Traverse City, Michigan Population 2019

15,651

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 15,651, 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, then incorporated as a city a few years later. 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, and even a local film festival available.

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 Population Statistics

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.

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 poll. The population only continued to fall, showing the most significant 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.

Traverse City, Michigan's estimated population is 15,651 according to the most recent United States census estimates. Traverse City, Michigan is the 62nd largest city in Michigan based on official 2017 estimates from the US Census Bureau.

The population density is 1876.60 people/mi² (724.55 people/km²).

The overall median age is 40.6 years, 38.7 years for males, and 43.8 years for females. For every 100 females there are 93.0 males.

Based on data from the American Community Survey, in 2017 there were 7,543 households in the city, with an average size of 2.22 people per household. The homeowner vacancy rate was 0%, with a median rent of $869/month. The median house has 5.4 rooms, and has a value of $216,800.

The median income for households in Traverse City, Michigan is $53,237, while the mean household income is $78,497.

Traverse City Demographics

According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Traverse City was:

  • White: 93.38%
  • Two or more races: 2.77%
  • Black or African American: 1.77%
  • Native American: 1.19%
  • Asian: 0.60%
  • Other race: 0.23%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.05%

How Many People Live in Traverse City, Michigan?

15,651
Year Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
201815,6511561.01%
201715,495670.43%
201615,4281050.69%
201515,3231310.86%
201415,1921440.96%
201315,048850.57%
201214,963950.64%
201114,8681511.03%
201014,7171850.13%
200014,532-623-0.42%
199015,155-361-0.24%
198015,516-2,532-1.50%
197018,048-384-0.21%
196018,4321,4580.83%
195016,9742,5191.62%
194014,4551,9161.43%
193012,5391,6141.39%
192010,925-1,190-1.03%
191012,1152,7082.56%
19009,4075,0548.01%
18904,3530.00%

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage
White14,52093.38%
Two or More Races4312.77%
Black or African American2761.77%
American Indian and Alaska Native1851.19%
Asian940.60%
Some Other Race360.23%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander80.05%

Traverse City Population Pyramid 2019

Traverse City Median Age

40.6


Total

38.7


Male

43.8


Female

Traverse City Adults

There are 12,551 adults, (2,948 of whom are seniors) in Traverse City.

Traverse City Age Dependency

61.9

Age Dependency Ratio

30.7

Old Age Dependency Ratio

31.2

Child Dependency Ratio

Traverse City Sex Ratio

Female

8,055

51.80%

Male

7,495

48.20%

Traverse City Households and Families

Traverse City Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

Traverse City Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married79.2%20.8%
All63.3%36.7%
Female58.3%41.7%
Male55.9%44.1%
Non Family50.5%49.5%

63.3%

Rate of Home Ownership

Type Count Average Size Owned
All6,6292.2263.3
Non Family3,0381.2350.5
Married2,7452.9779.2
Female5473.3758.3
Male2993.2755.9

2.92

Average Family Size

2.22

Average Household Size

7.9%

Unmarried (Opposite Sex)

0.4%

Unmarried (Same Sex)

Traverse City Education

Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade1231.10%
9th to 12th Grade3072.75%
High School Graduate2,07518.61%
Some College2,38221.37%
Associates Degree1,26011.30%
Bachelors Degree2,93026.29%
Graduate Degree2,07018.57%

Traverse City Educational Attainment by Race

Name Total High School Bachelors
White10,54610,1634,799
Black17717034
Hispanic16213155
Native American1121075
Multiple Races10210286
Asian484421
Other Race3030
Islander888

The highest rate of high school graduation is among islander people with a rate of 100.00%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among islander people with a rate of 100.00%.

Name Average Male Female
Overall$31,783$36,650$28,233
Less Than High School$$$10,625
High School Grad$19,761$21,198$18,023
Some College$29,897$35,073$25,275
Bachelors Degree$41,456$46,563$31,661
Graduate Degree$49,335$75,500$41,790

$31,783

Average Earnings

$36,650

Average Male

$28,233

Average Female

Traverse City Language

Traverse City Language by Age

Traverse City Language

96.39% of Traverse City residents speak only English, while 3.61% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Other Indo-European, which is spoken by 1.92% of the population.

Traverse City Poverty

Traverse City Poverty by Race

Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
White13,7081,42810.42%
Black2215022.62%
Native1704023.53%
Hispanic34561.74%
Multiple43130.70%

10.23%

Overall Poverty Rate

11.63%

Male Poverty Rate

8.94%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Traverse City

The race most likely to be in poverty in Traverse City is Native, with 23.53% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Traverse City is Multiple, with 0.70% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 2.47%. Among those working part-time, it was 16.65%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 17.65%.

Name Poverty
Less Than High School29.48%
Some College12.03%
High School11.92%
Bachelors or Greater6.48%
Name Poverty
Female Unemployed22.52%
Male Unemployed13.62%
Male Employed8.01%
Female Employed7.85%

Traverse City Income

Traverse City Income by Household Type

Name Median Mean
Households$53,237$78,497
Families$76,122$105,200
Married Families$85,659-
Non Families$32,188$43,850

Traverse City Marital Status

Traverse City Marital Status

Marriage Rates

43.6%

Overall Marriage Rate

46.0%

Male Marriage Rate

41.4%

Female Marriage Rate

Traverse City Married by Age and Sex

Traverse City Marriage

The age group where males are most likely to be married is Over 65, while the female age group most likely to be married is 55-64.

Traverse City Marital Status by Race

Traverse City Veterans

971

Number of Veterans

890

Male Veterans

81

Female Veterans

War Veterans
Vietnam329
World War II127
Korea108
First Gulf War92
Second Gulf War89

Traverse City Veterans by Race

Name Veterans % of Total
White9307.77%
Indian3226.02%
Hispanic2313.69%
Black62.99%
2 or More31.85%

Traverse City Veterans by Education

7.64%

Veteran Poverty Rate

39.19%

Veteran Disability Rate

Traverse City Employment Status

66.4%

Labor Force Participation

63.2%

Employment Rate

4.8%

Unemployment Rate

Traverse City Place of Birth

Origin of Non Citizens

Non citizens include legal permanent residents (green card holders), international students, temporary workers, humanitarian migrants, and illegal immigrants.

Origin of Naturalized Citizens

75.02%

Born in Michigan

98.26%

Native Born

1.74%

Foreign Born

0.68%

Non Citizen

Place of Birth

98.26% of Traverse City residents were born in the United States, with 75.02% having been born in Michigan. 0.68% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Europe.