The northern boundary of the region is also poorly defined; the population density, land use, economic and cultural character, and physical geography most often associated with West Michigan fades in northern Muskegon and Kent Counties, however areas as far north as Ludington and White Cloud may be included because of their close economic ties to the cities to the south. Other areas, such as Montcalm County in the northeast corner of the region, are transitional areas that straddle Michigan regions but are sometimes included for classification purposes. Greenville, in Montcalm County's southwest corner, is closely tied economically with Grand Rapids; however, the northeastern corner, around Vestaburg and Edmore, has historically more closely associated with the cities of Mount Pleasant and Alma, which are almost universally reckoned as part of Central Michigan.
In northwest Kent County is Fruit Ridge, which is a prime fruit-growing region; that accounts for 65% of all Michigan apple production.
Grand Rapids at night in 2016 from the International Space Station. Grand Rapids is the largest city in western Michigan.
The following table contains the largest municipalities of West Michigan according to the 2010 Census. This defines the region fairly broadly, but not at its most broadly; if Battle Creek were included, it would be ranked fourth.
Five of the above cities, Wyoming, Kentwood, Portage, Norton Shores, and Walker, are former suburban townships that incorporated in the 1960s in order to prevent annexation by an adjacent city. The presence of these cities in the top ten reflects both the large geographic area of these cities, as well as the long and continuing growth of suburban areas in West Michigan.
The West Michigan Tourist Association promotes the region from a tourism standpoint
Notable residents or former residents
This article's list of residents may not follow Wikipedia's verifiability policy. Please improve this article by removing names that do not have independent reliable sources showing they merit inclusion in this article AND are residents, or by incorporating the relevant publications into the body of the article through appropriate citations. (March 2011)
More comprehensive lists are available at individual cities, villages, etc.