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Gogebic County, Michigan facts for kids

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Gogebic County
Gogebic County Courthouse, July 2014
Official logo of Gogebic County
Map of Michigan highlighting Gogebic 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 1887
Named for Lake Gogebic
Seat Bessemer
Largest city Ironwood
 • Total 1,476 sq mi (3,820 km2)
 • Land 1,102 sq mi (2,850 km2)
 • Water 374 sq mi (970 km2)  25%%
 • Total 14,380
 • Density 15/sq mi (6/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 1st

Gogebic County ( goh-GHIB-ik) is the westernmost county in the Upper Peninsula in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2020 Census, the population was 14,380. The county seat is Bessemer. This was historically part of the territory of the Lake Superior Band of Chippewa, which had twelve bands in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. The Lac Vieux Desert Indian Reservation is in this county, in Watersmeet Township; it is the land base of one of the federally recognized tribes.

Gogebic County was organized in 1887, partitioned from Ontonagon County. The county's name derives from a lake of the same name, which was originally rendered Agogebic. Sources agree that the name is from Ojibwe, but differ on the original meaning. The county's website suggests it meant "body of water hanging on high," but an 1884 military annal said it meant "water-mold lake" (Agogibing). (See also: List of place names of Native American origin in Michigan)


Lake Gogebic
Lake Gogebic, the largest lake of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, lies partially in Gogebic County.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,476 square miles (3,820 km2), of which 1,102 square miles (2,850 km2) is land and 374 square miles (970 km2) (25%) is water.

Water features

Adjacent counties

National protected area

State protected area


Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 13,166
1900 16,738 27.1%
1910 23,333 39.4%
1920 33,225 42.4%
1930 31,577 −5.0%
1940 31,797 0.7%
1950 27,053 −14.9%
1960 24,370 −9.9%
1970 20,676 −15.2%
1980 19,686 −4.8%
1990 18,052 −8.3%
2000 17,370 −3.8%
2010 16,427 −5.4%
2020 14,380 −12.5%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2018

The 2010 United States Census indicates Gogebic County had a population of 16,427. This decrease of 943 people from the 2000 United States Census is a -5.4% change in population. In 2010 there were 7,037 households and 4,171 families residing in the county. The population density was 15 people per square mile (6/km2). There were 10,795 housing units at an average density of 10 per square mile (4/km2). 91.7% of the population were White, 4.1% Black or African American, 2.4% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.2% of some other race and 1.4% of two or more races. 0.9% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race). 17.4% were of Finnish, 12.8% German, 11.2% American, 10.0% Italian, 6.8% Polish, 6.7% English and 5.1% Irish ancestry.

There were 7,037 households, out of which 20.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.4% were married couples living together, 9.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.7% were non-families. 35.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.11 and the average family size was 2.69.

The county population was 16.9% under the age of 18, 8.4% from 18 to 24, 22.2% from 25 to 44, 31.1% from 45 to 64, and 21.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 46.8 years. 53.3% of the population was male, and 46.7% of the population was female.

The median income for a household in the county was $34,917, and the median income for a family was $47,219. The per capita income for the county was $20,759. About 14.0% of families and 17.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.6% of those under age 18 and 9.0% of those age 65 or over.


Major highways

  • US 2

  • Bus. US 2 serves the city of Ironwood.
  • US 45
  • M-28
  • M-64


  • KIWD - Gogebic-Iron County Airport – 7 miles (13 km) NE of Ironwood. Commercial air service is available.


Gogebic County Courthouse circa 1920



Census-designated places

Other unincorporated communities

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de Gogebic para niños

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