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Overview

Introduction to Kalamazoo, Michigan

The Michigan city of Kalamazoo, home to Western Michigan University, is located in the southwestern part of the state, about 57 miles south of Grand Rapids, 140 miles west of Detroit, and 145 miles east of Chicago, Illinois. The city is situated in the heart of the Great Lakes region at the intersection of Interstate I-94 and U.S. Route 131. Kalamazoo is also serviced by Michigan State Highways 43 and 96. In addition to Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo is also the home of Kalamazoo College (the oldest college in the state), Davenport University, Cornerstone University, and Kalamazoo Valley Community College.

Founded by Titus Bronson in 1829, the city was originally named Bronson but the name was officially changed to Kalamazoo in 1836 concurrent with Bronson's exodus from the city. Incorporated as a village in 1838 and later as a city in 1883, Kalamazoo is believed to have gotten its name from an Indian word meaning boiling water. Kalamazoo's major industries have traditionally included agriculture and paper products; however, several notable businesses have their origins in the city including the Gibson Guitar Corporation, Checker Cabs, Kalamazoo Stoves, Stryker hospital beds, and Shakespeare fishing rods and reels. Another notable company native to Kalamazoo was the Upjohn Company, founded in the late 1800s by W. E. Upjohn. The company is now part of Pfizer Corporation, the world’s largest pharmaceutical company and a major employer in the city. Kalamazoo is often referred to as the "Mall City", in honor of its status as the site of the nation's first pedestrian mall, designed in 1959.

Arts, Culture, and Attractions in Kalamazoo

Kalamazoo is home to a wide variety of cultural and artistic sites. Nature, art, and education are embodied in the city’s numerous museums and attractions. The Air Zoo, also known as the Kalamazoo Aviation History Museum, can best be described as a theme park disguised as a museum. Visitors can participate in a multi-sensory experience savoring the wonders of man-made flight, including exhibits which celebrate everything from the history of flight to its inner workings. The Kalamazoo Valley Museum is a largely interactive small museum which features a planetarium, an interactive history gallery, and simulated missions to space via the Challenger Learning Center. The Gilmore Car Museum features 90 landscaped acres of restored historic barns filled with a large variety of extraordinary vehicles spanning more than 100 years of automotive heritage. The Kalamazoo Nature Center has indoor and outdoor activities for all ages, including state-of-the-art interactive exhibits, a three-story tropical rainforest, and 11 nature trails filled with wildlife. The Kalamazoo Institute of Arts (KIA) offers a stunning variety of permanent collection works in rotating shows and a new community cultural center auditorium. Kalamazoo Mall, the first outdoor pedestrian mall in the United States, has something for everyone: parades, sidewalk sales, seasonal holiday festivities, specialty shops, chic restaurants and lively brewpubs. The nearby city of Battle Creek (27 miles to the east) is home to Kellogg’s Cereal City, which offers a 1930's-themed restaurant and tours chronicling the history and manufacturing process of cereal.

NCAA Division I-A college sports in Kalamazoo are provided by the Western Michigan University Broncos. The University's athletic program offers 16 varsity sports including basketball, football, hockey, baseball, and volleyball. The school is a member of the Mid-American Conference. Division III sports are offered by Kalamazoo College, home of the Hornets. The College has teams in 8 men's varsity sports and 8 women's varsity sports, and they all compete in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA). The men's tennis team has had incredible success, having captured well over 60 MIAA conference championships.

Kalamazoo has three minor-league professional sports teams. The Kalamazoo Kings are a minor league baseball team playing in the independent Frontier League, not associated with any Major League Baseball team. Hockey's Kalamazoo Wings are a minor-league team playing in the United Hockey League (UHL), and the Kalamazoo Kingdom professional soccer team is a member of United Soccer League's Premier Development League (PDL).

People

Total Population 75,499
Male Share of the Population 50.1%
Female Share of the Population 49.9%
Senior Citizens 9.4%
Employed Population 16+ 34,599
Age of the Population 26

Families

% of people married 25.1%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 32.7%
Median Earnings25+ $27,303
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $12,607
Median Earnings With High School Degree $21,852

Wealth

Median Family Income $45,086
% Above Poverty Level 66.1%
% Below Poverty Level 33.9%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 18 minutes
% Working from Home 3.6%
% Walking and Biking to Work 8.4%
% Using Public Transportation 3.1%

Housing

People Living Alone 35.2%
Median Gross Rent $706
Median House Value $96,600

Ancestry

Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 36.3%
US/American 0.1%
English 8.3%
Irish 10.3%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Kalamazoo Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Large City 110 miles E of Chicago, Illinois
County Kalamazoo
Metro Area Kalamazoo - Battle Creek
Standard Zip Codes 49001, 49002, 49004, 49006, 49007, 49008, 49009, 49024, 49048
P.O. Box Zip Codes 49003, 49005, 49019
Phone Area Codes 269
Time Zone Eastern (-5 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 42.291
Longitude -85.587

Kalamazoo 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 KALAMAZOO STATE HOSPITAL
Distance 0.9 miles
Jan Temp 17 to 32 F
Apr Temp 38 to 60 F
Jul Temp 62 to 84 F
Oct Temp 43 to 63 F
Annual Precip 37.4 inches
Station GULL LAKE BIOL STA
Distance 12.8 miles
Jan Temp 16 to 32 F
Apr Temp 36 to 61 F
Jul Temp 61 to 86 F
Oct Temp 42 to 63 F
Annual Precip 38.8 inches
Station THREE RIVERS
Distance 24.9 miles
Jan Temp 13 to 30 F
Apr Temp 34 to 58 F
Jul Temp 59 to 83 F
Oct Temp 38 to 62 F
Annual Precip 37 inches

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Galesburg 1,953 $37,375
Mattawan 2,081 $45,063
Parchment 2,016 $43,854
Plainwell 3,810 $53,028
Portage 47,496 $71,864
Richland 845 $79,063

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Kalamazoo Public Libraries

Library
Kalamazoo Public Library
315 S ROSE ST
Kalamazoo, Michigan
(269) 342-9837
Library Web Site

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More Information for Librarians

Kalamazoo Hospitals

BRONSON METHODIST HOSPITAL
(Voluntary non-profit - Church)
601 JOHN STREET
(269) 341-6000
Emergency Service: Yes

BORGESS MEDICAL CENTER
(Voluntary non-profit - Other)
1521 GULL ROAD
(269) 226-4800
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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Kalamazoo High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

KALAMAZOO CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL
2432 N. DRAKE ROAD
269-337-0300
Serves 1,384 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 16.6

LOY NORRIX HIGH SCHOOL
606 E. KILGORE ROAD
269-337-0200
Serves 1,287 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 15.8

COMSTOCK HIGH SCHOOL
2107 N. 26TH STREET
269-388-9400
Serves 801 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 16.7

NEW CITY HIGH SCHOOL
604 W. VINE STREET
269-337-0760
A Non-traditional School
Serves 247 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 16.5

KALAMAZOO AREA MATH AND SCIENCE CENTER
600 W. VINE STREET
269-384-5004
Serves 161 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 19.4

BARCLAY HILLS EDUCATION CENTER
1125 E. MOSEL AVENUE
269-488-1470
A Non-traditional School
Serves 147 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 49

KALAMAZOO POST SECONDARY SCHOOL
714 S. WESTNEDGE AVENUE
269-337-0161
Serves 56 students.

LAKESIDE SCHOOL
3921 OAKLAND DRIVE
269-337-0620
Serves 37 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 7.4

Additional Details
Kalamazoo Careers
Kalamazoo career and employment information.
Kalamazoo Colleges
Kalamazoo colleges and trade schools.
Kalamazoo Graduate Schools
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Career and College Resources

Real-World Career Reports
Career References and Original Articles
College Directories and Lists
Additional Resources
Info for Kalamazoo Government Officials


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