These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Michigan For 2018


Using science and data, we can tell you which counties in Michigan have the most for people looking to make the move to Michigan.

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Some of you might be asking yourself, at this very moment: is Michigan a good place?

The answer is unequivocally yes… if you know where to locate the best places to live in Michigan.

Lucky for you, we’re here to help you identify the best counties to live in the Wolverine State based on the most recently available data from the Census. And this isn’t our first rodeo — we’ve been helping people find the best places to live in America for years.

So, the question becomes, if you wanted to relocate to the best pat of Michigan, where would you go? To answer that we looked at crime, cost of living, and demographic data for all 70 counties in the state.

After the analytic dust settled, we identified the 10 best counties to live in Wolverine State for 2018:

  1. Ottawa County (Photos)
  2. Midland County (Photos)
  3. Livingston County (Photos)
  4. Dickinson County (Photos)
  5. Monroe County (Photos)
  6. Emmet County (Photos)
  7. Eaton County (Photos)
  8. Barry County (Photos)
  9. Oakland County (Photos)
  10. Clinton County (Photos)

Ottawa County is the county to be when it comes to living the good life in Michigan. And you might want to avoid Oceana County if you can — at least according to the data.

So if you’re thinking of making the move Michigan, we’ve got you covered. Keep on reading for a detailed methodology.

Or, check out the best places to live in Michigan and the best places to raise a family in Michigan.

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How do you determine which Michigan county is the best?

To give you the best county in Michigan, we have to look at a handful of metrics that signal the quality of a place. To do that, we need to make some assumptions about what’s a ‘best county’ and what isn’t. And, for reference, we are trying to make the kind of argument you’d make at a bar using facts, don’t take this analysis to court.

With that in mind, we went to two of the best sources of data on the internet; the American Community Survey data and FBI Crime data for the most recent time period.

We paid particular attention to:

  • Violent Crime Rates
  • Property Crime Rates
  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Unemployment Rates
  • Adult Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty Rates

We then ranked each county in Michigan across each of the criteria from one to 70, with one being the best.

Taking the average rank across all criteria, we created a quality of life score with the county posting the lowest overall score being the ‘Best County To Live In Michigan’.

The result is some of the safest, quiet, and best counties to raise a family in the Wolverine State.

Read on to see why Ottawa County is the best county, while Oceana County is probably in contention for being the worst county in Michigan.

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1. Ottawa County

Coopersville, MI

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: Holland
Population: 276,583
Median Income: $61,367 (5th best)
Median Home Price: $160,500 (32nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.3% (2nd best)
More on Ottawa County: PhotosData

2. Midland County

Midland, MI

Biggest Place: Midland
Population: 83,559
Median Income: $54,852 (11th best)
Median Home Price: $131,100 (47th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.6% (27th best)
More on Midland County: PhotosData

3. Livingston County

Brighton, MI

Biggest Place: Fenton
Population: 185,841
Median Income: $76,764 (1st best)
Median Home Price: $204,000 (29th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.5% (4th best)
More on Livingston County: PhotosData

4. Dickinson County

Iron Mountain, MI

Biggest Place: Iron Mountain
Population: 25,889
Median Income: $43,373 (40th best)
Median Home Price: $88,100 (22nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.9% (14th best)
More on Dickinson County: PhotosData

5. Monroe County

Dundee, MI

Biggest Place: Monroe
Population: 149,945
Median Income: $56,968 (6th best)
Median Home Price: $141,500 (39th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.0% (15th best)
More on Monroe County: PhotosData

6. Emmet County

Petoskey, MI

Biggest Place: Petoskey
Population: 33,091
Median Income: $51,096 (14th best)
Median Home Price: $166,100 (31st best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.5% (22nd best)
More on Emmet County: PhotosData

7. Eaton County

Charlotte, MI

Biggest Place: Lansing
Population: 108,544
Median Income: $56,472 (8th best)
Median Home Price: $137,300 (44th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.7% (12th best)
More on Eaton County: PhotosData

8. Barry County

Hastings, MI

Biggest Place: Hastings
Population: 59,316
Median Income: $56,883 (7th best)
Median Home Price: $139,300 (42nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.2% (6th best)
More on Barry County: PhotosData

9. Oakland County

Auburn Hills, MI

Biggest Place: Troy
Population: 1,235,215
Median Income: $69,850 (2nd best)
Median Home Price: $191,500 (30th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.3% (8th best)
More on Oakland County: PhotosData

10. Clinton County

East Lansing, MI

Biggest Place: Lansing
Population: 77,245
Median Income: $62,646 (3rd best)
Median Home Price: $160,000 (33rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.3% (2nd best)
More on Clinton County: PhotosData

There You Have It – The Best Counties In Michigan To Call Home For 2018

It turns out living in Michigan can vary from one part of the state to the next — who woulda thought?

But now you the know the really good parts and the parts to avoid and that’s why you came here to learn at the end of the day. And for that, you are welcome.

Here’s a look at the worst counties in Michigan according to the data:

  1. Oceana County
  2. Wayne County
  3. Mackinac County

For more Michigan reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Counties In Michigan

County Rank Population Median Income Median Home Price
Ottawa County 1 276,583 $61,367 $160,500
Midland County 2 83,559 $54,852 $131,100
Livingston County 3 185,841 $76,764 $204,000
Dickinson County 4 25,889 $43,373 $88,100
Monroe County 5 149,945 $56,968 $141,500
Emmet County 6 33,091 $51,096 $166,100
Eaton County 7 108,544 $56,472 $137,300
Barry County 8 59,316 $56,883 $139,300
Oakland County 9 1,235,215 $69,850 $191,500
Clinton County 10 77,245 $62,646 $160,000
Washtenaw County 11 358,082 $62,484 $218,100
Bay County 12 106,107 $45,851 $94,500
Marquette County 13 67,418 $46,822 $137,700
Allegan County 14 113,666 $55,630 $144,600
Antrim County 15 23,215 $48,825 $145,100
Lenawee County 16 98,673 $49,300 $119,400
Huron County 17 32,021 $43,082 $93,000
Houghton County 18 36,565 $39,080 $96,100
Charlevoix County 19 26,172 $48,603 $155,100
Menominee County 20 23,568 $41,235 $93,700
Kent County 21 629,352 $54,673 $144,300
Benzie County 22 17,462 $48,694 $158,100
Ionia County 23 64,126 $50,037 $113,100
Hillsdale County 24 46,024 $44,458 $99,400
Shiawassee County 25 68,800 $48,470 $105,500
Macomb County 26 859,703 $55,951 $134,800
Otsego County 27 24,198 $50,793 $121,600
Gratiot County 28 41,676 $42,145 $89,000
Ingham County 29 284,559 $46,842 $119,100
Kalamazoo County 30 258,605 $49,693 $140,900
Lapeer County 31 88,310 $54,174 $141,200
Alpena County 32 28,929 $39,832 $92,700
Alger County 33 9,396 $41,270 $118,500
Gogebic County 34 15,650 $35,833 $69,800
St. Clair County 35 160,069 $50,930 $126,900
Calhoun County 36 134,691 $44,681 $99,400
Tuscola County 37 54,014 $44,193 $95,200
Saginaw County 38 195,201 $43,712 $92,800
Iron County 39 11,393 $33,137 $74,800
Mason County 40 28,755 $43,497 $123,200
Arenac County 41 15,327 $39,240 $88,400
Iosco County 42 25,373 $38,900 $85,500
Branch County 43 43,603 $46,428 $95,200
Delta County 44 36,570 $42,353 $103,900
Cass County 45 51,795 $47,991 $128,200
Schoolcraft County 46 8,186 $36,649 $98,700
Montcalm County 47 62,922 $43,126 $96,500
Manistee County 48 24,465 $42,530 $109,800
Sanilac County 49 41,761 $42,037 $98,500
Kalkaska County 50 17,259 $42,612 $100,200
Genesee County 51 413,090 $43,246 $91,800
Isabella County 52 70,574 $40,706 $127,100
Crawford County 53 13,840 $41,034 $93,500
St. Joseph County 54 60,923 $45,410 $109,700
Jackson County 55 159,483 $47,709 $115,700
Mecosta County 56 43,259 $41,827 $111,300
Wexford County 57 32,829 $40,417 $92,400
Ogemaw County 58 21,103 $36,941 $88,600
Chippewa County 59 38,330 $42,287 $109,700
Van Buren County 60 75,216 $47,141 $121,400
Gladwin County 61 25,367 $39,629 $95,700
Berrien County 62 155,134 $45,980 $137,000
Osceola County 63 23,172 $39,247 $89,400
Clare County 64 30,608 $34,911 $83,300
Muskegon County 65 172,148 $43,920 $101,400
Cheboygan County 66 25,579 $41,023 $113,300
Newaygo County 67 47,957 $44,049 $101,200
Mackinac County 68 10,998 $40,747 $124,100
Wayne County 69 1,767,593 $42,043 $86,000
Oceana County 70 26,152 $41,952 $104,800

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