In West Michigan, we hear a lot about how much Grand Rapids has grown over the years and how people keep moving into the city, but you might be surprised to know that Kent was not the fastest growing county.

The latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau that was conducted last year found that between 2010 and 2020, Ottawa County was the fastest growing county in all of Michigan. The county consists of Allendale, Coopersville, Grand Haven, Holland, Hudsonville, Spring Lake, Zealand, and a handful of townships. In that 10-year period, Ottawa County saw an 11.7% increase in total population.

Ottawa County

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that in 2010, the county had a total population of 263,801. In 2020, that number was 294,635.

With this updated information, this puts Ottawa as the 7th largest county in the state, population wise. Despite seeing a loss in people (-4.4%), Wayne County remains the largest in Michigan.

West Michigan counties overall has seen a population increase over the last ten years. Kent, Allegan, Kalamazoo, and Barry County were all in the top 10.

The top 5 fastest growing counties from 2010-2020 are:

  1. Ottawa (11.7%)
  2. Kent (9.3%)
  3. Grand Traverse (7.6%)
  4. Allegan (6.8%)
  5. Washtenaw (6.3%)

See the rest of the numbers here.

Michigan as a whole had an increase of only .84% in the last decade with the population change being almost 83,000. The Detroit News says this is the first time the state has surpassed 10 million residents since 2007 during the Great Recession. However, the state lost a congressional seat as it went from being the 8th largest state in the country to the 10th.

According to FOX 17, these stats were released by the Census Population and Housing Unit Estimates department. The full report from the U.S. Census Bureau is expected to be released later this year.

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