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Kent County, Michigan
Seal of Kent County, Michigan
Map of Michigan highlighting Kent County
Location in the state of Michigan
Map of the U.S. highlighting Michigan
Michigan's location in the U.S.
Seat Grand Rapids
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

872 sq mi (2,258 km²)
856 sq mi (2,217 km²)
16 sq mi (41 km²), 1.84%
Population
 - (2000)
 - Density

574,335
264/sq mi (102/km²)
Founded 1831
Congressional districts 2nd, 3rd
Website www.accesskent.com

Kent County is a county in the U.S. state of Michigan. It is part of the Grand RapidsWyoming Metropolitan Statistical Area. In the 2000 census, the county had a population of 574,335. The 2008 Census estimate placed the county population at 605,213. The county seat is Grand Rapids. It is named for New York jurist and legal scholar James Kent, who represented the Michigan Territory in its dispute with Ohio over the Toledo Strip.

Contents

History

The Grand River, the largest river in Michigan, runs through the county. On its west bank are burial mounds, remnants of the Hopewell Indians who once lived there. The valley of the river served as an important center for the fur trade in the early 1800s. In 1831, it was set off from Mackinac County. In 1838, Grand Rapids incorporated as the county's first village. By the end of the century, stimulated by the construction of several sawmills, the area was a significant center for agriculture, logging, and manufacturing furniture.

Kent County is the economic and manufacturing center of West Michigan, with the Steelcase corporation based in the county. It is also the home of the Frederik Meijer Gardens, a significant cultural landmark of the Midwest. The county is a traditional stronghold for the Republican Party, with a substantial conservative population, although the 2008 Presidential Election marked the first time since 1964 a Democratic Presidential candidate received more votes than his Republican opponent. The area has strong religious ties, containing a substantial number of evangelical Christians. The Gerald R. Ford International Airport is located within the county.

Demographics

The Grand River in downtown Grand Rapids

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 574,335 people, 212,890 households, and 144,126 families residing in the county. The current estimated population is 604,323. The population density was 671 people per square mile (259/km²). There were 224,000 housing units at an average density of 262 per square mile (101/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 83.13% White, 8.93% Black or African American, 0.52% Native American, 1.86% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 3.34% from other races, and 2.16% from two or more races. 7.00% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 19.6% were of Dutch, 14.9% German, 7.6% English, 7.4% Irish, 7.1% Polish and 5.5% American ancestry according to Census 2000. 90.0% spoke English and 6.0% Spanish as their first language.

There were 212,890 households out of which 35.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.30% were married couples living together, 11.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.30% were non-families. 25.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 3.20.

In the county the population was spread out with 28.30% under the age of 18, 10.50% from 18 to 24, 31.20% from 25 to 44, 19.70% from 45 to 64, and 10.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 96.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $45,980, and the median income for a family was $54,770. Males had a median income of $39,878 versus $27,364 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,629. 8.90% of the population and 6.30% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 10.20% are under the age of 18 and 7.50% are 65 or older.

Geography

Long Lake Park, in Solon Township

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 872 square miles (2,259 km²), of which, 856 square miles (2,217 km²) of it is land and 16 square miles (41 km²) of it (1.84%) is water. The highest point in Kent County is Fisk Knob Park[2], in Solon Township, at 1048 feet[3].

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Rivers

The Grand River flows through the county from its eastern border to the west, and after passing through Ottawa County, empties into Lake Michigan at Grand Haven. It has three tributaries in Kent County, listed in order of convergence:

Trails

These hiking and biking trails run through the county:

Adjacent counties

Transportation

Air Service

  • Commercial air service to Grand Rapids is provided by Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GRR). Previously named Kent County International Airport, it holds Grand Rapids' mark in modern history with the United States' first regularly scheduled airline service, beginning July 31, 1926, between Grand Rapids and Detroit.

Bus Service

  • Public bus transportation is provided by the Interurban Transit Partnership, which brands itself as The Rapid. Transportation is also provided by the DASH buses: the "Downtown Area Shuttle". These provide transportation to and from the parking lots in the city of Grand Rapids to various designated loading and unloading spots around the city.

Railroad

Highways

County-Designated Highways

Major Businesses

These corporations are headquartered in Kent County, in the following communities:

Government and politics

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.

Although Kent County has historically been known for its conservatism, it has begun to lean more liberal in recent elections. 2008 Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama carried Kent County by winning the cities of Grand Rapids, East Grand Rapids, Wyoming, Kentwood, and the township of Alpine, in addition to nearly winning many other municipalities. Kent County also overwhelmingly passed Proposition 1 to legalize the state-wide use of medicinal marijuana.

Kent County elected officials

(information as of post- 2008 election)

Prominent former officials

  • Terri Lynn Land, Clerk-Register in 1993-2000, now Michigan Secretary of State

Cities, villages, and townships

A Public Land Survey System survey of Kent County in 1885, showing 24 named townships and sectional subdivisions.

Townships

(* denotes Charter status)

See also

References

  1. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ [www.gvsu.edu/cms3/assets/747AFBFD-E778-4800-BB3CB1D437769AFE/links_resources_news/Kent_County_Parks.doc Fisk Knob], Grand Valley State University - Kent County Parks
  3. ^ Highest Point in Kent County, Google Earth/Maps]

External links

Coordinates: 43°02′N 85°33′W / 43.03°N 85.55°W / 43.03; -85.55


Genealogy

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Familypedia

This article requires significantly more historical detail on the particular phases of this location's historical development. The ideal article for a place will give the reader a feel for what it was like to live at that location at the time their relatives were alive there..
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Kent County, Michigan
Seal of Kent County, Michigan
Map
File:Map of Michigan highlighting Kent County.png
Location in the state of Michigan
Map of the USA highlighting Michigan
Michigan's location in the USA
Statistics
Founded 1831
Seat Grand Rapids
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

 sq mikm²)
 sq mi ( km²)
 sq mi ( km²), 1.84%
wikipedia:Population
 - (2005)
 - Density

596666
Website: www.accesskent.com

Kent County is a county in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of a 2007 census estimates, the population was 604,323. The county seat is Grand Rapids. It is named for New York jurist and legal scholar James Kent, who represented the Michigan Territory in its dispute with Ohio over the Toledo Strip.

Contents

History

The Grand River, the largest river in Michigan, runs through the county. On its west bank are burial mounds, remnants of the Hopewell Indians who once lived there. The valley of the river served as an important center for the fur trade in the early 1800s. In 1831, it was set off from Mackinac County. In 1838, Grand Rapids incorporated as the county's first village. By the end of the century, stimulated by the construction of several sawmills, the area was a significant center for agriculture, logging, and manufacturing furniture.

Kent County is the economic and manufacturing center of West Michigan, with the Steelcase corporation based in the county. It is also the home of the Frederik Meijer Gardens, a significant cultural landmark of the Midwest. The county is a traditional stronghold for the Republican Party, with a substantial conservative population. The area has strong religious ties, containing a substantial number of evangelical Christians. The Gerald R. Ford International Airport is located within the county.

Demographics

The Grand River in downtown Grand Rapids

As of the census² of 2000, there were 574,335 people, 212,890 households, and 144,126 families residing in the county. The current estimated population is 604,323. The population density was 259/km² (671/sq mi). There were 224,000 housing units at an average density of 101/km² (262/sq mi). The racial makeup of the county was 83.13% White, 8.93% Black or African American, 0.52% Native American, 1.86% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 3.34% from other races, and 2.16% from two or more races. 7.00% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 90.0% spoke English and 6.0% Spanish as their first language.

There were 212,890 households out of which 35.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.30% were married couples living together, 11.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.30% were non-families. 25.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 3.20.

In the county the population was spread out with 28.30% under the age of 18, 10.50% from 18 to 24, 31.20% from 25 to 44, 19.70% from 45 to 64, and 10.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 96.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $45,980, and the median income for a family was $54,770. Males had a median income of $39,878 versus $27,364 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,629. 8.90% of the population and 6.30% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 10.20% are under the age of 18 and 7.50% are 65 or older.

Geography

Long Lake Park, in Solon Township

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,259 km² (872 sq mi). 2,217 km² (856 sq mi) of it is land and 41 km² (16 sq mi) of it (1.84%) is water.

Rivers

The Grand River flows through the county from its eastern border to the west, and after passing through Ottawa County, empties into Lake Michigan at Grand Haven. It has three tributaries in Kent County, listed in order of convergence:

Trails

These hiking and biking trails run through the county:

Adjacent Counties

Businesses

These corporations are headquartered in Kent County, in the following communities:

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.

Kent County Elected Officials

(information as of February 2006)

Prominent Former Officials

  • Terri Lynn Land, Clerk-Register in 1993-2000, now Michigan Secretary of State

Cities, villages, and townships

A Public Land Survey System survey of Kent County in 1885, showing 24 named townships and sectional subdivisions.

Cities, villages, and unincorporated communities

Townships

(* denotes Charter status)

External links

Coordinates: 43°02′N 85°33′W / 43.03, -85.55

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Kent County, Michigan. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.
Facts about Kent County, MichiganRDF feed
County names Kent County, Michigan  +
County of country United States  +
County of subdivision1 Michigan  +
Short name Kent County  +

This article uses material from the "Kent County, Michigan" article on the Genealogy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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