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Westland, Michigan
City of Westland
Westland City Hall
Westland City Hall
Flag of Westland, Michigan
Official seal of Westland, Michigan
An all American City
Location within Wayne County
Location within Wayne County
Westland, Michigan is located in Michigan
Westland, Michigan
Westland, Michigan
Location in Michigan
Westland, Michigan is located in the United States
Westland, Michigan
Westland, Michigan
Location in the United States
Country United States
State Michigan
County Wayne
Incorporated 1966
 • Type Council–manager
 • City 20.45 sq mi (52.96 km2)
 • Land 20.43 sq mi (52.92 km2)
 • Water 0.01 sq mi (0.04 km2)
666 ft (199 m)
 • City 84,094
 • Estimate 
 • Density 3,989.38/sq mi (1,540.33/km2)
 • Metro
4,285,832 (Metro Detroit)
Time zone UTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP code(s)
48185, 48186, 48187
Area code(s) 734
FIPS code 26-86000
GNIS feature ID 1616212

Westland is a city in Wayne County in the U.S. state of Michigan. It is located about 16 miles (26 km) west of downtown Detroit. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 84,094. It is the 10th largest city and 12th largest municipality in Michigan.


Early history

The Octagon House
The Octagon House, part of the Westland Historical Park
Nankin Mills

During the 18th century, the area was inhabited by the people of a Potawatomi Native American village. Other tribes, particularly three Algonquian tribes, used the area as hunting territory.

Before becoming Westland, the area had several other names. Though white settlers did not begin to settle the area until about 1824, they began passing through at the beginning of the 19th century.

Bucklin Township was first organized in 1827 and included what is now the cities of Westland, Livonia, Garden City, Inkster, Wayne, Dearborn, Dearborn Heights and Redford Township.

By an act of the Michigan Territorial Legislature, October 20, 1829, Bucklin was divided into Lima and Richland townships. However, due to a naming conflict under postal regulations at that time, Lima was renamed Nankin Township, after the Chinese city Nanking, and Richland as Pekin Township, named after Peking, though Pekin became Redford Township in 1833.

In 1835, Livonia Township was split off from Nankin. Wayne incorporated as a village in 1869 and as a city in 1960. Garden City incorporated as a village in 1927 and as a city in 1933. Inkster incorporated as a village in 1926 and as a city in 1964.

Nankin Mills (located at 33175 Ann Arbor Trail) was built in 1842 as a gristmill and used by area farmers who once farmed this area. In 1916, Henry Ford purchased the mill and restored it as part of his Village Industries project devised as a way to allow farmers to work in the growing auto industry without having to move off their farms. Once restored, the mill was used to make stencils for Ford Motor Company. The automaker eventually sold the mill to Wayne County, and the historic building is now home to Wayne County Parks, which houses an interpretive center with exhibits on the natural and cultural history of the area and also hosts community events.

Eloise in the far southeast of the city began when the County Home for the poor was relocated here in 1839 from Gratiot Avenue. It later evolved into a sanitorium largely for treating tuberculosis and then was made Wayne County General Hospital in 1945. It had a post office named Eloise starting in 1894.

The Norwayne subdivision is one of the oldest areas of the city, having existed for over 65 years. The area was built immediately after World War II to provide temporary housing for returning soldiers who worked in nearby factories. In late 2009 the City of Westland received $2.061 million to radically clean up, restore and rehabilitate this historic district. This is through Stimulus/Recovery funds and was allocated under the NSP - Neighborhood Stabilization Program of 2008. Please see the City of Westland Development for additional details. This project is expected to be completed by 2013 and was highlighted in the 2009 State of the City mayoral address.

Later history

Westland Center - East Side
The Westland Center

By 1960, Nankin's population had increased to 70,000, giving the area the distinction of being the world's largest township. During the early 1960s, the city of Livonia wanted to annex the part of Nankin in which a large shopping mall, Westland Shopping Center, was to be built. The shopping center eventually opened in 1965, joining Northland and Eastland malls in Southfield and Harper Woods, respectively. In reaction to Livonia's annexation attempts, the people of Nankin voted on May 16, 1966, to change the remainder of the township to the City of Westland. At that time, it was the fourth largest city in Wayne County.

Dairy Dan Westland
View from Ford rd in central Westland, MI


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 20.45 square miles (52.97 km2), of which 20.43 square miles (52.91 km2) is land and 0.02 square miles (0.05 km2) is water.


18th District Court, Wayne County, Michigan
The 18th District Court, located in Westland
Historical population
Census Pop.
1930 9,806
1940 15,838 61.5%
1950 30,407 92.0%
1960 60,743 99.8%
1970 86,749 42.8%
1980 84,603 −2.5%
1990 84,724 0.1%
2000 86,602 2.2%
2010 84,094 −2.9%
2020 85,420 1.6%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 84,094 people, 35,886 households, and 21,289 families living in the city. The population density was 4,116.2 inhabitants per square mile (1,589.3/km2). There were 39,201 housing units at an average density of 1,918.8 per square mile (740.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 75.8% White, 17.2% African American, 0.5% Native American, 3.0% Asian, 1.1% from other races, and 2.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino residents of any race were 3.8% of the population.

There were 35,886 households, of which 29.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.5% were married couples living together, 16.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.4% had a male householder with no wife present, and 40.7% were non-families. 34.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.98.

The median age in the city was 38.3 years. 22.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 9.5% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 27.7% were from 25 to 44; 26.6% were from 45 to 64; and 14% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.5% male and 52.5% female.

City services

William P. Faust Public Library
The William P. Faust Public Library

Westland has a full-time police department and fire department. The fire department offers advanced EMS, fire protection and prevention, and several specialized rescue teams.

The City is known for having an abundance of parks. Hines Park (wayne county parks) is located in the northern region of Westland. Residents along this corridor enjoy seeing deer, fox and hummingbirds all year long as well as easy access to the bike paths of Hines Park. Westland also has numerous City owned parks throughout many of the neighborhoods.

The Westland Public Library offers books, magazines, CDs, playaways, videos, DVDs and electronic materials through access to subscription databases.

The City of Westland offers automated recycling services. For waste disposal, residents have black bins for garbage, and blue bins for recycling. Recycle bins are picked up every other week, while trash is picked up weekly.


John Glenn High School, Westland Michigan
John Glenn High School
Huron Valley Lutheran High School Westland Michigan
Huron Valley Lutheran High School

Westland and the city of Wayne form the Wayne-Westland Community School District. There are four high schools, John Glenn, Tinkham Center, and William D. Ford Career Tech Center in Westland, and Wayne Memorial in Wayne. There is a historical site, Perrinsville School in Westland on Warren Road. Nearly all students that live in the city of Wayne go to Wayne Memorial High School, along with some residents of Van Buren Township, Inkster, Romulus, Canton and southern Westland. Students in central Westland and portions of northern Westland, as well as isolated areas of neighboring Inkster and Canton, attend John Glenn High School. The northernmost portions of Westland are in the Livonia Public Schools district.

Portions of Westland that had been in the Taylor School District prior to the 2013 dissolution of the Inkster School District are assigned to Taylor Parks Elementary School, Hoover Middle School, and Harry S. Truman High School in Taylor.

Portions in Livonia School District are assigned to Hayes (in Westland), Rosedale, Garfield, and Cleveland K-4 elementary schools. 5-6 elementary schools include Johnson Upper Elementary School (in Westland) and Cooper Upper Elementary School (in Westland). Livonia SD middle schools serving Westland include Frost and Emerson. Livonia SD high schools serving Westland include Churchill High School and Franklin High School.

There is a portion of southeastern Westland that is currently divided between Romulus Community Schools and the Taylor School District that was previously assigned to the Inkster School District. Romulus Senior High School is the assigned high school for Romulus students. Students in the Inkster zone previously attended Inkster High School.

There is a charter school in Westland, Universal Learning Academy.

Private schools:

  • Lutheran High School Westland

St. Damian Catholic School in Westland closed in 2016.

Notable people

  • Daron Cruickshank, MMA Fighter, UFC
  • Josh Gracin, country singer
  • Ryan Scott Graham, musician
  • Eric Haase, catcher/left fielder, Detroit Tigers
  • Danielle Hartsell, pair skater
  • Steve Hartsell, pair skater
  • Motoko Fujishiro Huthwaite, teacher, served in World War II
  • Mike Kelley, artist
  • Jeremy Langford, running back, Chicago Bears
  • Charlie LeDuff, journalist and author
  • Wanda Young, singer, The Marvelettes
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