GR Facts

Grand Rapids, Michigan

As the second largest city in the state of Michigan, Grand Rapids is one of the fastest growing metros in the country. Combining the comforts of a friendly, small-town atmosphere and the bustling vibrancy of big city life, more and more families are calling it home as it was recently named one of the “Best Places to Raise a Family” by Forbes Magazine in 2015. Nestled between major cities like Chicago, Detroit, and Cleveland, Grand Rapids is often considered a “hidden gem” of the Midwest by residents and those who grew up in West Michigan. Highlighted for its healthy job market, affordable housing, excellent school systems, and abundance of outdoor recreational activities year-round, Grand Rapids was ranked #13 as one of the “Best Places to Live,” and #6 as one of the “Best Places to Retire” in the U.S. in 2019 by US News

Situated on the banks of the Grand River, the city has a reinvigorated downtown area and a thriving arts and cultural community known for being safe and clean, and its walkability. With its new “medical mile” and burgeoning health research industry, the city is the focal point of many commuters who live in nearby towns, lakeside communities, and idyllic hideaways throughout the area’s abundant farms, forests and lakes. The Greater Grand Rapids area is home to vibrant and charming communities nestled in the area’s scenic vistas, including popular Lake Michigan beaches and beach towns, where residents can enjoy all the four seasons, with accessibility to diverse landscapes and recreational activities.

Once known as the furniture capital of the world, Grand Rapids currently has one of the country’s most diverse industrial economies, with industries that include healthcare, technology, automotive, education, and furniture. Many of the country’s fastest growing industries that include Smart Manufacturing, Life Sciences, Agribusiness, Aerospace and Defense, Information Technology, and Bio-Science are found here in West Michigan, along with numerous opportunities for small businesses and great educational possibilities. Moreover, Grand Rapids is a capital in Evangelical publishing that has reached worldwide, notably Zondervan publishing the influential NIV Bible. 

Grand Rapids has an infrastructure of a much larger city that rivals Denver and Houston in economic growth–but without the metropolitan prices. Known for its affordability, the cost of living in Grand Rapids is much lower than other major U.S. cities, with below average housing, healthcare, and grocery costs. It is also one of the nation’s hottest housing markets thanks to the city’s strong economy and millennial appeal. Currently deemed “red hot” by The Wall Street Journal, the Grand Rapids housing market is booming while other major U.S. cities’ are tapering. It’s simply a great choice for a place to live and grow a life for families of all sizes.

Grand Rapids excels in the quantity and quality of life it offers, providing all the big-city excitement with the small-town sense of community, pride, and the closeness of its residents.


Grand Rapids/West Michigan Rankings 2014-2019


Sources and Photo Credits:

U.S. News and World Report

Pure Michigan

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Helpful Links:

Grand Rapids Area Colleges and Universities

Grand Rapids Area Public Schools K-12

Grand Rapids Area Private Schools K-12