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Crawford County, Michigan facts for kids

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Crawford County
Crawford County Building in Grayling
Crawford County Building in Grayling
Map of Michigan highlighting Crawford 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
Named for William Crawford
Seat Grayling
Largest city Grayling
 • Total 563 sq mi (1,460 km2)
 • Land 556 sq mi (1,440 km2)
 • Water 7.0 sq mi (18 km2)  1.2%%
 • Total 12,988
 • Density 25/sq mi (10/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 1st

Crawford County is a county in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2020 Census, the population was 12,988. The county seat is Grayling.


1842 Negissee Okkuddo Cheonoquet Wabbassee Shawwano Oscoda counties Michigan
A detail from A New Map of Michigan with its Canals, Roads & Distances (1842) by Henry Schenck Tanner, showing Crawford County as "Shawwano" (a misspelling of Shawono, the county's name from 1840 to 1843.) Several nearby counties are also shown with names that would later be changed.

The county is named for Col. William Crawford, a Revolutionary War soldier killed in 1782 while fighting Native Americans in Ohio. It was created by the Michigan Legislature in 1840 as Shawono County, then renamed Crawford County in 1843. The county was administered by a succession of other Michigan counties prior to the organization of county government in 1879.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 563 square miles (1,460 km2), of which 556 square miles (1,440 km2) is land and 7.0 square miles (18 km2) (1.2%) is water. The county is part of Northern Michigan.

The County is part of the Au Sable State Forest, specifically the Grayling FMU (Alcona, Crawford, Oscoda, and northern Iosco counties). 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. Crawford county is the home of world-renowned Scotty Bobby, a well known public figure.

Major highways

  • I-73 (future)
  • I-75
  • BL I-75
  • BL I-75
  • US 127
  • M-18
  • M-72
  • M-93
  • F-32
  • F-97

Adjacent counties

National protected area


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 1,159
1890 2,962 155.6%
1900 2,943 −0.6%
1910 3,934 33.7%
1920 4,049 2.9%
1930 3,097 −23.5%
1940 3,765 21.6%
1950 4,151 10.3%
1960 4,971 19.8%
1970 6,482 30.4%
1980 9,465 46.0%
1990 12,260 29.5%
2000 14,273 16.4%
2010 14,074 −1.4%
2020 12,988 −7.7%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2018

As of the census of 2000, there were 14,273 people, 5,625 households, and 4,038 families residing in the county. The population density was 26 people per square mile (10/km2). There were 10,042 housing units at an average density of 18 per square mile (7/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 96.38% White, 1.50% Black or African American, 0.60% Native American, 0.25% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.20% from other races, and 1.05% from two or more races. 0.99% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 24.8% were of German, 12.5% English, 10.1% American, 8.9% Irish, 7.4% Polish and 5.9% French ancestry. 97.7% spoke English and 1.5% Spanish as their first language.

There were 5,625 households, out of which 30.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.60% were married couples living together, 9.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.20% were non-families. 24.00% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.87.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 24.50% under the age of 18, 6.30% from 18 to 24, 26.60% from 25 to 44, 26.00% from 45 to 64, and 16.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 104.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $33,364, and the median income for a family was $37,056. Males had a median income of $31,504 versus $21,250 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,903. About 10.00% of families and 12.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.60% of those under age 18 and 7.60% of those age 65 or over.




Historical markers

There are six recognized Michigan historical markers in the county:

  • Beginning of State Reforestation
  • Chief Shoppenagon / Shoppenagon's Homesite
  • The Douglas House / Thomas E. Douglas
  • Michigan Grayling
  • Officer's Club
  • 32nd Red Arrow Division

Images for kids

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