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Gogebic County, Michigan facts for kids

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Gogebic County, Michigan
Map of Michigan highlighting Gogebic County
Location in the state of Michigan
Map of the USA highlighting Michigan
Michigan's location in the U.S.
Founded 1887
Seat Bessemer
Largest City Ironwood
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

1,476 sq mi (3,823 km²)
1,102 sq mi (2,854 km²)
374 sq mi (969 km²), 25%
 - (2010)
 - Density

15/sq mi (6/km²)
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
County logo Logo of Gogebic County, Michigan

Gogebic County (/ɡˈɡɪ.bɪk/ go-GI-bik) is the westernmost county in the Upper Peninsula in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2010 census, the population was 16,427. 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, as the land base of one of the federally recognized tribes.

The county was set off and organized in 1887. It had been part of Ontonagon County. The name is said to be derived from the Ojibwe word bic, which most references interpret as "rock." Alternatively, it is claimed to be derived from Lake Agogebic, later changed to Lake Gogebic, which was also derived from an Ojibwe word. See List of Michigan county name etymologies.


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

  • Ottawa National Forest (part)

State protected area

  • Lake Gogebic State Park


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%
Est. 2015 15,431 −6.1%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

The 2010 United States Census indicates Gogebic County had a population of 16,427. This is a decrease of 943 people from the 2000 United States Census. This 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.

In the county, the population was spread out with 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
  • CR 513 (Black River National Forest Scenic Byway)
  • CR 505 (Lake/Van Buskirk Road)
  • CR 519 (Chaney Lake/ Thomaston Road)
  • CR 204 (Airport Road)


  • KIWD - Gogebic / Iron County Airport

Commercial air service is available at Gogebic-Iron County Airport (KIWD), located (7) miles northeast of Ironwood.


Gogebic County Courthouse circa 1920



Census-designated places

Other unincorporated communities

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