Best Towns to Live in Michigan 2016

MichiganA state bordered by four of the five Great Lakes, Michigan is located in the midwestern region of the United States. Michigan entered the Union in 1837 and is nicknamed the “Wolverine State.” Its capital is located in Lansing, and the most populated city is Detroit. Michigan is a traditional leader in the American motor vehicle industry, and sport fishing is popular on the lakes that surround it. As you look to move to Michigan, here are the best towns to consider.

Our ratings were compiled by combining census, education, wealth , happiness  and internal RentApplication data to create a unified rating system for all of the towns in Michigan. Ranked below are the top towns. 

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#1 Novi

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Located in Oakland County, Novi is home to 56,887 people. Novi has a low unemployment rate at 4.3% and a low poverty rate at 6.4%. 80% of the residents in Novi have at least some college education.

#2 Troy

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Also located in Oakland County, Troy has a population of 82,106. The median home value is above the national average at $220,100, and 73.5% of the residents own their homes. According to Troy’s city website, 95% of their grade-level students go to college.

#3 Farmington Hills

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Another city located in Oakland County, Farmington Hills is home to 80,682 people. The town has a low unemployment rate at 3.8%, and its poverty rate is nearly half the national average at 8%. Farmington Hills is considered part of Metropolitan Detroit.

#4 Petoskey

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Located in Emmet County, Petoskey has a population of 5,705. The home value in Petoskey is above the national average at $188,800, and 56% of the residents own their own home. Petoskey is located on the Little Traverse Bay and has a historic area for shopping known as the Gaslight Shopping District.

#5 Houghton

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Houghton can be found in Houghton County and has a population of 7,897. The unemployment rate in Houghton is below the national average at 5%, and at least 75% of the residents have some college education, giving its town residents a higher level of education than the national levels.

#6 Marquette

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Marquette is located in Marquette county. It has a population of 21,430. The unemployment rate in Marquette is below the national average at 4.8%. Marquette sits on Lake Superior and is home to Northern Michigan University.

#7 Chocolay Charter Township

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Also located in Marquette County, Chocolay Charter Township is home to 5,958 people. The town has a low unemployment rate at 4% and a low poverty rate at 5.7%. It borders Lake Superior for boating and fishing.

#8 Holland

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Located in Ottawa County, Holland is home to 33,342 people. 63.9% of the residents own their own homes, but the median rent is $779. For outdoor adventures, Holland has beaches along Lake Macatawa.

#9 Portage

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Located in Kalamazoo County, Portage has a population of 47,137. It has a 5.6% unemployment rate, and the median rent is $725. According to the city website, Portage promotes safe and well-maintained houses and outdoor parks.

#10 Marshall

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Marshall is located in Calhoun County and has a population of 7,054. Marshall has a 4.8% unemployment rate and a 10.1% poverty rate. 66.8% of the residents own their own homes, and the median rent cost is $701.

#11 Raisin Township 

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Located in Lenawee County, Raisin Township has a population of 7,539. The poverty rate is well below the national average at 8.1%. The median income levels are higher than the national average, with the median household income being $68,350.

#12 St. Johns

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Located in Clinton County, St. Johns has a population of 7,933. St. Johns has a 5.2% unemployment rate, and 69% of the residents own their homes. The town has a tradition of peppermint and spearmint production.

#13 Southfield 

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Another town located in Oakland County, Southfield has a population of 72,480. The Median individual income of Southfield is above the national average at $29,981. 72% of the residence have at least some college education. The town relies on its strong business center.

#14 Ishpeming

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A town in Marquette County, Ishpeming is home to 6,514 people. The unemployment rate is well below the national average at 3.5%. The average home construction year in Ishpeming is 1939, adding to the town’s historic charm.

#15 Mount Pleasant 

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Located in Isabella County, Mount Pleasant has 26,095 residents. 72% of the people in Mount Pleasant have at least some college education. In fact, the town is home to its own university in Central Michigan University.

#16 Wyoming 

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A town in Kent County, Wyoming has a population of 73,434. The median rent for the town is below the national average, but 65.3% of the residents own their home. For outside enjoyment, the town is bordered by Millennium Park and the Grand River.

#17 Ludington

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Located in Mason County, Ludington has a population of 8,061. The median rent in the town is $602. The town is benefited by its border with Lake Michigan, providing residents with a harbor and access to the lake.

#18 Livonia 

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Livonia is located in Wayne County, and it has a population of 95,888. The unemployment rate in Livonia is lower than the national average at 4.9%, and the poverty rate is 6%. This town is considered part of Metropolitan Detroit, and the location makes commuting into downtown Detroit easier.

#19 Sault Ste. Marie

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Located in Chippewa County, Sault Ste. Marie has a population of 14,121. The median rent amount in Sault Ste. Marie is $610. This town is a waterfront community on the St. Mary’s River.

#20 Bay City

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Bay City is located in Bay County and has a population of 34,578. The median rent in Bay City is $551. This town has many historic sites and museums, which adds to its appeal.

#21 East Lansing

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East Lansing is located in Ingham County, and it has a population of 48,611. The town has a low unemployment rate at 4.6%. Thanks to Michigan State University, 69% of the residents in East Lansing have at least a bachelor’s degree.

#22 Kinross Charter Township

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Located in Chippewa County, Kinross Charter Township has a population of 7,664. 88% of the residents have at least a high school diploma. For outdoor adventures, the town is located less than twenty miles from Lake Superior.

#23 Escanaba 

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A town in Delta County, Escanaba has 12,529 people in it. 63.7% of the residents own their homes, but for renters, the median rent cost is $518. Escanaba is located on the coast of Green Bay, allowing the residents access to boating and fishing.

#24 Ironwood

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Located in Gogebic County, Iron Wood is home to 5,237 people. 90% of the residents have at least a high school diploma, and 70% of them are home owners. Iron Wood is home to a series of theaters and studios for those interested in the Arts.

#25 Manistee

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A city in Manistee County, Manistee has a population of 6,160. 92% of the residents have at least a high school diploma. The average rent in Manistee is $607. The town is conveniently located between Lake Michigan and Manistee Lake.

#26 Lapeer

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Lapeer is located in Lapeer County and has a population of 8,801. The average rent in Lapeer is $709. Lapeer provides easy access to county government since it is the county seat of Lapeer county.

 

#27 Big Rapids

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Located in Mecosta County, Big Rapids has a population of 10,543. 88% of the residents have at least a high school diploma. This town is home to Ferris State University.

#28 Holly 

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Holly is located in Oakland County and has a population of 6,142. It has a poverty rate lower than the national average at 12.9%. 71.5% of the residents are home owners for those looking to buy into a community.

 

#29 Charlotte

Located in Eaton, Charlotte is home to 9,053 people. 62% of the residents are home owners. Charlotte is the location of the county seat for Eaton County.

#30 Owosso

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Owosso is located in Shiawasee County, and it has a population of 14,922. 90% of the residents have at least a high school diploma. Owosso maintains city parks for the community’s enjoyment.

#31 Menominee

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Located in Menominee County, Menominee has a population of 8,520. 69% of the residents are homeowners for people looking to purchase a home in a community with other home owners.

#32 Madison Charter Township

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Madison Charter Township can be found in Lenawee County, and it has a population of 8,520. The town has a poverty rate that is below the national average at 9.6%, and most of the residents are homeowners for those looking to buy a home next to other home owners.

#33 Dearborn

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Located in Wayne County, Dearborn has a population of 96,739. The median rent cost in Dearborn is $984. It is the eighth largest city in Michigan for those looking for an urban setting.

#34 Columbia Township

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Located in Jackson County, Columbia Township is home to 7,410 people. The town has a low unemployment rate 3.9% and has a low poverty rate at 10.1%, showing positive signs for the towns economy.

#35 Three Rivers

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Three Rivers is located in St. Joseph County, and it has a population of 7,765. The average rent cost in the town is 7,765. Three Rivers is located where Rocky River and Portage River run into the St. Joseph River, providing an unique outdoor environment.

#36 Niles

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A town in Berrien County, Niles has a population of 11,479. The average rent cost in Niles is $602. It is located on the St. Joseph River for residents who enjoy boating and fishing.

#37 Hillsdale 

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Hillsdale can be found in Hillsdale County, and it has a population of 8,222. 89% of the residents have at least a high school diploma. The town is the location of Hillsdale College.

#38 Ionia 

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Ionia can be found in Ionia County and has 11,388 residents. The average rent cost in the town is $653. For people who enjoy the outdoors, Ionia borders the Ionia State Recreation Area.

#39 Eaton Rapids

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Located in Eaton County, Eaton Rapids has a population of 5,221. 91% of the residents in Eaton Rapids have at least a high school diploma. Eaton Rapids has various forms of entertainment from theater to racing.

#40 Milan

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Milan can be found in Monroe County and has a population of 5,724. The unemployment rate in the town is below the national average at 5.9%, and the poverty rate is low at 6.8%. The median household income is above the national average, a positive for those living and working in Milan.

#41 Denton Township

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Located in Roscommon County, Denton Township has a population of 5,470. The town has a low unemployment rate at 5%. 78.8% of the residents own their homes for those looking to live among other home owners.

#42 Jackson

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Jackson is found in Jackson County, and it has a population of 33,317. The median rent cost in Jackson is $635. Jackson provides residents with an urban environment.

#43 Greenville

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Located in Montcalm County, Greenville is home to 8,434 people. The average rent cost in the town is $718. Greenville embraces its culture and history through annual festivals and the preservation of historical sites.

#44 St. Louis

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St. Louis is located in Gratiot County, and it has a population of 7,347. This town has a median house value of $66,800. St. Louis commemorates its history by preserving historical buildings and homes.

#45 Hastings

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Located in Barry County, Hastings has a population of 7,313. The median rent cost in Hasting is $733. Hastings has the benefit of being an hour outside of Lansing, the state capital.

#46 Muskegon 

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Muskegon is located in Muskegon County, and it has a population of 37,822. The median home value in Muskegon is $63,300. Residents in Muskegon enjoy a border the Lake Michigan.

#47 Alma

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Also located in Gratiot County, Alma has a population of 9,289. 89% of residents from Alma have at least a high school diploma. Alma provides residents with a rural setting.

#48 Richmond

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A town in Macomb County, Richmond has a population of 5,806. Richmond’s unemployment rate is below the national average at 6.2%. 70.7% of the residents own their homes, so the community is largely made up of home owners.

#49 Cadillac

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Located in Wexford County, Cadillac has 10,306 residents. 90% of these residents have at least a high school diploma. The median rent cost is $679, which is below the national average for those looking to rent.

#50 Benton Harbor

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Benton Harbor is located in Berrien County, and it has a population of 10,056. The average home value in the town is $47,400. For residents who enjoy the outdoors, Benton Harbor is bordered by the St. Joseph River and Lake Michigan.

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