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Antrim County, Michigan facts for kids

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Antrim County
Antrim County Courthouse
Antrim County Courthouse
Map of Michigan highlighting Antrim County
Location within the U.S. state of Michigan
Map of the United States highlighting Michigan
Michigan's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Michigan
Founded 1840 (authorized)
1863 (organized)
Named for County Antrim
Seat Bellaire
Largest village Elk Rapids
 • Total 602 sq mi (1,560 km2)
 • Land 476 sq mi (1,230 km2)
 • Water 126 sq mi (330 km2)  21%%
 • Total 23,431
 • Density 50/sq mi (20/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 1st

Antrim County is a county located in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2020 Census, the population was 23,431. The county seat is Bellaire. The name is taken from County Antrim in Northern Ireland.

YMCA Camp Hayo-Went-Ha, the oldest American summer camp that sits on its original site, occupies about one square mile on the shore of Torch Lake in Central Lake Township. Boys first attended Hayo-Went-Ha (variant of Hiawatha) in 1904.


1842 Leelenaw Omeena Negissee Wabbassee Okkuddo Shawwano counties Michigan
A detail from A New Map of Michigan with its Canals, Roads & Distances (1842) by Henry Schenck Tanner, showing Antrim County during the period when it was named Meegisee County, its name from 1840 to 1843. The name is misspelled as "Negissee" on the map. Several nearby counties are also shown with names that would later be changed.

The county was formed in 1840 as Meegisee County. Meegisee (meaning "eagle"), was the name of a Chippewa chief who signed the 1821 Treaty of Chicago and the 1826 Treaty of Mississinwas.

It was renamed Antrim County in 1843, one of the Irish or Scots Irish names given to five renamed Michigan counties at that time, supposedly in deference to the increasing number of settlers of Irish and Scots Irish heritage in Michigan at that time. In the text of the 1843 legislative act, the name was misspelled as "Antim".

Separate county government was organized in 1863. The county seat was originally located in Elk Rapids, but was moved to Bellaire in 1904 after 25 years of litigation. In 1950 its population was 10,721.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 602 square miles (1,560 km2), of which 476 square miles (1,230 km2) is land and 126 square miles (330 km2) (21%) is water.

The county is considered to be part of Northern Michigan. Glaciers shaped the area, creating a unique regional ecosystem. A large portion of the area is the so-called Grayling outwash plain, which consists of broad outwash plain including sandy ice-disintegration ridges; jack pine barrens, some white pine-red pine forest, and northern hardwood forest. Large lakes were created by glacial action.

Major highways

  • US 31
  • US 131
  • M-32
  • M-66
  • M-88
  • C-38
  • C-42
  • C-48
  • C-65
  • C-73

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 179
1870 1,985 1,008.9%
1880 5,237 163.8%
1890 10,413 98.8%
1900 16,568 59.1%
1910 15,692 −5.3%
1920 11,543 −26.4%
1930 9,979 −13.5%
1940 10,964 9.9%
1950 10,721 −2.2%
1960 10,373 −3.2%
1970 12,612 21.6%
1980 16,194 28.4%
1990 18,185 12.3%
2000 23,110 27.1%
2010 23,580 2.0%
2020 23,431 −0.6%
US Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2018

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 23,580 people, 9,890 households, and 6,925 families in the county. The population density was 49 people per square mile (19/km2). There were 17,824 housing units at an average density of 37 per square mile (45/km2). 96.8% of the population were White, 1.0% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.2% Black or African American, 0.4% of some other race and 1.4% of two or more races. 1.7% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race). 20.2% were of German, 13.4% English, 8.9% Irish, 6.9% French, French Canadian or Cajun, 6.9% Polish and 6.4% American ancestry.

There were 9,222 households, out of which 26% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.30% were married couples living together, 8.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30% were non-families. 25.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.78.

The county population contained 21.10% under the age of 18, 6.30% from 19 to 24, 3.9% from 25 to 44, 31.1% from 45 to 64, and 22.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 47 years. For every 100 females there were 99.80 males.



Census-Designated Places

Unincorporated communities



Major highways

  • US 31
  • US 131
  • M-32
  • M-66
  • M-88
  • C-38
  • C-42
  • C-48
  • C-65
  • C-73


  • Antrim County Airport - county-owned public-use airport, northeast of Bellaire, for general aviation. One paved runway. No airline service.

Adjacent counties

Images for kids

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