General Information on Grand Traverse County
Grand Traverse County
400 Boardman Ave
Traverse City, MI 49684
Population - 2010 Census: 86,986
Size: 466 square miles
Grand Traverse County is located in the northwest part of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan on beautiful Grand Traverse Bay. With its numerous lakes and rolling hills, the County is a major tourist destination and known for its peaceful quality of life. The county seat, Traverse City, is well known as the Cherry Capital of the World. Traverse City is joined by thirteen townships and two villages, Kingsley and Fife Lake, within the County. The County covers 466 square miles in size by spanning 24 miles east/west and 26 miles north/south. The population of the County continues to grow with the current population at 89,112, a 30% increase since 1990. This trend is expected to continue, particularly since the County is a destination for retirees. The growth translates into substantial increased demand for public services, commercial development, housing development and infrastructure expansion primarily in the outlying townships. In 2007, the total state equalized value (SEV) for Grand Traverse County was $5.84 billion, an increase of 93% since 2000. The County will continue to seek a balance between this significant investment and development and the exceptional quality of life enjoyed by residents and visitors.
Grand Traverse County is northern Michigan’s most popular resort community. Centered on the 45th parallel, the area enjoys a temperate climate, moderated by the Great Lakes and other bodies of water. The climate, along with predominate sandy loam soil, is ideal for growing apples, grapes, and cherries. The spectacular natural environment, neighborly communities that are among the safest in the nation, miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, many small lakes, and rural areas minutes from town, offer living at its best.
Grand Traverse County abounds with cultural and social activities. The Interlochen Center of the Arts attracts students from around the world and provides quality performing arts entertainment. Other cultural facilities include the Old Town Playhouse, the Traverse Symphony Orchestra, the Con Foster Museum and the Dennos Museum. Traverse City is home to Northwestern Michigan College and hosts the University Center of 13 major universities from around the state offering degree completion and advanced degrees in virtually any subject. Residents of the County enjoy high quality medical care and services from Munson Medical Center, which was named as one of the top hospitals in the country.
The recreational opportunities are unlimited in this all-seasons community. From swimming, sailing, fishing, and golfing on any one of the 20 courses, to canoeing, kayaking, and hiking during the spring, summer, and fall, and cross-country and downhill skiing, snow shoeing, ice fishing, and snowmobiling in the winter, the opportunities are unsurpassed.
The Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners is the governing legislative body. The Board is responsible for establishing policy, passing laws, and overseeing all County government operations in accordance with State laws and has shared authority with other County elected officials in specific areas. Commissioners are elected to the Board on a partisan basis for concurrent two-year terms. The Board functions through a Standing Committee system. The Standing Committees are: Public Health & Safety, Resource Management & Administration, and Ways and Means.
The 2012 population of Grand Traverse County was 89,112, ranking it the 22nd most populated county in Michigan. The county has been averaging an annual population increase of 1,000.
Between 2000 and 2010, Grand Traverse County was the third fastest growing county in Michigan. The county is projected to have a population of 125,000 by 2030.
In 2010, 15% of the population of Grand Traverse County was 65 years old and over - higher than Michigan and the United States. The trend of an aging population is expected to continue for the region. In 2030, one-third of all households in the county will be 65 years and over.
On a whole, county residents tend to have a higher than average education compared to the remainder of Michigan. The county is ranked fifth in the state with 92.4% of the population having a high school diploma or more and ranked ninth in the state with 28.7% of the population having a bachelor's degree or more.
The unemployment rate in Grand Traverse County is typically lower than the state average for the summer months mainly due to tourism. However, the county typically experiences an increase in unemployment during the winter months.
Health care and social assistance is the largest employment industry in Grand Traverse County. Over the next 30 years, the county is forecasted to experience employment growth more than 150% higher than the state average.
With a market area accounting for close to 10 percent of the state's travel volume, Grand Traverse County ranks second in Michigan in the number of tourism trips hosted and the highest in annual tourism dollars spent per capita at $7,967.
Agriculture is another vital industry in the county. Michigan leads the nation in tart cherry production with Grand Traverse County ranking as the fourth highest county in the nation for growing tart cherries and the fifteenth highest county in the nation for growing sweet cherries.
The largest employers in the county include Munson Medical Center, Traverse City Area Public Schools, Grand Traverse Resort & Casino, Northwestern Michigan College, Traverse Bay Intermediate School District, Grand Traverse County Government, Hillshire Brands, Grand Traverse Pavilions, Hagerty Insurance and Interlochen Center for the Arts.
The Grand Traverse County Team is committed to providing responsive, effective, quality service to our community.