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Alma, Michigan
Alma City Hall
Alma City Hall
Location of Alma, Michigan
Location of Alma, Michigan
Country United States
State Michigan
County Gratiot
Area
 • Total 6.09 sq mi (15.77 km2)
 • Land 5.93 sq mi (15.36 km2)
 • Water 0.16 sq mi (0.41 km2)
Elevation
735 ft (224 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 9,383
 • Estimate 
(2012)
9,283
 • Density 1,582.3/sq mi (610.9/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
48801-48802
Area code(s) 989
FIPS code 26-01540
GNIS feature ID 0620002

Alma is the largest city in Gratiot County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 9,383 at the 2010 census. It was incorporated as the Village of Alma in 1872 and became a city in 1905.

Alma's claims to fame include the annual Highland Festival which brings members of Scottish clans and interested onlookers together for a weekend of Highland dancing, bagpipes, kilts, and camaraderie. The Highland Festival is held each year over Memorial Day weekend. Alma College, a small liberal-arts institution of approximately 1,300 students, is located in town and focuses on multidisciplinary learning in a residential setting.

Alma is the birthplace of both the world-renowned modernist architect Ralph Rapson and writer/composer/lyricist Dan Goggin (Nunsense).

Alma was the home of Leonard Refineries, Inc., which sold gasoline and other petroleum products throughout the lower peninsula of Michigan from 1936 when the company was founded until approximately 1966.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.09 square miles (15.77 km2), of which 5.93 square miles (15.36 km2) is land and 0.16 square miles (0.41 km2) is water.

History

Alma was founded in 1853 by Ralph Ely. Perhaps first known for the Alma Springs Sanitarium, built and promoted in the 1880s by millionaire lumberman and capitalist Ammi Willard Wright, it achieved its greatest prominence nationally in the 1910s and 1920s as home of the Republic Motor Truck Company, briefly the largest exclusive truck manufacturer in the world. In 1953 Alma became the first place that high-octane gas, 96 octane, was produced.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 402
1880 437 8.7%
1890 1,655 278.7%
1900 2,047 23.7%
1910 2,757 34.7%
1920 7,542 173.6%
1930 6,734 −10.7%
1940 7,202 6.9%
1950 8,341 15.8%
1960 8,978 7.6%
1970 9,611 7.1%
1980 9,652 0.4%
1990 9,034 −6.4%
2000 9,275 2.7%
2010 9,383 1.2%
Est. 2015 9,193 −2.0%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 9,383 people, 3,468 households, and 2,033 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,582.3 inhabitants per square mile (610.9/km2). There were 3,784 housing units at an average density of 638.1 per square mile (246.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 92.8% White, 0.9% African American, 0.6% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 2.8% from other races, and 2.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.1% of the population.

There were 3,468 households of which 30.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.4% were married couples living together, 15.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 41.4% were non-families. 34.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.92.

The median age in the city was 30.8 years. 21.4% of residents were under the age of 18; 21.3% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 21.1% were from 25 to 44; 20.7% were from 45 to 64; and 15.6% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 46.9% male and 53.1% female.

2000 census

As of the census of 2000, there were 9,275 people, 3,220 households, and 2,022 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,729.7 per square mile (668.1/km²). There were 3,476 housing units at an average density of 648.2 per square mile (250.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 93.75% White, 0.53% African American, 0.52% Native American, 0.75% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 2.57% from other races, and 1.88% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.21% of the population.

There were 3,220 households out of which 32.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.6% were married couples living together, 13.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.2% were non-families. 30.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.98.

Alma welcome, michigan
A sign welcoming visitors to "Scotland, USA" (Alma, Michigan)

In the city, the population was spread out with 21.9% under the age of 18, 20.4% from 18 to 24, 23.0% from 25 to 44, 17.8% from 45 to 64, and 16.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 81.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 77.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $33,536, and the median income for a family was $44,229. Males had a median income of $35,013 versus $20,655 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,218. About 8.5% of families and 11.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.1% of those under age 18 and 7.6% of those age 65 or over.

Transportation

  • US 127

  • Bus. US 127
  • M-46
  • Public bus transportation is provided on a dial-a-ride service basis by DART Transportation from 7:30 a.m.-8:00 p.m. during weekdays within the city limits and to surrounding areas.
  • Indian Trails provides daily intercity bus service to Alma between St. Ignace and East Lansing, Michigan.

Climate

This climatic region is typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot (and often humid) summers and cold (sometimes severely cold) winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Alma has a humid continental climate, abbreviated "Dfb" on climate maps.

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