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Big Rapids, Michigan
Location of Big Rapids, Michigan
Location of Big Rapids, Michigan
Country United States
State Michigan
County Mecosta
Area
 • Total 4.48 sq mi (11.60 km2)
 • Land 4.36 sq mi (11.29 km2)
 • Water 0.12 sq mi (0.31 km2)
Elevation
925 ft (282 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 10,601
 • Estimate 
(2012)
10,702
 • Density 2,431.4/sq mi (938.8/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
49307
Area code(s) 231
FIPS code 26-08300
GNIS feature ID 1619197
Website Big Rapids official website

Big Rapids is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 10,601 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Mecosta County. The city is located within Big Rapids Township, but is politically independent. Big Rapids is home of the main campus of Ferris State University, a four-year public university, well known for its College of Pharmacy and the Michigan College of Optometry, as well as its NCAA Division I hockey team, the Bulldogs.

History

Big Rapids was settled in 1855 by George French and his brother Zera. It became the seat of Mecosta County in 1859. The village was platted in 1859. It was incorporated as a city in 1869.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.48 square miles (11.60 km2), of which 4.36 square miles (11.29 km2) is land and 0.12 square miles (0.31 km2) is water. Like most of the central Michigan area, it lies on the ancient sea bed and has a sandy subsoil which lies above an iron ore base. The Muskegon River runs through Big Rapids, passing both Ferris State University and the local middle school on its way to Lake Michigan. Numerous small lakes are within a few miles of the city.

Transportation

Major Highways

  • US 131

  • Bus. US 131
  • M-20
  • B-96

Bus

  • Indian Trails provides daily intercity bus service between Grand Rapids and Petoskey, Michigan. The southbound bus stops in Big Rapids at 2:35 pm; and the northbound bus stops in Big Rapids at 6:03 pm. Effective Friday, August 1, 2014 Indian Trails no longer provides service through the Ferris State Racquet & Fitness Center. Temporarily, buses stop in the Save-A-Lot parking lot across the street from the Racquet & Fitness Center. The buses stop on the east end of the parking lot near the road. This is a temporary location as Indian Trails continues to work toward a more permanent location. The Save-A-Lot store will be a pick-up and drop-off location only. Call Indian Trails (800) 292-3831 for ticket information.
  • Public dial-a-ride bus service is provided by the Big Rapids Dial-A-Ride.

Airports

  • Roben-Hood Airport Located two miles north of the Big Rapids business district provides services to businesses and general aviation throughout the Midwest.
  • Gerald R. Ford International Airport is the nearest international airport, located roughly one hour south of Big Rapids.

Cycling, Hiking

The Fred Meijer White Pine Trail, a 92-mile multi-use trail from Grand Rapids to Cadillac, MI, passes through Big Rapids.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 1,237
1880 3,552 187.1%
1890 5,303 49.3%
1900 4,686 −11.6%
1910 4,519 −3.6%
1920 4,558 0.9%
1930 4,671 2.5%
1940 4,987 6.8%
1950 6,736 35.1%
1960 8,686 28.9%
1970 11,995 38.1%
1980 14,361 19.7%
1990 12,603 −12.2%
2000 10,849 −13.9%
2010 10,601 −2.3%
Est. 2015 10,397 −1.9%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 10,601 people, 3,330 households, and 1,323 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,431.4 inhabitants per square mile (938.8/km2). There were 3,623 housing units at an average density of 831.0 per square mile (320.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 88.0% White, 6.8% African American, 0.7% Native American, 1.5% Asian, 0.6% from other races, and 2.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.4% of the population.

There were 3,330 households of which 22.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 22.9% were married couples living together, 12.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.2% had a male householder with no wife present, and 60.3% were non-families. 36.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.22 and the average family size was 2.88.

The median age in the city was 21.8 years. 12.5% of residents were under the age of 18; 54% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 15.9% were from 25 to 44; 11.2% were from 45 to 64; and 6.5% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 51.0% male and 49.0% female.

2000 census

As of the census of 2000, there were 10,849 people, 3,388 households, and 1,473 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,555.5 per square mile (985.6/km²). There were 3,654 housing units at an average density of 860.7 per square mile (332.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 83.57% White, 10.63% Black, 0.73% Native American, 2.24% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.50% from other races, and 2.30% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.83% of the population.

There were 3,388 households out of which 25.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 26.5% were married couples living together, 14.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 56.5% were non-families. 35.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.93.

In the city, the population was spread out with 15.2% under the age of 18, 51.0% from 18 to 24, 17.3% from 25 to 44, 9.1% from 45 to 64, and 7.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 22 years. For every 100 females there were 109.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 110.4 males. Ferris State University has a high number of male students, accounting for this anomaly.

The median income for a household in the city was $20,192, and the median income for a family was $28,629. Males had a median income of $30,341 versus $19,770 for females. The per capita income for the city was $10,719. About 19.2% of families and 35.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.3% of those under age 18 and 11.6% of those age 65 or over.

Climate

This climatic region has 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, Big Rapids has a humid continental climate, abbreviated "Dfb" on climate maps.

Climate data for Big Rapids, Michigan
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) -3.3
(26)
-2.8
(27)
2.2
(36)
11.1
(52)
18.3
(65)
23.9
(75)
26.7
(80)
25.6
(78)
20.6
(69)
13.9
(57)
5
(41)
-1.1
(30)
11.7
(53)
Average low °C (°F) -11.7
(11)
-12.8
(9)
-7.8
(18)
-1.1
(30)
5
(41)
11.1
(52)
13.3
(56)
12.2
(54)
8.9
(48)
3.3
(38)
-2.8
(27)
-8.3
(17)
0.6
(33)
Precipitation mm (inches) 43
(1.7)
41
(1.6)
48
(1.9)
69
(2.7)
76
(3)
79
(3.1)
74
(2.9)
74
(2.9)
89
(3.5)
71
(2.8)
69
(2.7)
43
(1.7)
772
(30.4)
Source: Weatherbase

Music

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Coordinates: 43°41′53″N 85°29′01″W / 43.69806°N 85.48361°W / 43.69806; -85.48361

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