kids encyclopedia robot

Rockford, Michigan facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Rockford, Michigan
City of Rockford
Downtown looking south along Main Street
Downtown looking south along Main Street
Location within Kent County
Location within Kent County
Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
Country United States
State Michigan
County Kent
Settled 1842
Incorporated 1866 (village)
1935 (city)
 • Type Council–manager
 • Total 3.29 sq mi (8.52 km2)
 • Land 3.22 sq mi (8.35 km2)
 • Water 0.07 sq mi (0.17 km2)
702 ft (214 m)
 • Total 5,719
 • Estimate 
 • Density 1,982.32/sq mi (765.47/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code(s)
49341, 49351
Area code(s) 616
FIPS code 26-69080
GNIS feature ID 0636089

Rockford is a city in Kent County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 5,719 at the 2010 census.

Located along the Rogue River, the city is part of the Grand Rapids metropolitan area and is about 10 miles (16.1 km) north of the city of Grand Rapids.


The Rockford area was first visited and inhabited by Native American cultures, such as the Hopewell, Mascouten, and Ottawa tribes. There have not been archeological finds of Native American settlements in the Rogue River valley, but their trails branched through the area and were noted by early surveyors.

The first important settler of what would become the city of Rockford was Smith Lapham, who had come to Kent County in 1843 after living in Washtenaw County for 18 years. Smith Lapham came to the banks of the Rogue to assist in the completion of a dam and sawmill begun by a William Hunter. Hunter gave Lapham 40 acres (160,000 m2) of land on the east side of the Rogue for his trouble, and Lapham stayed there for the rest of his life. Hunter shortly left the area.

Lapham built his own sawmill on his side of the river, which was completed by 1844. Other settlers soon followed, including John Long, Freeman Burch, and William Thornton. By the fall of 1845, the settlement had about 5 houses. Since the settlement existed largely on land owned or sold by Smith Lapham, it became known as Laphamville. In 1856 it was first platted as Laphamville by William Thornton.

By 1865 the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad Company had begun a railroad extending northward through the village. The railroad had been advising the residents to adopt a shorter name, and when a newly arrived resident from Rockford, Illinois proposed the name of his former town; He claimed it to be derived from the shallow, rocky ford below the dam where travelers crossed the river. The new name was narrowly approved. It was replatted under the name Rockford in 1865 and incorporated as the Village of Rockford in June 1866 with 315 inhabitants.

Local culture

The White Pine Trail runs through the downtown area of Rockford, next to the Rogue River and the Rockford Dam. The downtown area hosts a summer farmer's market on Saturday. The city hosts a Fall Harvest Festival. The Rockford Historical Society also hosts events.


Rockford occupies/has annexed land formerly governed by the following townships:

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.31 square miles (8.57 km2), of which, 3.24 square miles (8.39 km2) is land and 0.07 square miles (0.18 km2) is water.



Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 582
1880 816 40.2%
1900 711
1910 843 18.6%
1920 1,148 36.2%
1930 1,613 40.5%
1940 1,773 9.9%
1950 1,937 9.2%
1960 2,074 7.1%
1970 2,428 17.1%
1980 3,324 36.9%
1990 3,750 12.8%
2000 4,626 23.4%
2010 5,719 23.6%
2019 (est.) 6,391 11.8%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 5,719 people, 2,201 households, and 1,537 families living in the city. The population density was 1,765.1 inhabitants per square mile (681.5/km2). There were 2,302 housing units at an average density of 710.5 per square mile (274.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 95.0% White, 0.7% African American, 0.5% Native American, 1.2% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.7% from other races, and 2.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.7% of the population.

There were 2,201 households, of which 42.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.7% were married couples living together, 13.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 30.2% were non-families. 26.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.16.

The median age in the city was 33.7 years. 30.9% of residents were under the age of 18; 7% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 27.8% were from 25 to 44; 23.6% were from 45 to 64; and 10.7% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.4% male and 52.6% female.

The median income for a household in the city was $53,113, and the median income for a family was $71,700. Males had a median income of $62,015 versus $33,325 for females. The per capita income for the city was $28,632. About 10.5% of families and 11.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.5% of those under age 18 and 7.2% of those age 65 or over.


Rockford is served by the Rockford Public Schools. The city is served by the Kent District Library.

Rockford Christian School, a campus of Grand Rapids Christian Schools, is in Rockford.

Notable people

Women's History Month on Kiddle
Women Scientists of Antiquity
Mary the Jewess
kids search engine
Rockford, Michigan Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.