Traverse City, Michigan Population 2018

Traverse City is a city located in the state of Michigan. It is located in Grand Traverse County, where it serves as the county seat, but is also part of Leelanau County. In addition to attracting a population estimated to be 15,479, the city is also a popular tourist destination and has been named one of the best places in the U.S. to retire. By population, Traverse City is the largest city in Northern Michigan.

Traverse City History

The Ojibwe and Ottawa tribes were the original inhabitants of what is now Traverse City. Europeans arrived in the area during the 18th century. The first permanent settlement along the Grand Traverse Bay was originally called Grand Traverse and was established in 1839.

A man from Illinois purchased land along the Boardman River in 1847. That same year, a sawmill was constructed, which was later sold in 1851. Hannah, Lay & Co made the purchase and invested in the sawmill, drawing in new settlers. The following year, a new post office was established and a new settlement was created, named Grand Traverse City. The post office suggested changing the name to Traverse City, which was implemented immediately.

Traverse City saw growth in the years ahead with the introduction of rail service in the 1870s. As the area became more populated, Traverse City was incorporated as a village in 1891 and just a few short years later was incorporated as a city. Throughout the 1900s, the city continued to grow. Many national magazines and multiple newspapers are printed in Traverse City. The city is also the largest producer of tart cherries and hosts the National Cherry Festival, which brings in about half a million tourists each year. Other attractions also bring in more visitors, including vineyards, beaches, and skiing areas. The city also features multiple shopping malls, retailers, wineries and professional sports teams.

In recent years, Traverse City has been named as one of the top small travel destinations in the U.S., as well as one of the best places in the country for retirement.

Traverse City Demographics

The city’s estimated population is 15,479. This is up from 14,674 recorded during the 2010 census. The city’s total area is 8.66 square miles with a population density of 1,700 people per square mile. It is only the 68th most populous city in Michigan.

The vast majority of the population is white, making up over 94% of the city’s total population. About 1.8% of residents are black, while Asians, Native Americans, and other races each make up less than 1% of the population. Almost 2% are mixed race, and Hispanic and Latinos make up 1.9% of the population.

Most of the residents in Traverse City are 45 to 64 years old, making up 28.3% of the population. Over one-quarter of the population is 25 to 44, while over 18% are under age 18 and 16.7% are at least 65. Over 52% of the population is female. About 8.4% of the population lives below the federal poverty line.

Traverse City Population Growth

Traverse City has grown slowly but steadily, although there have been declining population figures in recent years. The city first surpassed 10,000 residents at the time of the 1920 census. By the 1960s, the city was well on its way to 20,000 residents when the population dropped by over 2% according to the 1970 census. The population only continued to fall, showing the largest decline at the 1980 census when the total number dropped to 15,516. The population fell again at the 1990 census, then again at the next 10-year census. Recent estimates, however, show that the population is slowly growing again, reflecting a 5.5% increase over the figures recorded in 2010.

Year Population Growth Growth Rate
201715,515790.51%
201615,4361020.67%
201515,3341300.86%
201415,2041480.98%
201315,056830.55%
201214,973910.61%
201114,8821491.01%
201014,7332011.38%
200014,532-623-4.11%
199015,155-361-2.33%
198015,516-2,532-14.03%
197018,048-384-2.08%
196018,4321,4588.59%
195016,9742,51917.43%
194014,4551,91615.28%
193012,5391,61414.77%
192010,925-1,190-9.82%
191012,1152,70828.79%
19009,4075,054116.10%
18904,3530.00%

Traverse City Population in 2018Source: User: (WT-shared) Haem85 at wts wikivoyage [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

Population by Race

Race Population
White14,377
Two or More Races333
American Indian and Alaska Native263
Black or African American232
Asian110
Some Other Race77
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander

Race Data via US Census (2016 ACS 5-Year Survey)

Traverse City Population Pyramid 2018

0k0k0k0k0k0k Male Population0k0k0k0k0k0k Female Population757065605550454035302520151050

Traverse City Median Age

41.1


Total

38.8


Male

45.7


Female

Lancaster Adults

There are 12,521 adults in Traverse City.

Traverse City Age Dependency

60

Age Dependency Ratio

29.2

Old Age Dependency Ratio

30.8

Child Dependency Ratio

Traverse City Housing Indicators

Indicator Value
Median Number of Rooms (per House)
5.4
Houses Without Mortgage
1,407
Houses With Mortgage
2,718
Vacancy Rate
12.6
Median Rent
825
Median Home Value
198,000
Renter-Occupied Units
2,458
Owner-Occupied Units
4,125
Total Housing Units
7,531

This chart shows the employment and labor force participation rates in Traverse City for residents over 16 years of age. The 2015 unemployment rate is 3.7% and the labor force participation rate is 67.6%.

Traverse City Family/Household Indicators

Indicator Value
Average Household Size
2.22
Average Family Size
2.87
Total Households
6583
Married Couple Households
2639
Male Householder (no wife) Families
340
Female Householder (no husband) Families
579
Non Family Households
3025
Total Families
3558
Households With Own Children
1434
Unmarried Partner Households (Opposite Sex)
8.5
Unmarried Partner Households (Same Sex)
0.5

Traverse City Income Distribution

Indicator Value
Under $10,000
467
$10,000 to $14,999
423
$15,000 to $24,999
691
$25,000 to $34,999
736
$35,000 to $49,999
877
$50,000 to $74,999
1,274
$75,000 to $99,999
800
$100,000 to $149,999
761
$150,000 to $199,999
154
Over $200,000
400

Traverse City Household Income

Income

Median

Mean

Traverse City

Michigan

$51,139

$50,803

$75,581

$68,928

Under 10k10k - 15k15k - 25k25k - 35k35k - 50k50k - 75k75k - 100k100k - 150k150k - 200kOver 200k00.050.10.150.2

Traverse City Education Data

Traverse City Educational Attainment (over 25)

Indicator Value Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade
1381.23%
9th to 12th Grade
3312.95%
High School Graduate
2,17219.37%
Some College
2,59523.15%
Associates Degree
1,35812.11%
Bachelors Degree
2,74624.49%
Graduate Degree
1,87116.69%