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Chippewa County, Michigan facts for kids

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Chippewa County
Chippewa County Courthouse, Sault Ste. Marie
Chippewa County Courthouse, Sault Ste. Marie
Official logo of Chippewa County
Map of Michigan highlighting Chippewa 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 December 22, 1826
Named for Ojibwe people
Seat Sault Ste. Marie
Largest city Sault Ste. Marie
 • Total 2,698 sq mi (6,990 km2)
 • Land 1,558 sq mi (4,040 km2)
 • Water 1,140 sq mi (3,000 km2)  42%%
 • Total 38,520
 • Density 25/sq mi (10/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 1st
Chippewa county, MI 1904
Chippewa County, Michigan from 1904 Michigan County Maps

Chippewa County is a county in the Upper Peninsula of the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2010 census, the population was 38,520. The county seat is Sault Ste. Marie. The county is named for the Chippewa tribe, and was set off and organized in 1826.

Chippewa County comprises the Sault Ste. Marie, MI micropolitan statistical area.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,698 square miles (6,990 km2), of which 1,558 square miles (4,040 km2) is land and 1,140 square miles (3,000 km2) (42%) is water. It is the second-largest county in Michigan by land area and fifth-largest by total area.

The Michigan Meridian runs through the eastern portion of the county. South of Nine Mile Road, M-129 (Meridian Road) overlays the meridian. In Sault Ste. Marie, Meridian Street north of 12th Avenue overlays the meridian.

Adjacent counties

National protected areas

Game areas

The Munuscong Bay is open for recreation uses, such as hunting, boating and bird watching. The area is known for its duck hunting, including mallards, divers and green-winged teal ducks. The Bay is most known for its icefishing and duck hunting. During opening weekend of duck season (late September), hundreds of hunters come from all over the state to begin their season on the Bay. This area has many types of waterfowl pass through it each year on their southern and northern migrations.


State highways

All Interstate and US Highways in Michigan, like all state-maintained highways, are part of the Michigan State Trunkline Highway System.

  • I-73 (future)
  • I-75 ends at the Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge at the Canada border.
  • M-28
  • M-48
  • M-80
  • M-123
  • M-129
  • M-134
  • M-221
  • BS I-75 travels from I-75 into downtown Sault Ste. Marie.

County-designated highways

The following highways are maintained by the Chippewa County Road Commission as part of the county road system. They are assigned numbers by the Michigan Department of Transportation as part of the County-Designated Highway System.

  • H-40
  • H-63 runs via Mackinac Trail, the former route of US 2 before it was replaced by I-75 in 1962.

In addition, the county road commission jointly maintains Whitefish Bay National Forest Scenic Byway, a National Forest Scenic Byway with the US Forest Service.


Chippewa County International Airport (CIU) serves Chippewa county and the surrounding communities.

Drummond Island Airport (DRM) enhances county service.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1830 626
1840 534 −14.7%
1850 898 68.2%
1860 1,603 78.5%
1870 1,689 5.4%
1880 5,248 210.7%
1890 12,019 129.0%
1900 21,338 77.5%
1910 24,472 14.7%
1920 24,818 1.4%
1930 25,047 0.9%
1940 27,807 11.0%
1950 29,206 5.0%
1960 32,655 11.8%
1970 32,412 −0.7%
1980 29,029 −10.4%
1990 34,604 19.2%
2000 38,543 11.4%
2010 38,520 −0.1%
Est. 2015 38,033 −1.3%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

The 2010 United States Census indicates Chippewa County had a population of 38,520. This is a decrease of 23 people from the 2000 United States Census. This is a -0.1% change in population. In 2010 there were 14,329 households and 9,106 families in the county. The population density was 24.7 per square mile (9.5 square kilometers). There were 21,253 housing units at an average density of 13.6 per square mile (5.3 square kilometers). 72.3% of the population were White, 15.8% Native American, 6.5% Black or African American, 0.6% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.2% of some other race and 4.6% of two or more races. 1.2% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race). 17.0% were of German, 11.8% English, 12.2% Irish, 8.8% French, 6.4% Polish ancestry.

There were 14,329 households out of which 28.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.5% were husband and wife families, 10.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 36.5% were non-families, and 29.5% were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.88.

In the county, the population was spread out with 20.1% under age of 18, 11.0% from 18 to 24, 26.5% from 25 to 44, 27.7% from 45 to 64, and 14.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. The population was 55.1% male and 44.9% female.

The 2010 American Community Survey 3-year estimate indicates the median income for a household in the county was $39,351 and the median income for a family was $54,625. Males had a median income of $25,760 versus $16,782 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,334. About 2.3% of families and 18.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.0% of those under the age 18 and 10.0% of those age 65 or over.




Unincorporated communities


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