Muskegon County, Michigan

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Muskegon County, Michigan
Muskegon County Courthouse, 1885.jpg
Muskegon County Courthouse
Seal of Muskegon County, Michigan
Map of Michigan highlighting Muskegon County
Location in the U.S. state of Michigan
Map of the United States highlighting Michigan
Michigan's location in the U.S.
Founded 1859[1]
Named for Muskegon River
Seat Muskegon
Largest city Muskegon
 • Total 1,460 sq mi (3,781 km2)
 • Land 499 sq mi (1,292 km2)
 • Water 961 sq mi (2,489 km2), 66%
 • (2010) 172,188
 • Density 345/sq mi (133/km²)
Congressional district 2nd
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Muskegon County is a county located in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2010 census, the population was 172,188.[2] The county seat is Muskegon.[3]

Muskegon County comprises the Muskegon, MI Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is part of the larger Grand Rapids-Wyoming-Muskegon, MI Combined Statistical Area. The White River flows through the county to its mouth at Lake Michigan.


Around 1812, Jean Baptiste Recollect and Pierre Constant set up trading posts in the area. By the Treaty of Washington (1836), Native Americans ceded parts of Michigan, including future Muskegon County, to the United States. This opened up the area to greater settlement by European Americans, who developed farms.[4]

Muskegon County was organized in 1859. Its name is from the Muskegon River, which runs through it and empties into Muskegon Lake and subsequently flows into Lake Michigan. The word "Muskegon" comes from the Ojibwa/Chippewa word mashkig, meaning "marsh" or "swamp".[1][5] See List of Michigan county name etymologies.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,460 square miles (3,800 km2), of which 499 square miles (1,290 km2) is land and 961 square miles (2,490 km2) (66%) is water.[6]

Bodies of water

National protected area

Major highways

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 3,947
1870 14,894 277.3%
1880 26,586 78.5%
1890 40,013 50.5%
1900 37,036 −7.4%
1910 40,577 9.6%
1920 62,362 53.7%
1930 84,630 35.7%
1940 94,501 11.7%
1950 121,545 28.6%
1960 129,943 6.9%
1970 157,426 21.2%
1980 157,589 0.1%
1990 158,983 0.9%
2000 170,200 7.1%
2010 172,188 1.2%
Est. 2014 172,344 [7] 0.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]
1790-1960[9] 1900-1990[10]
1990-2000[11] 2010-2013[2]

As of the census[12] of 2000, there were 170,200 people, 63,330 households, and 44,267 families residing in the county. The population density was 334 people per square mile (129/km²). There were 68,556 housing units at an average density of 135 per square mile (52/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 81.25% White, 14.20% Black or African American, 0.82% Native American, 0.42% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.28% from other races, and 2.01% from two or more races. 3.53% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 17.2% were of German, 9.8% Dutch, 7.3% American, 7.2% English, 6.8% Irish and 5.5% Polish ancestry according to Census 2000. 95.9% spoke English and 2.6% Spanish as their first language.

There were 63,330 households out of which 34.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.60% were married couples living together, 13.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.10% were non-families. 25.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.59 and the average family size was 3.10.

In the county the population was spread out with 27.50% under the age of 18, 8.70% from 18 to 24, 29.00% from 25 to 44, 21.90% from 45 to 64, and 12.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 98.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $38,008, and the median income for a family was $45,710. Males had a median income of $35,952 versus $25,430 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,967. About 8.80% of families and 11.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.00% of those under age 18 and 8.20% of those age 65 or over.


County government

The county government operates the jail, maintains rural roads, operates the major local courts, keeps files of deeds and mortgages, maintains vital records, administers public health regulations, and participates with the state in the provision of welfare and other social services. The county board of commissioners controls the budget but has only limited authority to make laws or ordinances. In Michigan, most local government functions — police and fire, building and zoning, tax assessment, street maintenance, etc. — are the responsibility of individual cities and townships.

Elected officials

(information as of December 2014)

State representation

The Michigan Department of Corrections operates the Muskegon Correctional Facility in southeastern Muskegon. The prison first opened in 1974.[13]


Public School Districts in Muskegon County:

Private School Districts in Muskegon County:

Colleges and Universities:

Historical markers

There are twenty-three recognized historical markers in the county:[14] They are:

  • Bluffton Actors' Colony / Buster Keaton
  • Central United Methodist Church [Muskegon]
  • Evergreen Cemetery
  • Fruitland District No.6 School
  • Hackley House
  • Hackley Public Library
  • Hackley-Holt House
  • Hume House
  • Jean Baptiste Recollect Trading Post
  • Lakeside
  • Lebanon Lutheran Church
  • Lumbering on White Lake / Staples & Covell Mill
  • Marsh Field
  • Mouth Cemetery
  • Muskegon Business College
  • Muskegon Log Booming Company
  • Muskegon Woman's Club
  • Old Indian Cemetery
  • Pinchtown
  • Ruth Thompson
  • Torrent House
  • Union Depot (Muskegon)
  • White Lake Yacht Club




Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities


See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Bibliography on Muskegon County". Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University. Retrieved January 20, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 28, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Hoogterp, Edward (2006). West Michigan Almanac, p. 105. The University of Michigan Press.
  5. Michigan History, Arts and Libraries on sources of County names.
  6. "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved September 27, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 27, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved September 27, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 27, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 27, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Muskegon Correctional Facility (MCF). Michigan Department of Corrections. Retrieved on June 3, 2011.
  14. "Michigan Historical Markers".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Further reading

External links

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