Grand Rapids Population 2017

The city proper has a population density of 4,365 people per square mile (1,685/square kilometer). The larger urban area has about 570,000 residents while the metropolitan area has a population of 1.02 million. The Grand Rapids-Muskegon-Holland CSA has 1.42 million residents, making it the 38th largest CSA in the United States.

Grand Rapids Demographics

According to the 2010 census, the racial composition of Grand Rapids was 65% White (59% non-Hispanic White), 21% African American, 2% Asian, 0.7% Native American, 7.7% from other races, and 4% from two or more races. Hispanics and Latinos of any race make up almost 16% of the population.

The most common ancestry groups in the city are German (24%), Dutch (21%), English (16%), Irish (11%), Polish (6.5%), and French (5%).

Grand Rapids has a large Dutch Reformed community. The Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRCNA) has more than 230 congregations in the state with many in Grand Rapids. CRCNA followers are largely located in the western region of Michigan where many Dutch immigrants settled. The Reformed Church in America (RCA) also has a large following in Grand Rapids. Other major congregations in the city include the Protestant Reformed Churches in America, the United Reformed Churches in North America, and the United Methodist Church.

Grand Rapids History

The Grand Rapids area has been inhabited by many indigenous peoples for thousands of years, including the Hopewell people and the Ottawa, who founded many villages along the river. European fur graders and missionaries began building trading posts in the area among the Ottawa people in the 19th century. The first permanent European American settler established a missionary in 1825.

The official founder of Grand Rapids was Louis Campau, who build a blacksmith shop and trading post in the area in 1826. In 1831, he purchased 72 acres from the government and named the tract Grand Rapids. This original tract is today's downtown business area. By 1838, the community was incorporated as a village. In 1845, it had a population of 1,510. Grand Rapids was incorporated five years later with a population of 2,686.

In 1880, Grand Rapids became the early center for America's auto industry. During the mid-19th century, Grand Rapids also became a major timber center and the largest furniture manufacturing city in the country. Grand Rapids was nicknamed the Furniture City, and it's still the leading U.S. city for office furniture manufacturing.

Grand Rapids Population Growth

The Metro Grand Rapids area surpassed 1 million residents for the first time in 2013 with the largest population growth among all Michigan metro areas. As more people in Michigan continue to move to urban areas, Grand Rapids is expected to continue its steady growth that surpasses the state average.

Year Population Change
2015 195,097 3.80%
2010 188,040 -4.90%
2000 197,800 4.60%
1990 189,126 4.00%
1980 181,843 -8.00%
1970 197,649 11.50%
1960 177,313 0.50%
1950 176,515 7.40%
1940 164,292 -2.60%
1930 168,592 22.50%
1920 137,634 22.30%
1910 112,571 28.60%
1900 87,565 45.30%
1890 60,278 88.30%
1880 32,016 94.00%
1870 16,507 104.20%
1860 8,085 201.00%
1850 2,686 0.00%

Grand Rapids Population in 2017 Source: Steven Depolo

Grand Rapids Race Data

Race Population Percentage
White 130,413 68.37%
Black or African American 40,193 21.07%
American Indian and Alaska Native 898 0.47%
Asian 3,694 1.94%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 47 0.02%
Some Other Race 7,030 3.69%
Two or More Races 8,464 4.44%

Population Pyramid

Grand Rapids Housing Indicators

Indicator Value
Total Housing Units 80,230
Owner-Occupied Units 39,642
Renter-Occupied Units 33,384
Median Home Value $109,400
Median Rent $783
Vacancy Rate 9%
Houses With Mortgage 26,637
Houses Without Mortgage 13,005
Median Number of Rooms (per House) 5.7

This chart shows the employment and labor force participation rates in Grand Rapids for residents over 16 years of age. The 2015 unemployment rate is 7% and the labor force participation rate is 67.3%.

Grand Rapids Family/Household Indicators

Indicator Value
Average Household Size 2.54
Average Family Size 3.26
Married Couple Families 25,708
Male Householder (no wife) Families 3,286
Female Householder (no husband) Families 11,550
Non Family Households
Unmarried Partner Households (Opposite Sex) 7.2%
Unmarried Partner Households (Same Sex) 0.7%