Muskegon County
Muskegon County Courthouse
Muskegon County Courthouse
Official seal of Muskegon County
Map of Michigan highlighting Muskegon County
Location within the U.S. state of Michigan
Map of the United States highlighting Michigan
Michigan's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 43°17′N 86°27′W / 43.29°N 86.45°W / 43.29; -86.45
Country United States
State Michigan
Founded1859[1]
Named forMuskegon River
SeatMuskegon
Largest cityNorton Shores (area), Muskegon (population)
Area
 • Total1,460 sq mi (3,800 km2)
 • Land499 sq mi (1,290 km2)
 • Water961 sq mi (2,490 km2)  66%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total175,824
 • Density345/sq mi (133/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional districts2nd, 3rd
Websitewww.co.muskegon.mi.us

Muskegon County (/məˈskɡən/ mə-SKEE-gən) is a county in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of 2020, the population was 175,824.[2] The county seat is Muskegon.[3]

Muskegon County comprises the Muskegon, MI Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is part of the larger Grand Rapids-Kentwood-Muskegon, MI Combined Statistical Area.

History

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]

Prior to 1859, the majority of Muskegon County was part of Ottawa County (the Southern three quarters). Grand Haven served as the County Seat of this combined County, and still serves as the Ottawa County seat today.[5]

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][6] See List of Michigan county name etymologies.

Geography

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.[7]

Michigan's second longest river, Muskegon River,[8] flows through the county with its north and south branches emptying into Muskegon Lake. Muskegon Lake then empties into Lake Michigan via the Muskegon Channel. Muskegon Lake is Michigan's only deep water port on Lake Michigan.[9] In the north the White River flows through the county into White Lake and then on to Lake Michigan. In the south, Black Creek flows into Mona Lake which also flow into Lake Michigan. These three lakes allow boat navigation to and from Lake Michigan, making it one of the states most boat accessible counties, with Muskegon Lake allowing access for additional large commercial vessels.

Bodies of water

National protected area

Transit

Major highways

Adjacent counties

By land

By water

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.Note
18603,947
187014,894277.3%
188026,58678.5%
189040,01350.5%
190037,036−7.4%
191040,5779.6%
192062,36253.7%
193084,63035.7%
194094,50111.7%
1950121,54528.6%
1960129,9436.9%
1970157,42621.2%
1980157,5890.1%
1990158,9830.9%
2000170,2007.1%
2010172,1881.2%
2020175,8242.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[10]
1790-1960[11] 1900-1990[12]
1990-2000[13] 2010-2019[14]

As of the 2010 United States Census,[15] there were 172,188 people living in the county. 77.4% were non-Hispanic White, 14.6% Black or African American, 0.6% Asian, 0.9% Native American, and 2.5% of two or more races. 4.8% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).

As of the census[16] of 2000, there were 170,200 people, 63,330 households, and 44,267 families living in the county. The population density was 334 inhabitants 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, 95.9% spoke English and 2.6% Spanish as their first language.

There were 63,330 households, 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 county's median household income was $38,008, and the median family income 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.

Government

Prior to 1932, Muskegon County was a Republican Party stronghold in presidential elections, aside from 1912 where the split Republican vote primarily backed former president & third-party candidate Theodore Roosevelt. The county became a Republican-leaning swing county from 1932 to 1988. It only supported a Democrat for president six times during this period; 1948 was the only election in this period that was not a national Democratic landslide.

Starting with the 1992 election, the county has consistently backed Democratic presidential candidates, and is one of the few Democratic bastions in traditionally Republican West Michigan. However, Donald Trump very narrowly lost the county in both 2016 and 2020 by 1,177 and 510 votes respectively amid his surge in the Rust Belt.

United States presidential election results for Muskegon County, Michigan[17]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 45,133 48.82% 45,643 49.37% 1,668 1.80%
2016 36,127 45.89% 37,304 47.39% 5,292 6.72%
2012 30,884 40.43% 44,436 58.16% 1,077 1.41%
2008 29,145 34.51% 53,821 63.73% 1,490 1.76%
2004 35,302 43.96% 44,282 55.14% 729 0.91%
2000 30,028 43.35% 37,865 54.66% 1,377 1.99%
1996 21,873 34.48% 35,328 55.69% 6,237 9.83%
1992 23,769 33.04% 32,515 45.19% 15,664 21.77%
1988 33,567 53.36% 28,977 46.06% 363 0.58%
1984 39,355 60.67% 25,247 38.92% 261 0.40%
1980 36,512 53.73% 26,645 39.21% 4,797 7.06%
1976 35,548 56.06% 27,013 42.60% 846 1.33%
1972 36,428 59.60% 22,804 37.31% 1,893 3.10%
1968 28,233 48.11% 24,492 41.74% 5,958 10.15%
1964 22,146 37.51% 36,769 62.28% 119 0.20%
1960 32,667 52.98% 28,755 46.63% 239 0.39%
1956 30,395 54.04% 25,679 45.65% 172 0.31%
1952 25,967 51.47% 23,826 47.23% 653 1.29%
1948 15,382 41.45% 20,631 55.60% 1,094 2.95%
1944 16,536 44.95% 19,963 54.27% 287 0.78%
1940 14,957 43.45% 19,257 55.94% 210 0.61%
1936 9,366 34.52% 17,252 63.58% 515 1.90%
1932 11,971 45.58% 13,497 51.39% 797 3.03%
1928 16,997 76.28% 5,158 23.15% 126 0.57%
1924 14,422 79.22% 1,462 8.03% 2,322 12.75%
1920 11,702 73.70% 3,468 21.84% 707 4.45%
1916 5,692 52.16% 4,465 40.91% 756 6.93%
1912 1,523 18.47% 1,678 20.35% 5,045 61.18%
1908 5,070 69.25% 1,794 24.50% 457 6.24%
1904 5,453 76.46% 1,181 16.56% 498 6.98%
1900 5,250 63.60% 2,796 33.87% 209 2.53%
1896 4,682 58.79% 3,110 39.05% 172 2.16%
1892 3,830 49.76% 3,301 42.89% 566 7.35%
1888 4,521 52.44% 3,514 40.76% 587 6.81%
1884 3,483 49.79% 3,171 45.33% 342 4.89%

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 May 2017)

State representation

The Michigan Department of Corrections operates the Muskegon Correctional Facility in southeastern Muskegon. The prison first opened in 1974.[24]

Education

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:[25] They are:

Communities

Cities

Villages

Charter townships

Civil townships

Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Bibliography on Muskegon County". Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University. Retrieved January 20, 2013.
  2. ^ "QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 15, 2021.
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  4. ^ Hoogterp, Edward (2006). West Michigan Almanac, p. 105. The University of Michigan Press.
  5. ^ "History of Muskegon | Muskegon County, MI". www.co.muskegon.mi.us. Retrieved March 16, 2021.
  6. ^ "Michigan History, Arts and Libraries on sources of County names".
  7. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on November 13, 2013. Retrieved September 27, 2014.
  8. ^ "The 10 Longest Rivers in Michigan". WorldAtlas. August 2, 2018. Retrieved January 16, 2023.
  9. ^ "Largest deep water port in West Michigan opens". WOODTV.com. August 21, 2022. Retrieved January 16, 2023.
  10. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 27, 2014.
  11. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved September 27, 2014.
  12. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 27, 2014.
  13. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 27, 2010. Retrieved September 27, 2014.
  14. ^ "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 7, 2011. Retrieved August 28, 2013.
  15. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
  16. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  17. ^ "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections".
  18. ^ County Prosecutor
  19. ^ "Sheriff's Office | Muskegon County, MI". www.co.muskegon.mi.us.
  20. ^ "County Clerk | Muskegon County, MI".
  21. ^ Treasurer
  22. ^ Register of Deeds
  23. ^ "Muskegon County Drain Commissioner". Archived from the original on February 1, 2016.
  24. ^ "Muskegon Correctional Facility (MCF). Michigan Department of Corrections. Retrieved on June 3, 2011.
  25. ^ "Michigan Historical Markers". michmarkers.com. Archived from the original on March 15, 2010. Retrieved January 12, 2008.

Further reading

43°17′N 86°27′W / 43.29°N 86.45°W / 43.29; -86.45