serves 146 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 10.8

WAALKES JUVENILE CENTER SCHOOL
1501 CEDAR NE
616-336-3732
A Non-traditional School
Serves 58 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 8.5

CBOT SCHOOL
864 CRAHEN NE
616-771-2740
Serves 52 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 13

SHARED TIME
615 TURNER STREET NW
616-771-3200
Serves 33 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 0.8

ST. JOHN'S HOME SCHOOL
2355 KNAPP STREET NE
616-361-5227
A Special Education School
Serves 18 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 6

KENT TRANSITION CENTER
1800 LEFFINGWELL NE
616-365-2391
A Vocational School
Serves 3 students.

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Historic Grand Rapids

photo

Court House between 1900 and 1910

Select a photo to view (Source):

Court House between 1900 and 1910

Michigan Soldiers' Home between 1900 and 1910

Central High School between 1905 and 1920

Additional Resources
Info for Grand Rapids Government Officials


Are you an official in the Grand Rapids government or quasi-government agency such as the chamber of commerce, visitors bureau or economic development council? If so, visit our information page for government officials to see how CityTownInfo can support you.

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