Iosco County, Michigan facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Iosco County, Michigan
Seal of Iosco County, Michigan

Location in the state of Michigan
Map of the USA highlighting Michigan
Michigan's location in the U.S.
Founded 1840, organized in 1857
Seat Tawas City
Largest City East Tawas
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

1,890 sq mi (4,895 km²)
549 sq mi (1,422 km²)
1,341 sq mi (3,473 km²), 71%
 - (2010)
 - Density

47/sq mi (18/km²)
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Iosco County is a county located in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2010 census, the population was 25,887. The county seat is Tawas City.

Etymoloogy of Iosco

Iosco is traditionally said to be a Native American word meaning "water of light," though it is actually a pseudo-Native American name coined by Henry Schoolcraft, a Michigan geographer and ethnologist.


1842 Manistee Kawtawwabet Missaukee Mickenauk Ogemaw Kanotin Notipeskago Aishcum Unwattin Kaykakee Gladwin Arenac counties Michigan
A detail from A New Map of Michigan with its Canals, Roads & Distances (1842) by Henry Schenck Tanner, showing Iosco County as Kanotin, the county's name from 1840 to 1843. Several nearby counties are also shown with names that would later be changed.
See also: History of Northern Michigan

The county was created by the Michigan Legislature in 1840 as Kanotin County, and renamed Iosco County in 1843. It was administered by a succession of other Michigan counties prior to the organization of county government in 1857.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,890 square miles (4,900 km2), of which 549 square miles (1,420 km2) is land and 1,341 square miles (3,470 km2) (71%) is water. The county is considered to be part of Northern Michigan.

Geographic features

  • Tawas Bay
  • Pine River, rises in Alcona County and flows into Iosco County, where it empties into Van Etten Lake at [show location on an interactive map] 44°29′38″N, 83°23′16″W northwest of Oscoda
  • Au Sable River
  • Van Etten Lake
  • Tawas Lake
  • Foote Dam Pond
  • The county is part of the Au Sable State Forest, specifically the
    • Grayling FMU (Alcona, Crawford, Oscoda, and northern Iosco counties).

Major highways

  • US 23 is known as the Sunrise Side Coastal Highway.
  • M-55 is one of only three state highways that extend across the U.S. state of Michigan's Lower Peninsula from Lake Huron to Lake Michigan. Its east end terminates in Tawas City at the junction with US 23.
  • M-65
  • [[Template:Infobox road/MI/link CDH|Template:Infobox road/MI/abbrev CDH]]
  • River Road National Scenic Byway starts at M-65 and runs parallel with the Au Sable River for 23 miles (37 km) eastward to end at US 23 in Oscoda, Michigan. It is a designated National Scenic Byway. The road passes by the Lumberman's Monument.

Adjacent counties

National protected area

  • Huron National Forest (part)


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 175
1870 3,163 1,707.4%
1880 6,873 117.3%
1890 15,224 121.5%
1900 10,246 −32.7%
1910 9,753 −4.8%
1920 8,199 −15.9%
1930 7,517 −8.3%
1940 8,560 13.9%
1950 10,906 27.4%
1960 16,505 51.3%
1970 24,905 50.9%
1980 28,349 13.8%
1990 30,209 6.6%
2000 27,339 −9.5%
2010 25,887 −5.3%
Est. 2015 25,345 −2.1%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

As of the census of 2000, there were 27,339 people, 11,727 households, and 7,857 families residing in the county. The population density was 50 people per square mile (19/km²). There were 20,432 housing units at an average density of 37 per square mile (14/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 96.92% White, 0.41% Black or African American, 0.66% Native American, 0.46% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.23% from other races, and 1.27% from two or more races. 0.98% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 23.2% were of German, 12.3% English, 10.6% Irish, 9.9% American, 8.3% Polish and 7.1% French ancestry according to Census 2000. 97.4% spoke English and 1.0% Spanish as their first language.

There were 11,727 households out of which 24.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.20% were married couples living together, 8.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.00% were non-families. 28.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.79.

In the county, the population was spread out with 22.40% under the age of 18, 5.40% from 18 to 24, 23.40% from 25 to 44, 27.30% from 45 to 64, and 21.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females there were 96.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.60 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $31,321, and the median income for a family was $37,452. Males had a median income of $30,338 versus $21,149 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,115. About 9.50% of families and 12.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.50% of those under age 18 and 7.60% of those age 65 or over.



Census-designated places

Other unincorporated communities


Iosco County, Michigan Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.