Moving to Grand Rapids, MI

Thinking about moving to Grand Rapids?

You’ll be in good company. Between 2010 and 2016, more than 8,405 people have moved to Grand Rapids, an increase of 4.5%. New residents are attracted to Grand Rapids’s beautiful scenery, love of beer and coffee, and eco-friendliness.


Grand Rapids is home to 196,445 Grand Rapidians. With an area of 44.4 square miles, Grand Rapids has a population density of 4,424 persons per square mile, which makes it more dense than many other cities of comparable size.

The Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI Metropolitan Statistical Area boasts a population of 1,047,099 people, of which Grand Rapids proper’s population makes up 19%.


One of Grand Rapids’s greatest strengths is its relatively affordable housing market. The median home value in Grand Rapids is $132,600, -34% below the US median value, according to Zillow. The median price per square foot in Grand Rapids is $101. Over the past 5 years, home values in Grand Rapids have increased by 11%.

Renters in Grand Rapids will also have an easy time finding affordable housing. The median rent in Grand Rapids is $1,237 per month, which is 13% lower than the US median. Over the past year, rental rates in Grand Rapids have increased by 5.5%.


Grand Rapids’s economy is on fire. The Grand Rapids metro area’s GDP grew by 36% between 2011 and 2016, from $43.0 billion in 2011 to $58.4 billion in 2016, a total increase of $15.4 billion. The metro area has a per capita GDP of $55,835. According to the US Census Bureau, the median household income in Grand Rapids is $53,780, 9% lower than the national median. Grand Rapids’s unemployment rate is 3.2%.


The average annual temperature in Grand Rapids is 49.05 degrees. The average annual low temperature is 40.3 degrees, while the average annual high is 57.8 degrees. Grand Rapids’s hottest month is July, during which the average high temperature is 83 degrees, while the coldest month is January, when the average low drops down to 18 degrees.

Grand Rapids sees an average rainfall of 38.27 inches per year. September is the wettest month, with an average rainfall of 4.29 inches, while February is the dryest month, with an average rainfall of 1.77 inches.


Grand Rapids has an annual violent crime rate of violent crimes per 1,000 residents, which is lower than the national median of 3.8 in 1,000. Its property crime rate is crimes per 1,000 residents a year, which is lower than the national average of 26.

Traffic & Transportation

Traffic is not as big of a problem in Grand Rapids as it is in many other US cities. According to a survey conducted by INRIX, the average commuter in Grand Rapids spends 13.3 hours in traffic each year, with about 5% of their time commuting in a traffic jam, a lower portion than average among US cities.

Walk Score gives Grand Rapids a walk score of 55.

Cost of Living

Grand Rapids is a relatively affordable place to live with a low cost of living. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis‘s Regional Price Parity survey, which takes into account cost of living metrics including the price of goods and services and housing, Grand Rapids has a regional price parity of 102.1, -6.8% below the average for US metro areas.


The median age in Grand Rapids is 35.3 years. 49.3% of the population in the Grand Rapids metro area is male, while 50.7% is female. 6.2% of the metro population is foreign born.

In terms of racial demographics, Grand Rapids is % Non-Hispanic White, % Hispanic, % Black, and % Asian.

% of those over the age of 25 in Grand Rapids have a high school diploma, a lower rate than nationally. % of those over the age of 25 have a bachelor’s degree, which is lower than the national rate. % of residents have an advanced or professional degree.

In the 2016 presidential election, % of Grand Rapids voters voted for the Republican nominee, while % voted for the Democratic nominee.