Introduction to Sterling Heights, Michigan

The city of Sterling Heights, situated along the banks of the Clinton River, is not only one of Michigan's largest in terms of population but also one of its largest in area. It is also one of the state's fastest growing large cities. Located in Macomb County, the city lies about 25 miles northeast of Detroit. Nearby communities include Warren (to the south), Troy (to the west), and Mt. Clemens (to the east). Sterling Heights is serviced by Michigan State Highways 53 and 59; and is close to Interstates I-75, I-94, and I-696.

Settlement in the area now made up by Sterling Heights began shortly after the Revolutionary War. Farmers soon took advantage of the area's rich soil and built large homesteads, and by 1880, Sterling Township was a prosperous rural area consisting of farm homes and fields of wheat, corn and other crops. When the railroad era arrived, passenger trains from the Detroit and Bay City Railroad passed through Sterling Township four times a day. Upon its incorporation as a city in 1968, Sterling Township became Sterling Heights. The word "Heights" was added to the township name to avoid conflict with the existing village of Sterling located in Arenac County. Sterling Heights today is home to literally thousands of commercial and industrial businesses and is considered an integral part of the greater Detroit metropolitan area.

Attractions in the Sterling Heights Area

Sterling Heights is home to Upton House; an historic home built in 1867 and currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The structure houses the city’s parks and recreation division offices. There are numerous other attractions in the Sterling Heights area, including the following:

  • Crocker House Museum (Mt. Clemens): A 19th Century Italianate Home
  • Detroit Institute Of Arts: Over 100 galleries featuring centuries of world famous art treasures
  • Detroit Symphony Orchestra Hall: Home to the 85-year-old Detroit Symphony
  • Museum Of Natural History (Ann Arbor): Three stories of exhibits featuring prehistoric life and culture
  • Fisher Mansion (Detroit): Features original art from Asia and India
  • Ford Estate (Dearborn)
  • Four Bears Water Park (Utica)
  • Kellogg's Cereal City USA (Battle Creek)
  • Detroit Historical Museum
  • Detroit Zoo
  • Motown Museum (Detroit)
  • Renaissance Center (Detroit)
  • Seven Ponds Nature Center (Dryden)
  • African Safari Wildlife Park (Port Clinton)

Several major league pro sports teams are prominent in the metropolitan Detroit area. These include the following:

  • National Football League: Detroit Lions
  • Major League Baseball: Detroit Tigers
  • National Hockey League: Detroit Red Wings
  • National Basketball Association: Detroit Pistons
  • Women's National Basketball Association: Detroit Shock


Total Population 131,139
Male Share of the Population 49.5%
Female Share of the Population 50.5%
Senior Citizens 16.6%
Employed Population 16+ 61,247
Age of the Population 41


% of people married 53.4%
Average household size 3

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 27%
Median Earnings25+ $37,432
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $20,546
Median Earnings With High School Degree $28,567


Median Family Income $70,419
% Above Poverty Level 87.1%
% Below Poverty Level 12.9%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 25 minutes
% Working from Home 2.2%
% Walking and Biking to Work 0.9%
% Using Public Transportation 0.4%


People Living Alone 26.5%
Median Gross Rent $896
Median House Value $147,700


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 18.5%
US/American 0.2%
English 6.2%
Irish 7.9%

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

Sterling Heights Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Large City 17 miles N of Detroit, Michigan
County Macomb
Standard Zip Codes 48310, 48312, 48313, 48314
P.O. Box Zip Codes 48311
Phone Area Codes 586
Time Zone Eastern (-5 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 42.58
Longitude -83.03

Sterling Heights Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


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

Distance 11 miles
Jan Temp 18 to 31 F
Apr Temp 36 to 55 F
Jul Temp 62 to 82 F
Oct Temp 43 to 60 F
Annual Precip 32.2 inches
Distance 12.6 miles
Jan Temp 20 to 33 F
Apr Temp 39 to 59 F
Jul Temp 66 to 85 F
Oct Temp 45 to 62 F
Annual Precip 0 inches
Distance 14.6 miles
Jan Temp 16 to 30 F
Apr Temp 36 to 58 F
Jul Temp 61 to 82 F
Oct Temp 42 to 60 F
Annual Precip 30 inches

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Center Line 8,306 $49,034
Fraser 14,582 $71,337
Troy 82,542 $101,098
Utica 4,794 $63,663

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

Sterling Heights Public Libraries

Sterling Heights Public Library
Sterling Heights, Michigan
(586) 446-2640
Library Web Site

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Madison Heights
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Sterling Heights High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

Serves 1,757 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 19.9

Serves 1,723 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 18.5

12901 15 MILE ROAD
Serves 1,571 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 20

7600 18 MILE ROAD
Serves 172 students.

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