The great state of Michigan has some of the proudest residents, and for good reason. The state that we call home has something for everybody, from big cities like Detroit and Grand Rapids all the way down to the small towns surrounded by beautiful lakes and everything in between. While Michiganders will tell you there’s no bad place to live, there are some that truly stand out as being great.
When narrowing it down to just a handful of cities, which ones in Michigan are the best? Here are the top five that have people moving from across the country to start a family, get a nice house, and find a new career.
Midland comes from humble beginnings with a population that was only around 8,000 in 1930 and increased nearly five times over in the next 40 years. While the population has remained steady since 1970, the city has had more life brought to it throughout the decades. Midland is home to Dow Chemical Company, which was instrumental in putting the city on the map.
Midland is a nice blend of both rural areas with white-collar suburbia all in one package. You can own a great home while working a six-figure job without having to worry about heavy traffic. Midland has plenty of natural beauty and is only a short drive away from Central Michigan University.
Located just minutes from the state capital of Lansing, Okemos is a small suburb of just over 20,000 people that was founded in 1839. Okemos got its start by being a farming area, though it has grown into the finest Lansing suburb.
Okemos has a lot of the same rural-suburban blended charm as Midland, all while being closer to more sizeable areas. Okemos has some of the finest public schools in the state and is a great place to start a family. The low crime rate is an added bonus, though the housing prices may make Okemos inaccessible for a lot of people.
3. East Grand Rapids
Naturally, East Grand Rapids (or EGR for short) is a suburb of Michigan’s second-largest city, Grand Rapids. Founded in 1891 as a village and in 1926 as a city, EGR has a population of just over 11,000. Much of the city’s area is water, comprising of Reeds Lake and Fisk Lake.
East Grand Rapids has a lot of the city charm that Grand Rapids has while giving it a more suburban small-town feel with a lot of natural beauty. EGR, like Okemos, has a tremendous public school system that makes it an ideal spot for families. There’s no shortage of things to do in the town, either.
The closest city on the list to Detroit is Birmingham, which is part of the Woodward Corridor and was established as a city in 1932. Birmingham has a population of over 21,000, which is actually lower than it was in 1960, but the city overall has seen a lot of growth.
Birmingham is among the most expensive places to live in the state of Michigan, but there’s a reason for that. Birmingham has some of the lowest crime rates and best schools in the country, not just in the state of Michigan. It’s a short trip to many notable venues in the Detroit area and offers great nightlife that some of the smaller cities on the list don’t.
1. Ann Arbor
The largest city by far on the list, Ann Arbor has a population of over 120,000 thanks to it being the home to the University of Michigan. On top of having one of the most prestigious universities in the country, Ann Arbor has been designated as one of America’s best cities to live.
Ann Arbor is certainly a city that was built with pedestrians in mind, which makes it a great destination for people from all walks of life. Ann Arbor is one of the more diverse cities in Michigan and boasts great schools, low crime, and an endless list of things to do at all times of the day.