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Ionia, Michigan
Aerial photo of Ionia taken November 2007
Aerial photo of Ionia taken November 2007
Location of Ionia, Michigan
Location of Ionia, Michigan
Country United States
State Michigan
County Ionia
 • Total 5.54 sq mi (14.36 km2)
 • Land 5.41 sq mi (14.02 km2)
 • Water 0.13 sq mi (0.34 km2)
715 ft (218 m)
 • Total 11,394
 • Estimate 
 • Density 2,063.94/sq mi (796.83/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 616
FIPS code 26-40860
GNIS feature ID 0629060

Ionia is the largest city in, and the county seat of, Ionia County, Michigan, United States. The population was 13,378 at the 2020 census. Every July it hosts what is said to be the world's largest free-admission fair. The city is mostly within Ionia Township, with small portion extending into Easton Township and Berlin Township, but is politically autonomous of the townships.


Before Euro-American migration, this was the location of an Odawa village. The leader of the Odaw here was Cobmoosa. His people planted crops here in 1833 but when Dexter and his associates arrived, they sold these crops to Dexter and relocated to the Flat River. In the 1850s, they were relocated to Oceana County.

  • First Euro-American settlers in 1833 by settlers from New York led by Samuel Dexter, Jr.
  • Platted in 1841
  • Incorporated as a village in 1865
  • Organized into a city in 1873


This climatic region is typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot (and often humid) summers and cold (sometimes severely cold) winters. This region is also prone to dense and heavy fog, along with flooding (sometimes very damaging) due to the Grand River that flows through the city, during the spring. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Ionia has a humid continental climate, abbreviated "Dfb" on climate maps.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.48 square miles (14.19 km2), of which 5.35 square miles (13.86 km2) is land and 0.13 square miles (0.34 km2) is water. Ionia is between Michigan's capital, Lansing, and its second largest city, Grand Rapids.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 774
1860 1,170 51.2%
1870 2,500 113.7%
1880 4,190 67.6%
1890 4,482 7.0%
1900 5,209 16.2%
1910 5,030 −3.4%
1920 6,935 37.9%
1930 6,562 −5.4%
1940 6,392 −2.6%
1950 6,412 0.3%
1960 6,754 5.3%
1970 6,361 −5.8%
1980 5,920 −6.9%
1990 5,935 0.3%
2000 10,569 78.1%
2010 11,394 7.8%
2019 (est.) 11,168 −2.0%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 11,394 people, 2,428 households, and 1,520 families living in the city. The population density was 2,129.7 inhabitants per square mile (822.3/km2). There were 2,775 housing units at an average density of 518.7 per square mile (200.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 70.9% White, 25.0% African American, 0.7% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 1.6% from other races, and 1.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.7% of the population.

There were 2,428 households, of which 37.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.9% were married couples living together, 17.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.9% had a male householder with no wife present, and 37.4% were non-families. 30.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.12.

The median age in the city was 32.3 years. 15.7% of residents were under the age of 18; 16.7% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 39.4% were from 25 to 44; 21.8% were from 45 to 64; and 6.4% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 71.1% male and 28.9% female.

5,230 of Ionia's 11,394 residents (45.9%) are institutionalized in the state's various correctional facilities in the city.


Ionia Correctional Facility and the Michigan Reformatory are major employers in Ionia. Both are located to the west of downtown along Bluewater Highway and Main Street, respectively.

Notable people

  • Frances E. Burns (1866-1937), social leader and business woman
  • Fred W. Green, the only Governor (1927-1931) to be elected from Ionia.
  • Nick Bussell, a former Indy Pro Series race car driver
  • Allen B. Morse, Michigan politician, jurist, and mayor of Ionia
  • Billy Strings, Grammy Award Winning Bluegrass musician, attended the Ionia public school system

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Ionia (Míchigan) para niños

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