Traverse City, Michigan Population 2021

15,902
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Traverse City is a city located in Grand Traverse County Michigan. It is also the county seat of Grand Traverse County. With a 2020 population of 15,902, it is the 61st largest city in Michigan and the 2235th largest city in the United States . Traverse City is currently growing at a rate of 0.52% annually and its population has increased by 8.37% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 14,674 in 2010. Traverse City reached it's highest population of 18,432 in 1960. Spanning over 9 miles, Traverse City has a population density of 1,910 people per square mile.

The average household income in Traverse City is $83,657 with a poverty rate of 11.72%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $905 per month, and the median house value is $266,100. The median age in Traverse City is 41.4 years, 39 years for males, and 44.4 years for females.

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. 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 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.

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 Demographics

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

  • White: 92.50%
  • Two or more races: 3.03%
  • Native American: 1.77%
  • Black or African American: 1.49%
  • Asian: 1.00%
  • Other race: 0.16%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.04%
The current population of Traverse City, Michigan is 15,902 based on our projections of the latest US Census estimates. The US Census estimates the 2018 population at 15,656.The last official US Census in 2010 recorded the population at 14,674.

Traverse City, Michigan Population 2021

2019 and 2020 population is estimated by projecting the raw 2018 numbers.

Year Population Growth Growth Rate
2021152,3378420.55%
2020151,4958420.56%
2019150,6538420.56%
2018149,8111,1800.79%
2017148,6313700.25%
2016148,2614490.30%
2015147,8125240.35%
2014147,2881,0730.73%
2013146,2151,2040.82%
2012145,0116800.47%
2011144,3319900.69%
2010143,3410.00%

Traverse City Metro Area Population by Year

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage
White14,40392.50%
Two or More Races4723.03%
American Indian and Alaska Native2751.77%
Black or African American2321.49%
Asian1561.00%
Some Other Race250.16%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander70.04%
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Traverse City Population by Race

Traverse City Population Pyramid $2021

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Traverse City Median Age

41.4


Total

39


Male

44.4


Female

Traverse City Adults

There are 12,771 adults, (3,309 of whom are seniors) in Traverse City.

Traverse City Age Dependency

64.6

Age Dependency Ratio

35

Old Age Dependency Ratio

29.6

Child Dependency Ratio

Traverse City Sex Ratio

Female

8,124

52.18%

Male

7,446

47.82%

Traverse City Population by Age

Traverse City Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

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Traverse City Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married80.6%19.4%
All62%38%
Male58.4%41.6%
Non Family48.9%51.1%
Female47.9%52.1%

62.0%

Rate of Home Ownership

Traverse City Households and Families

Type Count Average Size Owned
All6,7812.1862
Non Family3,1371.2348.9
Married2,7512.9380.6
Female6723.1247.9
Male2213.4658.4

2.85

Average Family Size

2.18

Average Household Size

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Traverse City Households by Type

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Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade850.75%
9th to 12th Grade3212.83%
High School Graduate2,29220.18%
Some College2,39021.05%
Associates Degree1,0239.01%
Bachelors Degree3,35629.55%
Graduate Degree1,88916.63%
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Traverse City Educational Attainment by Sex (over 25)

Traverse City Educational Attainment by Race

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Race Total High School Bachelors
White10,61310,2424,938
2+ Races217217129
Native American18518042
Hispanic18018091
Asian815728
Black807417
Other Race2525
Islander777

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%.

Traverse City Educational Attainment by Race

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Name Average Male Female
Overall$33,642$37,399$30,699
Less Than 9th Grade$21,442$$21,683
High School Graduate$20,753$22,453$16,526
Some College$33,148$36,684$30,268
Bachelors Degree$38,827$49,103$31,338
Graduate Degree$47,443$44,440$48,029

$33,642

Average Earnings

$37,399

Average Male

$30,699

Average Female

Traverse City Earnings by Educational Attainment

Traverse City Language by Age

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Traverse City Language

95.99% of Traverse City residents speak only English, while 4.01% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Other Indo-European, which is spoken by 1.62% of the population.

Traverse City Language

Traverse City Poverty by Race

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Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
White13,5861,55111.42%
Black17012674.12%
Native2524718.65%
Multiple472234.87%

11.72%

Overall Poverty Rate

15.22%

Male Poverty Rate

8.57%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Traverse City

The race most likely to be in poverty in Traverse City is Black, with 74.12% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Traverse City is Multiple, with 4.87% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 2.77%. Among those working part-time, it was 17.83%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 17.51%.

Traverse City Poverty

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Name Poverty
Less Than 9th Grade29.38%
High School17.74%
Some College12.53%
Bachelors or Greater5.97%

Traverse City Poverty Rate by Education

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Rate Poverty
Female Unemployed67.09%
Male Unemployed32.82%
Male Employed9.41%
Female Employed6.32%

Traverse City Poverty Rate by Employment Status and Sex

Traverse City Income by Household Type

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Name Median Mean
Households$57,076$83,657
Families$81,141$104,434
Married Families$92,715-
Non Families$34,321$55,691
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Income by Household Type

Traverse City Marital Status

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Marriage Rates

43.5%

Overall Marriage Rate

46.8%

Male Marriage Rate

40.6%

Female Marriage Rate

Traverse City Married by Age and Sex

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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

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Traverse City Marital Status

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955

Number of Veterans

862

Male Veterans

93

Female Veterans

War Veterans
Vietnam262
Second Gulf War182
First Gulf War165
World War II142
Korea45

Traverse City Veterans by War

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Age Group Veterans
75+254
65 to 74253
35 to 54193
55 to 64156
18 to 3499

Traverse City Veterans by Age

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Name Veterans % of Total
White9247.69%
Native American2713.71%
2+ Races41.42%

Traverse City Veterans by Race

Traverse City Veterans by Education

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12.81%

Veteran Poverty Rate

29.21%

Veteran Disability Rate

Traverse City Veterans by Education

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64.1%

Labor Force Participation

61.2%

Employment Rate

4.6%

Unemployment Rate

Traverse City Employment by Age

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Traverse City Employment by Race

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Traverse City Employment by Education

Origin of Non-Citizens

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

Origin of Naturalized Citizens

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74.49%

Born in Traverse City

97.22%

Native Born

2.78%

Foreign Born

1.36%

Non Citizen

1.42%

Naturalized

Place of Birth

97.22% of Traverse City residents were born in the United States, with 74.49% having been born in Michigan. 1.36% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Asia.

Traverse City Place of Birth

Year Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
202115,902820.52%
202015,820820.52%
201915,738820.52%
201815,6561500.97%
201715,506690.45%
201615,4371050.68%
201515,3321300.86%
201415,2021440.96%
201315,058840.56%
201214,974940.63%
201114,8801561.06%
201014,7241920.13%
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%

Traverse City Population by Year